Our students have been working on a range of written and spoken tasks this term.

Year 7 classes are developing a spoken narrative in response to the class novel, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. In this unit students will explore the characters, themes and plot of the story in order to write a narrative, which follows the end of the story.

Year 8s are working on poetry in order to write and present an analytical expository poetry essay analysing two poems. They are covering a range of topics such as growing up, youth and age, parents, grandparents and so on.

Year 9s are exploring a class novel; either Out of Time, The Outsiders or Will. The goal is to present a convincing speech based on how effectively the novel positions the audience on the issue in the novel. Essentially, an exploration of whether the novel has been convincing in its representation of the characters and themes.

Year 10s are focusing on protest poetry as a medium to convey powerful messages about important social and political issues. They have enjoyed songs/lyrics poetry from Powderfinger, Midnight Oil, Bliss n Eso, Michael Jackson and many more. Students will present an oral explaining how these songs of protest call us to take action to solve the world's problems.

Year 11s are continuing their study into war poetry by planning, writing and developing a short story based on one of the poems studied in class. Students will be writing the story under supervised conditions at the end of next week. They are able to bring the poem and a 100 word plan into the exam room with them.

Year 12s are continuing their study of Shakespeare's Macbeth by formulating and writing an analytical essay in response to literature under exam conditions. Whilst students know the broad areas/topics of study, they will be given unseen questions for the exam itself. Needless to say, the students will be writing practice essays on practice topics in the lead up to this very important exam.

Sometimes students ask the question about why they study Shakespeare. There are many reasons why we study Shakespeare in school. These are just some of the reasons:

  1. Shakespeare is a great writer. His plays were well-loved by people during his lifetime and continued to be performed to masses in the decades since. His plays were for all people, not just for the upper classes. They are performed on stages throughout the world to this very day.
  2. Shakespeare's plays tell us about the human condition; they tell us truths about human nature, about how human beings behave with one another – the good, the bad and the ugly aspects of being human.
  3. Shakespeare has a great sense of what constitutes certain characters. For example: his evil character Macbeth teaches us about how tyrants rise to power and what they do when they have total power. These lessons have oft been repeated throughout history with real characters who are tyrants such as Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Kim Jung Un and so on. Shakespeare's plays provide us with insights into how and why these characters behave and operate amongst us and what should be done about it.
  4. Shakespeare is in the English syllabus. It is in the syllabus because Shakespeare is considered part of our literary cultural heritage that we all know and cherish.

It is important that our students understand and know about Shakespeare because as adults in their later lives they will be able to have discussions about Shakespeare with other adults. It is befitting that graduates from St Patrick's College have had this experience just like others students throughout Queensland.

Ms Susan Werba - Head of Curriculum - English