In Grade 8 English Language and Literature lessons, we have been studying William Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’. The primary focus has been evaluating how and why Macbeth becomes a tragic hero, and how far external forces influence his decisions. In addition, students have been encouraged to harness their creativity by composing journals from the point of view of the character, Banquo. Currently, students are active in performing the witches’ speeches with a view to producing a video of their spectacular performance. We have had a lot of fun whilst studying Macbeth, but students have also realised how Shakespeare’s ideas are still relevant today.
Similarly, Grade 9 students have also been studying a Shakespeare play, ‘Much Ado About Nothing’. Students have analysed the presentation of female characters in the play and have drawn informed conclusions about Shakespeare’s own views on women. By exploring and researching the historical context to the play, students have been equipped with a better understanding of how women were treated and considered during that period in time. In addition, students have created their own masquerade masks to reinforce their learning of how these were traditionally used by characters.
Diploma students in Grade 11 have been studying Arthur Miller’s play, ‘A View from the Bridge’ and a collection of contemporary poems from the Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy. These texts form part of the Language and Literature course where students are assessed orally for their critical analysis of texts. Our students have been working hard to ascertain writers’ purposes and to critically assess how the language writers use help to drive their ideas and themes. Equally, students have been developing their writing portfolio over the past few weeks, submitting a creative response to Miller’s play.