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Year 8, 10 & 11 Advanced & Extension 1 English T1 2020

Posted by Mr Ozan Angin on 14 July 2020
Term 1

Year 8 students were transported back in time to Nazi Germany through their study of the novel 'Boy in the Striped Pyjamas'. They were given the opportunity to consider the context of WWII through the point of view of the young Bruno, especially through his growing yet ultimately tragic friendship with Shmuel.

Year 10 students found themselves in Maycomb County, Alabama as they studied the time-honoured classic of 'To Kill a Mockingbird'. In the wake of the Black Lives Mater movement, students developed an intense connection with the language and themes of racism and growing up that permeates this story of injustice. A story of an African American wrongly convicted of a crime who, in the face of racial justice, also 'cannot breathe' as he is killed by an unjust system.

Year 11 Advanced English students began the year with an intense comparative study of two literary greats, George Orwell and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The two texts couldn't be any further apart with Animal Farm a political satire of the Russian Revolution in promoting democratic socialism and the A Study in Scarlet being the inaugural Sherlock Holmes detective novel, which gave students a broad exposure to literary texts across historical contexts and genres in preparation for Year 12.

Year 11 Extension 1 English introduced students to the "Encounters with 'the Other'" program that focuses on Post-Colonialism, its impact throughout history and its materialisation within canonical texts. Students were exposed to various postcolonial texts include Chinua Achebe's 'Things Fall Apart' as well as the introduction to Edward Said's 'Orientalism'. The final leg of the term began looking at the core prescribed text, 'Heart of Darkness' by Joseph Conrad.

Term 2

Year 8 students undertook a Shakespearean study of 'A Midsummer Nights' Dream'. Students were given the opportunity to explore their first Shakespeare first play from beginning to end. A lot of their study consisted of a practical drama performance of the play, giving students roles to act out and experience the play as it was intended. This provided a foundation to move into an analysis of the underlying themes of the play.

Year 10 students grappled with the morality of unchecked ambition by studying Shakespeare's Macbeth. Whilst attendance to a theatre production was planned prior to the COVID-19 shutdown, which was subsequently cancelled, students still engaged in theatrical acting activities during the unit. The central ideas of morality and guilt resonated strongly with students who were able to apply it not only to their own contexts, but also across other modern interpretations studied in addition to the original text.

Year 11 Advanced English students undertook a detailed study of Narrative by looking at a wide range of texts that implement unique and engaging narrative forms and structural features. This culminated in composing a narrative in the form of a Minecraft Vlog that provide to be acutely stimulating and enabling of student creativity.

Year 11 Extension 1 English undertook their Independent Research Project this term that exposed them to critical research skills in preparation for tertiary level study. In continuation of their study of Post-Colonialism, students began reading 'The Autobiography of Malcolm X', which infused an invigorating appraisal of racism and social inequality in America from a Muslim perspective.

Author:Mr Ozan Angin
About: English & Islamic Teacher
Tags:English - Secondary

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