Graphic Novels

Have you ever tried a Graphic Novel?


Graphic novels are often compared to comics but are much more sophisticated in terms of their themes, artwork and plots: many are just as complex as a novel.

The school library has a rapidly expanding collection of both comics and graphic novels for all ages – including some specifically for seniors (S4-6).

Speak to the librarian, or pop in and have a look in the graphic novel section for yourself!

Junior titles include:

  • Thunderbirds
  • Simpsons Comics
  • Dracula
  • Infernal Devices (manga)
  • Coraline
  • Silverfin (Young Bond)
  • Percy Jackson
  • Alex Rider: Eaglestrike
  • The Dark Knight Rises
  • Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Henry V, Romeo and Juliet

Senior titles include:

  • V for Vendetta
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
  • Kingsman
  • Fun Home

Words, words, words

The English Department was lucky enough today to be visited by three inspirational writers who shared their invaluable expertise and love of language, both written and spoken.kirsty logan

In the morning, the Advanced Higher English class welcomed Kirsty Logan – bestselling author of ‘The Gracekeepers’ and ‘The Rental Heart and Other Fairytales‘. Kirsty offered a whole host of expert tips, ideas and stimuli which left the class inspired and enthused.

In the afternoon, a group of Higher and Advanced Higher pupils worked with the fabulous Jenny Lindsay and Rachel McCrum (better known as ‘Rally and Broad’!) who delivered an interactive workshop on performance skills that culminated with a glorious series of pupil poetry recitals.Rally and Broad

Look out for pupil responses to these two events coming soon (here and in the next BAnner), as well as more information about the upcoming ‘Poetry by Heart’ regional heats.

Our massive thanks go to all three writers for offering up their time and expertise today! Find out more about Kirsty here and Rally and Broad here.

SUNNY DELIGHT: school show a sensational smash!


There may be a lack of real sunshine about as these October nights begin to draw in, but a brilliant company of pupils have brought dazzling talent and bags of warmth to Bearsden Academy with their production of the hit musical “Sunshine On Leith”!

The tale of servicemen Davy and Ally returning to their lives in Edinburgh, set to the music of The Proclaimers has it all: humour, heart and a rousing, feel-good finale that sent the first night audience home with grins as wide as Princes Street!

Matthew Docherty and Sam Taylor are the two soldiers, facing their futures, family tensions, feuds and fraught relationships with their girlfriends Liz and Yvonne (the equally superb Kirsty Carter and Charlotte Seaton, respectively). Supported by an extensive cast, crew and band that draw on talent from across every year group, these young actors unfold a simple story that asks some complex questions about life, love and the pursuit of happiness.

Impressive set piece numbers like the satirical ‘Throw the R Away’ and rambunctious ‘Let’s Get Married’ are woven – not unlike a fine tartan – with beautiful ballads and haunting duets like ‘Misty Blue’ and ‘Sunshine on Leith’. The showstopper of the evening, however, is undoubtedly the deeply affecting ‘Letter from America’, which showcases not only each lead’s individual skills (including Andrew Traynor as Rab, and Amy McCall as Jean) but also their ability to harmonise together beautifully.

Innovative staging and a tireless backstage crew make the very most of the space, while the dynamic band deliver the toe-tapping soundtrack with gusto and flair. The two-hour run time zipped past, and by the final, euphoric chorus of “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” it was clear that every single member of the audience had fallen in love with the lads and ladies bringing a little bit of Leith to life at Bearsden Academy.

The English Department sends its utmost congratulations to EVERYONE involved in the production. We are sure the remaining performances will be a smash!

Get a ticket – if you still can – before it’s “Over and Done With”!

Attention all new Nat 5 and Higher candidates!!

Returning to school in August is probably the last thing on your mind right now. After a hectic term, you deserve a long and relaxing holiday away from school. It’s important to rest and recharge. Nonetheless, the summer break is also the perfect time to sow the seeds of your future success, allowing you to reap the rewards in autumn.

Click through to find out how you can hit the ground running in your Nat 5 or Higher English course.

(and to find out what any of this has to do with Benedict Cumberbatch…)

Continue reading

Poetry By Heart Scotland

Massive congratulations to Amy McCall and David Loh, who represented Bearsden Academy at the Glasgow regional heat for Poetry by Heart Scotland – a new national poetry recital competition!

They performed extraordinarily well, despite limited preparation time, nerve-shredding tension and some stiff competition! And although they did not make it through to the national final, both came away from the competition having greatly enjoyed the experience, and with their chosen poems etched indelibly on their hearts to carry with them forever!

David delivered Edwin Morgan’s love poem ‘Strawberries‘ and Helen Mackay’s heart-rending war poem ‘Train‘.

Amy chose to recite ‘How to Kill‘ – a powerful meditation on life, death and warfare by Keith Douglas – alongside the beautiful but unsettling ‘Picnic‘ by Rose Macauley.

Our warmest congratulations and thanks to them both for representing the English department, and the school, so wonderfully!

SPL Book Heart

From Prelim to Final Exam

National 5 and Higher pupils:

Now that the dust has settled following the busy prelim period, it is time to think about the final exam and upcoming folio deadlines, and put in place an action plan to ensure you achieve your target grade.

All Nat 5 and Higher pupils have conducted a self-assessment of their performance in the prelim. On this sheet you identified the question types you need to focus your revision on, and the ways you can improve your critical essay performance. Keep this sheet handy (at the front of your folder, perhaps) and refer to it when revising/creating your revision timetable.

Before your final exam, you will have to hand in your completed folio.

The final deadline for National 5 folios is Friday 13th March.

The final deadline for Higher folios is Friday 27th March.

Over the next few weeks, supported folio sessions will take place from 4-5pm in the library on Mondays for National 5 pupils, and on Wednesdays for Higher pupils. Sign up sheets will be posted outside the English base. Spaces are limited.

NB: While teachers will be available to offer some guidance, these sessions are a great opportunity for you to focus on redrafting and revising your folio pieces in a quiet environment, using the feedback from your class teacher. If you are someone who finds it hard to motivate yourself to work at home, sign up and get your folios sorted in plenty time!