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An Update from the English Faculty
The English faculty have had a busy and memorable start to the year with a range of excursions designed to help students see the real-world context of their studies. I would like to thank students for maintaining high expectations for their learning and their behaviour during these excursions and incursions.


A Deep Dive into Shakespeare with Year 12 Advanced English

In a memorable excursion, our Year 12 Advanced English students attended a symposium at the Seymour Centre, exploring Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” presented by the Sport for Jove theatre company. This symposium offered an enriching analysis of one of Shakespeare’s most personal creations – a play vibrating with themes of forgiveness, discovery, and self-discovery. Students were treated to live performances juxtaposed with critical discussions, exploring the profound themes of freedom versus slavery, civilization against barbarism, and the eternal tug between revenge and forgiveness. The complexities of these themes were further highlighted through comparisons with Margaret Atwood’s “Hag-seed,” providing a contemporary lens to view Shakespeare’s narrative.

Inspirational Words with Vuong Pham

Our Year 12 Standard English class had the privilege of connecting via Zoom with Vuong Pham, a Brisbane-based poet and educator. Vuong delved into the inspirations and processes behind his poem “Mother,” a key text for the HSC. His insights into the personal and cultural significances embedded in the poem deeply resonated with both students and teachers, enriching their understanding and appreciation of the text.

Creative Sparks with Will Small

Year 11 students, both Standard and Advanced, participated in a dynamic writing workshop and poetry session led by Will Small. As a local writer, filmmaker, and social worker, Will emphasized the importance of risk-taking in writing and the need to overcome self-doubt. His session included thought-provoking poetry aimed at challenging conventional views on masculinity, providing a fresh perspective and inspiring our students to explore their creative boundaries.

Shakespearean Journeys for Year 10

Our Year 10 students enjoyed a visit from the Bell Shakespeare Theatre company this week. This engagement immersed them in the diverse world of Shakespearean and contemporary villains. From romances to tragedies, the performance showcased a range of characters and scenes, and offered students a panoramic view of Shakespeare’s genius and his historical context.

Engaging Younger Students with Poetry

In Term 3, students from Years 7, 8, 9, and 10 will have the opportunity to engage with “Poetry in Action“, a traveling theatre group dedicated to bringing poetry to life. This interactive presentation will focus on dramatising poetic techniques and themes, helping students not only to understand but also to appreciate the rhythmic beauty and expressive power of poetry. It’s an excellent way for our younger students to connect with literature in a vibrant and impactful manner.

Breakfast With Books

In its third year running, Breakfast with Books continues to thrive as a haven for young readers at our school. Established by Mrs Titheradge, this unique club offers students a tranquil morning space dedicated to the pleasures of reading and fostering mental wellness.

With nearly 40 enthusiastic members now enrolled, the club has truly blossomed. The introduction of memberships this year has added structure and excitement, giving students a sense of belonging and ownership. Parents and students alike have expressed glowing feedback, noting the positive impact on their reading habits and overall well-being.

What sets Breakfast with Books apart is its focus on creating a mindful environment. Mrs Titheradge’s vision goes beyond mere literacy; it seeks to nurture mental wellness by providing a serene setting for students to engage with literature. This emphasis on mindfulness aligns with contemporary educational priorities that recognize the holistic benefits of reading beyond academic achievement.

Looking ahead, the club is venturing into new territory with planned excursions aimed at enriching the reading experience. Exploring literary landmarks or visiting book festivals promises to deepen students’ connection to books and the joy of reading.

As the Breakfast with Books community grows, it’s clear that Mrs Titheradge’s initiative has struck a chord. By fostering a love for reading in a tranquil, supportive space, the club is sowing seeds for lifelong literacy and well-being among its members. Here’s to many more years of shared stories and literary adventures!