NEWS FROM THE ENGLISH DEPARTMENT

Throughout the year, students have been taking part in different activities to promote their love of reading and writing. These have included a Read-a-thon, poetry competition and most recently a short story competition.

During Reading Week, Year 7 students took part in a Read-a-thon where they were sponsored for every page, book or amount of time read. We had a brilliant response with students altogether raising £273 and the highest amount raised by a student alone being from Macie Hindley who raised £60!

In April and May, Key Stage 3 students took part in a national poetry competition. Students had the freedom to write about any topic that they liked and we received 131 entries overall! News will be coming soon to find out whose poems will be published and if we have any potential winners!

In June and July, KS3 and KS4 have been submitting short stories no longer than 100 words long. Already, we have received about 200 entries!

Well done to all students who have submitted any entries over the year and we look forward to launching more competitions in the New Year!

RSC Shakespeare Ambassadors

Over the past two years, here at Hodgson, we have been involved with the RSC Associate Schools Programme. This has been a most exciting programme and has offered many opportunities to our students. On one level this project has helped develop a variety of teaching methods in the classroom in order to help inspire students by lifting Shakespeare’s words from the page and bringing them to life. On another level, it has given specific students the opportunity to work directly with RSC associates and perform on stage locally and nationally. We currently have two Shakespeare Ambassadors in school: Madeline Molly and Elijah McVey (both Year 9 students). Their role is to help inspire other students and help them engage in the Baird’s work. Earlier this year a group of students performed a section of ‘Macbeth’ alongside other Associate Schools at ‘The Blackpool Grand Theatre’ and now one of those students involved, Madeline Molloy, has been given the exciting opportunity to perform with other national schools at the Swan Theatre in Stratford upon Avon. This is an amazing opportunity that Madeline is most looking forward to as she has plans to work with the RSC in the future. We are extremely proud of Madeline and wish her lots of luck. ‘Break a leg!’

‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’

On Friday 22nd June 2018 our Year 8 students were invited to attend a performance of Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. This year group are currently studying this play and this was an ideal opportunity to bring the text to life. Quantum Theatre Group provided the students with an interactive performance with a modern twist. The play is a comedy and there was no shortage of humour in the performance. We witnessed confusion of the young lovers as Oberon (the king of the fairies) meddled in affairs of the heart and the queen of the fairies, Titania, falling in love with an ass! The company stayed very close to the text but thanks to their wonderful skills the performance made total sense and hopefully dispelled some of the students’ confusion as to who loves who in the play. At the end of the performance, the actors stayed behind and generously conducted a Q&A session for the students. Students were intrigued as to how they managed to learn the lines when it is in Shakespearean language and how they understood the plot and the characters. Feedback from the students was positive and a great time was had by all.