Senior School

Key Stage 3 English

 
We are very keen, in the first three years at Birkdale Senior School, for boys to enjoy their English lessons and build positively on all the skills they have developed in previous years. Teachers choose texts that they believe will interest, entertain and inspire the boys and they set a wide range of tasks that reflect the breadth of the subject.
 
Here are some of the things that we do over the course of each year:
 
Reading: novels, plays, poetry, leaflets, newspaper reports, editorials, advertising, short stories.
Writing: stories, analytical essays, reviews, letters, diaries, adverts, scripts.
Speaking and Listening: class talks, group discussions, role plays and short performances, television programmes, radio adverts.
 
Assessment is ongoing, but formal assessments take the form of four timed assessments in class, to which we add the results from two pieces of coursework, chosen from the best work on Shakespeare, Poetry and Media.
Though the emphasis is on enjoyment, we are also keen for boys to attain a high standard in terms of written accuracy, public speaking and reading skills, all the key elements of GCSE English Language and English Literature. We encourage boys to take part in national competitions when suitable opportunities occur.
 
Below are a selection of reviews by S1 (Y7) pupils, following a recent theatre trip to see A Midsummer Night's Dream.
 
I went to the Lyceum to see a tremendous performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream. It was played well and made me laugh a lot; a few things went wrong but the excellent cast covered over them like a steam roller over tar and it all fitted together nicely.
Cameron Goodwin 1S
 
Propeller’s production propelled me to new heights. It was simultaneously traditional and unique, from the workmen’s jabs to the mock-seriousness of the lover’s argument. The only reason I didn’t plummet out of my seat for laughter was the level of acting. Was there ever a funnier or more cleverly choreographed play?
Satyam Verma 1N
 
Outstanding! Fabulous! Wonderful! This is what I think of the wonderful play of the Midsummer Night’s Dream. Propeller simply whirred us away! The amazing scenes and the way they created the mood through the lighting, awed me completely. It left me looking through the bushes for Puck! Enchanted all the way!
Parth Kapoor
 
This version of Shakespeare’s comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream made the teachers and pupils fill the Lyceum with laughter. The all-male cast production brought Shakespeare’s writing to life with their great portrayals of the characters and clever choreography. The simple background and costumes made the production interesting and mystical.
Anirudh Mohanamurali 1N
 
Birkdale S1 returned from an expedition to a very humourous production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. This ludicrous performance made the audience go weak at the knees. Jokes (and Puck) flying back and forth, slapstick comedy, and a roaring audience made this experience unbelievable. Funny? Absolutely whimsical. Watch it!
Charles Wigfull
 
With scenes that would make any man’s sides split, Propeller’s take on A Midsummer Night’s Dream was a marvel to watch. Exuberant actors made the comedy funnier than ever and brightened up the night. Propeller nailed it to perfection and I truly recommend it. Thank you Mr Lidbury!
Adam Lashen
 

Drama

In S1 (Year 7) and S2 (Year 8) boys have a Drama lesson once a week for half of the year and in S1 (Year 7) -S3 (Year 9) Reading Reviews are held where everyone brings in the books they have been reading and make recommendations. We regularly visit the Library for inspiration as well as research.
 
There is something for everyone to enjoy in English and staff are always on the look-out for ways to encourage interest and success in the subject.
 
Below are some of the extra-curricular events we run with this in mind.
 
Extra – Curricular English Activities
Debating Society
House Recitation Competition
House Writing Competition
The Times Spelling Bee
English Clinic
Readathon
Theatre trips (various)
Middle School Writers club
Word Games Club

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