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English and Humanities Newsletter

Secondary English & Humanities

This half term students across all subjects have been on many experiential learning trips. Here is what they have to say about their experiences:

Y12 English: 

Recently a group of International A level and IGCSE students, accompanied by Ms Reid and Ms MacDonald, had the privilege of attending the esteemed Dame Carol Ann Duffy’s poetry reading at the Fringe Club. Before arriving, we were all quite excited; however, none of us would have been able to predict how quirky she was - she is Britain’s Poet Laureate after all - but everyone in the audience seemed to love it. As the reading progressed, Dame Duffy’s poems had everyone engaged, the audience bountiful in laughter, sadness and emotion. Her poem 'Mrs Faust', in particular, had everyone giggling as she recited the tale by Goethe in which Faust sells his soul to the devil from the perspective of the wife: ‘[he was going] straight down to Hell. Oh, well.' (One of many witty lines of the poem.) During the reading, we were also pleasantly surprised by the additional entertainment - Dame Duffy had brought along court musician John Sampson, who often played music to accompany the poems as they were being read. In small breaks, he would provide additional amusement by playing his unusual (but wacky) instruments, which was a nice touch to the already lovely evening. After the poetry reading had finished, our group was able to meet Dame Duffy. This was probably the most exciting part as she is really quite an incredible character. We got to take a group picture with her as well as have her sign a few of our anthologies (her poem 'The Map Woman' is featured in the International Advanced Level English Literature Course and 'War Photographer' is studied by all IGCSE students).

Overall, it was a great experience. From beginning to end, Dame Duffy had the audience engaged and it's evident that she's very experienced in her craft. We were very fortunate to be able to attend the reading and hopefully, one day in the future, we will be able to again! 

By Ashley Olsen

Y12 Media:

Our A Level Media Studies class recently visited the Hong Kong French Film Festival to see two very contrasting French films.  The first was a documentary film about the Lumière brothers, who invented the cinematograph camera and developed early filmmaking and the second was an animated movie called Zombillenium.

Michelle = My personal favourite was the Lumière brothers movie and the first films that they made on their invention the cinematograph.  It was interesting to see how the first films made were so simple yet still interesting, even though they didn’t have any of the modern technology we expect in films today such as colour, sound and special effects.  It was also interesting because it was a bit like a history lesson about France in the early nineteenth century.
Shaine = I personally like Zombillenium more than the Lumière brothers documentary.  The two films had a big contrast with each other because they are different genres but it was interesting to see them both because it showed me just how much film has developed over time.  I really enjoyed Zombillenium because it had a storyline that was suitable for children, teenagers and adults; children would like the monsters, teenagers would like the music and adults might like the way the storyline could be a representation of corporate greed.

By Michelle Thijn and Shaine Ting

Y11 Geography: 

At the beginning of November, Year 11 visited Sham Shui Po to carry out their personal investigations for their coursework. They spent time looking at the land use, asking questionnaires and carrying out environmental surverys in order to compare this area with Discovery Bay. 

Year 9 Humanities:

Year 9 visited the Hong Kong Coastal Defense Museum as an introduction to their Hong Kong unit for geography and history. Throughout the day we went on two tours, one about the different time periods in Hong Kong such as Qing dynasty and japanese occupation. And the second tour was around the museum, learning about the different weapons and architecture of the old military base.

Overall it was a great day and was very intesting. 

By Ashley Wilson

Y7 Humanities:

In Humanities this term we have done lots of different tasks. One such task was a joint project between Y6 and Y7 which includes going to the Y6 rooms to talk about their migration projects and the Box of Hope. The migration projects are a yearly project for Y6 where they talk in the first person and put themselves in the position of a migrant talking about their journey and life. We went and helped to ask questions to challenge them and also improve their  knowledge on facts they did not really know  about.

We were selected to do this because we did it last year and knew what it entails and what parents might ask them. After completing that, we started to think about what we would bring for our Boxes of Hope (BOH) which we did in collaboration with Y6. The BOH box is filled with gifts and educational items to be sent to someone in Hong Kong or around the world who is not as fortunate as us and may not have ever had a present before. It was great fun to help and decide what to bring.

As well as helping the Y6 our main topics this term have been on World knowledge and Thailand. In the Thailand topic we have learnt about the traditions and culture of Thailand as well as the controversial Thai royal family. Some of the special things we learnt about culture in Thailand was that you cannot disrespect the king in any way or step on a coin because the feet are seen as the dirtiest part of the body and the king (who is very important) is on the coin so it is like stepping on him. Buddhist Monks are also very important in Thai culture because of Thailand's links to Buddhism. The former king is also something we learnt about so far. We now know lots of facts about him such as his real name (King Bhumibol), his place of birth (Massachusetts, US), when he died (13th October 2016) and some policies he introduced which have helped cement his popularity. In Humanities this year it has been incredibly fun with all the things we have had to complete.

By Henry Humpleby


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