Welcome Back

As our new S5 and S6 pupils get ready to return to school following Study Leave, the English Department says ‘Welcome Back’; but also ‘Get Ready’.

It may be June and the sun may be shining (I said ‘may’!) but, whichever English course you are about to start, there is significant work to be done before the end of term. Whether it’s preparing for an Advanced Higher Dissertation or researching for a Higher or National 5 Folio essay, work done now will directly impact on your final award next year. Let’s see you get stuck in for the next three weeks!

Good Luck

Good luck to all of our candidates sitting the English Higher or Advanced Higher examination tomorrow and to National 5 candidates who have their examination on Friday. No fancy pep talks at this stage, just the wise words of Nelson Mandela: ‘It always seems impossible until it is done.’

You can do it!

You can do it!

Coursework Folio Deadlines

DeadlineAll senior English classes are now working to finalise Folio pieces for submission to the SQA. Each pupil must have two pieces of the appropriate genre submitted to their English teacher by the following deadline:

National 5 – Friday 17th March

Higher – Friday 24th March

Advanced Higher – Friday 28th April

Folios will be despatched to the SQA shortly after each of these dates.

Exam Targets Set

targetAll senior pupils have now gone through a target-setting exercise where they have focused on their Prelim performance and identified key areas for revision and improvement in the final examination. Each pupil has taken home a sheet with these targets which can be shared with parents/carers.

Creative Writing Workshop – Kirsty Logan

kirsty loganKirsty Logan, an award-winning Scottish writer, recently visited Bearsden Academy to help develop our creative thoughts, especially in relation to magical-realism.

As pupils who have already studied her short story, ‘Una and Coll are Not Friends,’ her unique methods of creative writing brought a new perspective to most Advanced Higher English pupils. Her knowledge and history of magical-realism helped us develop ideas which we will later use for creative pieces. According to one pupil she, “brought new ideas to the challenging topic of creative writing.”

Her main technique was to take an object or abstract idea and picture a world where there was either an abundance of this said item, or a lack of it. From there, we wrote short stories or introductions about worlds where this happened, which resulted in obscure and interesting ideas.

Overall, it was an enjoyable experience which most pupils benefited from. Many thanks to Mr Corbett and the rest of the English Department for arranging this creative writing workshop.

Lara Loh, Advanced Higher English

National Poetry Day – Pupil Poem!

British red post box, isolated on a white backgroundOn National Poetry Day this year, 2D undertook some activities in relation to the Scottish Poetry Library’s poem postcards.

Below is a poem written by Elena, in which she imagines what it would feel like to be a pillar-box, filling up with all sorts of different messages (this year’s NPD theme) only to be emptied at the end of the day.

Elena’s fantastic poem is a response to Meg Bateman’s poem ‘The Pillar-box’ which you can read by clicking here.

The Pillar Box – by Elena T

Softly, gently,

They drop one by one.

Letter by letter,

Word by word,

Day by day they come.

 

I hoard them all,

In my red painted frame.

I keep them dry,

I hold them safe,

Ready for reclaim.

 

First come the love letters,

Packed with words of love and longing.

They were written at dawn,

At the start of the day,

For then it can seem less daunting.

 

The business letters:

Bills and complaints and queries.

On bright white paper,

With stark black font,

The first, perhaps, of a long and tedious series.

 

Postcards of holidays,

From far away places.

They tell of fun,

And of games,

Of night time walks and sunny beach races.

 

And, of course,

For every happy there must come a sad.

The letters that didn’t make it,

The letters been sent back,

‘Return to Sender’ stamped by the young post lad.

 

Commiserations are the worst,

They make me want to groan.

It is hard,

It always is,

To say goodbye to one whom we have known.

 

Each letter that comes,

I will read and I will think.

Some are happy,

Some are sad,

But in each journey I am just a link.

 

The postman arrives,

At 4 O’clock each day.

He takes the letters,

In his bright red van,

To each destination, far away.

 

And thus I am left empty,

To wave goodbye to the sun’s last ray.

I will wait,

Until tomorrow,

Before I hold the letters of another day.

Book Group Cinema Trip

missperegrinecoverToday all the library Book Groups, encompassing pupils from S1 to S6, enjoyed a trip to the Empire cinema at Clydebank for an exclusive showing of the new film adaptation of ‘Miss Peregrine’s School for Peculiar Children’. The adaptation of the novel by Ransom Riggs is directed by Tim Burton, and stars some big names including Eva Green, Judi Dench and Samuel L Jackson.

There was unanimous enjoyment of having a whole cinema to ourselves! Many thanks to Mrs Gilchrist for organising the special showing. Reaction to the film itself was generally positive, though there was some spirited debate about the changes that have been made in adapting from the page to the screen. Here are a few vox pop pupil reactions…

“I really enjoyed reading the book, and the movie was good too.”

“We were surprised by the changes made to the plot, but overall it was an enjoyable experience”

“The film was very different from the book, but still great!”

“There were a lot of loop holes. It’s worth just waiting ’til it’s on Netflix instead – but still worth a watch!”

“The CGI was great!”

miss-peregrines-home-movie-752x440

Summer Reading

Here it is, then: the pile from this summer which, whilst higher than last year’s, was still not good enough to surpass that of an English teacher from a rival school. Curses. Anyway, I particularly enjoyed The Vegetarian (not just because I am one), Submission (which is shocking, at times, but hugely engaging if you have any interest in politics and Europe) and both The Past and Look at Me (novels which effortlessly make you care about the characters within them). Praise, too, for The Lie Tree, a fantastic historical adventure which should appeal to any young teen.

It’s a shame that work sometimes gets in the way of more reading for pleasure…

 

Mr C

Summer Reading 2016