English

Spring Term News

One of the best-known pieces of wisdom in the Book of Ecclesiastes – a word which can apparently be translated as ‘teacher’ – is the observation that ‘To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven’. There follows a goodly list of examples of the comings and goings of life. For this particular teacher, the arrival of the Easter break marks another of these regular life events: the urging of revision for those of our students facing public examinations in the near future. As far as the English Department is concerned this will be the continuation of work already underway. Well before the clocks changed, we hosted an evening for the Year 11 parents in which we gave them a taste of the tasks, which their children will face, then taking them through the structure of the exams, as well as looking at that perennial favourite, the impossibility of revising for English. Those who were able to attend seemed to find it an enlightening experience and we hope it has helped in supporting the students. Lessons have intensively covered the various questions of the new specification, and we were pleased to see the improvements which students were able to demonstrate in a second mock exam in March. Practice really is the key to improvement, so I hope their efforts will continue. Other Year groups too will be facing annual exams after Easter, some perilously soon after Easter – Year 10 take note! – and would also be wise to look over the texts and skills covered this year.

Tile House has seen two fantastic days with English content this term. First came the Festivals Day with Year 7 combining with the Year 6 pupils from Wicken to explore medieval mummers’ plays. They certainly seemed to capture the spirit of these dramas as well as learning something of plot structure and character creation. The second event was the BBC School Report Day where numbers of appropriately badged Year 7 journalists interviewed, scripted and filmed their reports. Brilliant but exhausting was the verdict of those involved in both days. A new notice board has been put up in Tile House to celebrate the achievements of the pupils. With events like this, as well as the, sometimes extraordinary, week by week work produced, we will not be short of examples of effort and achievement with which to fill it!

Mr Cook MSc BA

Head of English

Akeley Wood Senior School