KEY STAGE 5 (years 12-13): A level
In Years 12 and 13 students have the option to study English Literature at A Level (Edexcel syllabus). During these formative years, they will study drama, prose and poetry in greater depth. The advanced skills gained in analysis, communication and fluency is hugely beneficial across all curriculum and undeniably advantageous beyond the classroom when students take their next steps into further education and beyond. This ability to express oneself fluently, clearly and persuasively is becoming especially vital when the university market is now so competitive and reliant upon how students come across in applications and interviews.
Both the AS and A level are entirely exam based with no coursework component. Students sit two papers at the end of each year (with each paper making up of 25% of their over-all A level result).
In year 12 (AS level), students sit papers in:
- Poetry and Prose (for examination in June 2015, current students will study ‘ Ted Hughes - New Selected Poems 1957-1994’ and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’).
- Drama (current students are studying William Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ and Edward Albee’s ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?’).
In year 13 (A level), students sit papers in:
- Shakespeare and other pre-20th Century Texts (this year’s students are studying William Shakespeare’s ‘Othello’ and Chaucer’s ‘The Wife of Bath’s Prologue and Tale’).
- 20th Century Writing (current students are reading L.P. Hartley’s ‘The Go Between’ and Arundhati Roy’s ‘The God of Small Things’).
The exams require students to make connections between the texts they have studied in the classroom and their wider reading. Students will be equipped with the skills to answer questions that require close analysis of specific passages of text as well as developing their ability to write more general essays that draw on their knowledge of texts and themes as a whole.
16th – 22nd March: Book week 2014
This year, Greensteds students put on their metaphorical hiking boots and set off on a journey through literature.
Exploring the theme through a diverse consideration of physical, emotional and spiritual journeys, the week was jam packed with events and activities that transported students into other worlds, time frames and ways of thinking.
“Book week provided a wealth of knowledge, fun and teamwork.” Rajan (year 11)
The week got off to a flying start with the opening of the customary book fair. A smorgasbord of literature was on sale, covering topics from The Olympics and cupcake decoration to inspirational
autobiographies and classic favourites.
We were also incredibly fortunate to start the week by welcoming Mumbi Kaigwa, one of Kenya’s most cherished actresses and playwrights, nominee for ‘most influential woman [in Africa] in the arts and culture’ and winner of CEO magazine’s ‘Lifetime Achievement award’. Mumbi delivered thought provoking workshops and question/answer sessions to our Key Stage 3 students, narrating her journey into acting and her growth as a person along the way.
Our A level literature students and 6th form writers delivered an inspirational and thought provoking assembly, sharing some of their own compositions and providing insight into the mind of a writer.
The year ten debate- This house proposes that the internet causes more harm than good- sparked some very lively discussion and highlighted our students’ talent for public speaking and thinking on their feet.
Further supporting our connection with Arap Moi Children’s Home, Greensteds students from across all year groups took a selection of books to read to the children at the orphanage. Senior School teachers also visited the junior school at various points throughout the week to read to younger classes and strengthen the bridge between the junior and senior school. The ‘Get Caught Reading’ scheme was also in full swing all week, rewarding children with merits who were ‘caught’ enjoying a book outside of lesson time.
A true highlight of the week took place in the amphitheatre after dark. Here, along with cups of cocoa and bedtime cookies, Key Stage 4 and 5 listened to stories from members of the senior school staff who were brave enough to share their life journeys in the form of reflective monologues and comical anecdotes. Who knew that Mr Martyn experienced his very own version of ‘127 Hours’? Or that Mrs. Werugia used to wear platform boots and miniskirts?
“I loved the fact that some of the teachers were willing to push themselves out of their comfort zones and share their stories.” Nain (year 11).
Olivia Ambani, Graphic Designer, Model and Stylist, discussing her latest book ‘Aspirations of a Generation with iGCSE and ‘A’ level Media, ICT and Art Students.
A literature themed fancy dress competition was held on the Friday, allowing students’ creativity to run wild as they designed outfits in their ‘family’ groups based on well known Children’s books.
Favourites included characters from The Cat in the Hat and a 3D construction of the crocodile from Peter Pan. This was followed by a very comical production of James and The Giant Peach by the Year 9 drama group and an evening screening of Gulliver’s Travels.
A ‘Great Eggscape’ treasure hunt on the penultimate day saw our family groups race around the school compound solving riddles and earning treasure by completing a variety of team challenges. Their final challenge was to use their treasure to construct a safety harness for their team’s mascot egg before it made its ‘final journey’ off the balcony of Kinangop House.
To close the week, our awe inspiring writers from years 10-13 planned, produced and delivered their very own spoken word evening. Their ‘Journey through Powertry’ was emotionally diverse and riddled with poetic and lyrical talent that often left its audience stunned. It was a tender and hugely respected opportunity for our young writers to showcase their most personal compositions and life ponderings and was beautifully organized and compered by our very own Naserian Koikai (year 13) and Kyle Flemming (year 11).
“Spoken word showed us that talent can be found at Greensteds in the most unexpected of places and people.” Bert (year 11).
The English department would like to offer a big thanks to all involved- bring on next year!