By Heart!

Massive congratulations to Madeleine in 2D!

Over the last few months, the class have been learning poetry ‘by heart’ and reciting it from memory.

Madeleine has successfully memorised all 15 of the poems set….and recited them all, one after the other – a remarkable feat!

  • Hope is the Thing with Feathers – Emily Dickinson
  • The Trees – Philip Larkin
  • Leisure – William Henry Davies
  • Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening – Robert Frost
  • Please Mrs Butler – Allan Ahlberg
  • How Do I Love Thee – Elizabeth Barrett Browning
  • A Red, Red Rose – Robert Burns
  • Remember – Christina Rossetti
  • No Second Troy – William Butler
  • Ozymandias – Percy Bysshe Shelley
  • The Witch – Mary Elizabeth Coleridge
  • I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud – William Wordsworth
  • Solitude – Ella Wheeler Wilcox
  • Jabberwocky – Lewis Carroll
  • The Seven Ages of Man – William Shakespeare (from As You Like It)
Poet, tree, by [a] heart….geddit?!

MIT Open Courses

Higher and Advanced Higher pupils – especially those intending to continue their studies at University in the future – might be interested in the free courses and video lectures available from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology – one of America’s leading universities.

Media Studies students might find “The Film Experience” course a useful history of film and cinema.

A host of other courses and materials is available here.

The courses are largely aimed at undergraduate-level university students, but many will be accessible enough to senior pupils. The video lectures are a great opportunity to practise listening and note-taking skills, especially as transcripts are provided.

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”!