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What’s been happening in English?

06 March 2015

This year the English Department has held many events and provided enriching experiences for students. These range from the Year 12/13 trip to see ‘Shakespeare’s Women’ at Dom Cultury, and the Year 10 visit to Poprad to perform in the Shakespeare Festival, to the Panda Reading Challenge for KS3 and the Youth Speaks contest. This week we are celebrating Book Week with the visit of two poets, readings by staff, and competitions for students. We also look forward to the Year 9 performance of ‘Macbeth‘ in the summer term.

Panda Awards: The Final Vote

This Friday saw the final vote for the best Panda Award book. KS3 students have been reading the 8 short-listed books since last September and have met with their year group to decide ‘The Best and the Rest’ before this morning’s final Panda Award assembly. Each form dressed up as characters from one of the 8 books and a grand prize was awarded for the best-dressed form, judged by our visiting poets, Spoz and Dr Helen Wing.  


5th & 6th March Poetry Workshops:


Dr Helen Wing

Helen Wing is a poet and a fiction writer who has lived in Beijing, Cairo and London.  Born in London, Helen studied Spanish and French at Cambridge University and holds a PhD in Spanish poetry. She has worked as poet in residence in different schools and promotes poetry writing with a range of students, and we are delighted that she agreed to work with some of our students in Y10, 11 and 12.

A tiny taste of their poetry:


By Dr Helen Wing


It’s true

I barely know you

and yet

it’s also true

I know you as the lightning bolt

is known

by the stricken tree.



Spoz calls himself a ‘sort of poet’.  But he is much more than that, he is a singer, songwriter, playwright and musical writer.  His poetry has been influenced by many people but especially by John Hegley, John Cooper-Clarke and Attila the Stockbroker.  We are particularly fortunate that he also delivers poetry workshops in schools, and has agreed to come to Bratislava to work with our Y5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 students.


The Washing Machine
By Spoz


My mum had a washing machine,

That turned things incredibly clean

Then one day by mistake,

When it started to shake,

It turned all the underwear green.


Youth Speaks


Commanding an audience, speaking with authority and convincing a panel of judges is a daunting, yet valuable skill for all people to develop.

Yet this is what Year 9 have recently accomplished through a school Youth Speaks competition. All English classes worked in groups of three – a chair person, a main speaker, and a vote of thanks – to write and present a persuasive speech on the topic of their choice.

Within each class there were outstanding deliveries, yet only one team from each went through to the grand final held in the library on Friday 30th January,  judged by Mr Farthing and Mrs Eastwood.

Speeches ranged from ‘The Science of Fear’, to ‘Shorter School Hours’ and ‘Healthy School Dinners’. All three members of the teams spoke lucidly in their chosen role, working together as a team.

Youth Speaks was an exhilarating experience, one that I recommend to everyone, and one that I look forward to repeating.

 Nadine Pheby 9C

Congratulations to Nadine Pheby (Chairperson), Tomas Tham (Main Speaker), and Alexa Wicgerova (Vote of Thanks) who won the Youth Speaks trophy for ‘Healthy School Dinners are a Winner’. They gave an outstanding performance!


Global Classroom Debating League

Over the last few months our English classes have been taking part in the Global Classroom debating league. It is a competition which allows students from our school to take part in debates against students in Nord Anglia schools all over the globe. Two of the three debates have already been played which will be followed by the finals towards the end of the school year. In the first debate, students had to argue over whether or not using mobile devices in the classroom would be effective or not, a topic which a lot of people felt strongly about, and in the second debate students argued as to whether the beauty of space travel was worth the risk. Year 9 students  Samuel Contos, Igor Ledecky, Khaled Al-Quanaei, Oleksii Grygoryshyn, Martin Vrana, Peter Novak, Andrii Vitko and Jacob Wilcox made up a debating group called “King Khaled’s Minions” and have won in two consecutive debates and lead with 7 points at the top of the debating league scoreboard. Overall it is great fun and the activities that we do in preparation for debates help us to build our vocabulary and improve techniques in persuasive writing, as well as the underrated skill of summarising texts. After two rounds King Khaled’s Minions are in a promising position to enter the finals, so please support us as we try to retain our title of Global Classroom Debating Champions.


By Alex Grygoryshyn


Year 8 English Speaking Exam

All Year pupils completed a challenging speaking examination last term and have been awarded pass, merit and distinction for their efforts. Each student performed a 4 minute presentation in front of an audience, recited a poem, sight read from a chosen novel and participated in an open exchange of ideas. Congratulations to all students who passed the examination.

 A special mention must go to Linda Bujnakova, India King, Daniel Mistrick and Carlo Gulli who all achieved distinction.

“For me the most interesting part was presenting the speech because I talked about something I know about, although I learned something about the topic too because I researched it a lot on the internet. I found it interesting talking and teaching the audience with my presentation.” Linda Maria Kmotrikova


Poprad Shakespeare Festival

On 10th December, I travelled with a group of other students  all the way to Poprad to perform in the Shakespeare Festival.

We left early in the morning and boarded our train to begin a four hour long journey across Slovakia.

After arriving at our destination, we met our hosts and settled into our hotel for a short rest, before going to a nearby theatre to rehearse our play.  There, we had the chance to talk to students from other schools, who came from both Poprad and Bratislava.

The next day, we woke up at six in the morning, and after eating a quick breakfast, headed to the theatre, where we had an exciting day performing in front of the Mayor of Poprad, the British Ambassador, Mr Farthing and many other people, including students from nearby schools. Although we were quite nervous, the performances went smoothly, the audience seemed to really enjoy it, and we collected our share of clapping.

When we got back to Bratislava the next day, we really felt that we had had a great experience, and we would all love to do it again.

By Helwan Felappi Year 10