The Autumn term has been a wonderful one for our English Literature sixth form teachers and students. Building on our passion for education beyond the classroom, we have taken our students on several fine trips. The first was to the Tate Britain for the James McNeill Whistler exhibition. Whistler rejected sentimentality and moral allusion in painting, and his realistic nude paintings paved the way for 20th century artists, not least Freud.
Next was the Royal Opera House for Verdi’s Otello. This was swiftly followed by two Shakespeare plays: Richard ii and Othello, both of which are on the A level syllabus, and then Agatha Christie’s crime classic The Mousetrap. The Mousetrap was hugely illuminating for our study of the crime genre, and enormous fun. The longest running play in the world, it is currently in its seventieth year and about to go to Broadway.
Our students have visited the Feminist Library, been to see the controversial Mary Wollstonecraft statue in Newington Green, and the imposing one of Karl Marx in Highgate Cemetary. These tie in with our study of Feminist and Marxist Literary Theories.
Last but definitely not least, has been a trip to St Michael’s Church in Highgate for a rare reading of Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, a set text. Serendipity placed us in the pew directly behind the poet’s great, great, great grandson, Gerard Coleridge. Happy to chat after the performance, he told us that he owns, among other things, some of his illustrious ancestor’s hair!
In January, Ms Bridges and Ms Goldman will be taking the Year 12 and Year 13 students to see the Making Modernism exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts. The exhibition is dedicated to pioneering women hidden from the history of 20th-century Modernism.
The sixth form team of Ms Goldman, Ms Hughes, Ms Okolosie, Ms Foster and Ms Bridges would like to thank the parents for their support, the school for allowing us to provide these opportunities, and our wonderful students for being part of our lives.