English Library Week

As a part of our English Library Week, students had an amazing time exploring the world of words and literature. They participated in various activities including theatre and university trips, spelling bees, quizzes and more! Find out more about what we have been up to below.

Inter-House Literary Quiz & Spelling Bee

Congratulations to MC House for winning both the annual Inter-House Literary Quiz and Spelling Bee, entirely devised and hosted by the sixth formers of the Literary Farrell Society. MC’s winning team of George M (Y11) and Year 13s Gabriel, Thomas and Chris B can be seen receiving their reward from Trang, president of the Literary Farrell Society.

Farrell Society Theatre Trip

On Saturday 24th February the Literary Farrell Society enjoyed a visit to Bolton Octagon Theatre to see a production of George Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’. Our students who attended the trip share their thoughts:

“I thoroughly enjoyed the trip to the Octagon to watch Animal Farm; it was thought provoking, engaging and with enough of an element of horror to bring to life the words and ideas of Orwell, beyond the pages of the famous, dark fairytale that unearthed the evil at the heart of man. The production itself was very cleverly put together, with abstract, fragmented animal heads as indicators of the characters, detailed enough to show even the small fangs of the pigs, with their dark, soulless eyes. As well as this, the small cast portrayed the animals brilliantly, maintaining their animalistic nature and behaviours while creating personalities to empathise with or to fear. The presentation of man was particularly insightful, with the human voices warped and distorted, and the human figure a large puppet of metal and machinery, providing an interpretation of how humans were perceived from the animals’ perspective, instead of our own. The stage had a role too, with rotating panels and removable floor boards, further creating a sense of destruction hidden behind construction, lies behind truths. Overall, the production was fascinating and enthralling, a remarkable reenactment of one of Orwell’s darkest works.”

– Carlota P-S (Y12, R)

“This Saturday we had a Farrell society trip where we visited Bolton Octagon theatre to see a play called Animal Farm, based on a novel by George Orwell. This was an extraordinary play where actors interacted with the audience, so we felt included in the play. There were no more than 5 actors and just a few decorations, which the actors used very skillfully and efficiently. Even though it was planned as a horror atmosphere play actors still included jokes and hilarious interactions with the audience. Many of the students that came to the theatre were already familiar with this novel and some even read ‘Animal Farm’ as a part of the curriculum, it was fascinating to visualise what you’ve read and see this extraordinary perspective that included emphasis on many details that you haven’t noticed while reading.

Summarising, I would say that it was a very nice and atypical way to spend our Saturday at Rossall, it was a nice sightseeing of Bolton with my friends and our literature teachers, as well as we got even more remarkably cultivated with such an author as George Orwell!”

– Veronika S (Y12, R)

“First of all, you have to watch this! This production follows almost exactly the script of the book, and the characters are fantastic! Personally, I particularly liked Squealer and Boxer. The theme of an allegorical dystopian remains perfectly, and Jones’s representation as surveillance cameras is very apt. The play is a slightly simplified version of the original novel, and Boxer is given some humour to make him more interesting. Moses the raven has a bigger role, and the whole performance, set and actors, is simple, yet extremely entertaining. The pigs are duly presented, and the dogs are given a skeletal look, to show that they are the skeletons of their past lives, and to show scariness. I would recommend this to people from 11+. This is a good introduction to dystopian literature, as despite some disturbing scenes, it includes a little humour, to soften the sudden fear. The overall narrative remains almost entirely unchanged from the book, but leaves out certain aspects to make it “performable”

– Oskar N (Y7, SE)

Lancaster University Trip

A group of 25 year 12 A Level and IB English Literature students enjoyed a visit to Lancaster University earlier this week. They had the opportunity to tour the campus, meet university students and staff including a Professor from the English Literature & Creative Writing Department, who delivered a lecture introducing English as a university subject. A great time was had by all students who found it really useful as they continue to plan ahead for their future studies and careers.

Year 7 Fun for English Library Week

As part of the English Library Week, Year 7 have participated in book speed dating in the junior library, visited the book fair in the senior library and had a guest lecture and workshop surrounding the topic of literature and International Women’s History Month. A massive thanks to Joe H (Y12, Dr) and Carlota P-S (Y12, R) for preparing and delivering this!

Our pupils had lots of fun, and share their thoughts below.

“I have enjoyed the English Library week as it has made me realise that there are many genres of books to read, and to not just stick to one. Being able to write a story about somebody who inspired me was very fun and I hope I can do more activities like that in the future. The book fair was a great idea, an opportunity to get books that we like that wouldn’t usually be available in the Sumner Library. Overall this is an experience that I have enjoyed a lot. I thank the people who have dedicated time towards organising this event.”

– Roman B (Y7, MF)

“This week has been English Library Week and year 7 have enjoyed lots of fun learning activities to celebrate. Firstly, we headed over to the Sumner Library for half of our lesson where we looked at all the marvellous books that were up for sale, there were lots and lots of options to choose, from fan fiction to diaries and even factual books, it was so fun to see all the different selections on offer. The next day we had our Library lesson in the Junior Library, where we learnt how to book speed date, which is doing what we get told not to do all the time ‘judging a book by it’s cover’. We had to read the first few pages of the book and see if you thought it would fit us! Lastly we had a lecture on literature and International Women’s History Month. In this we learnt about women’s history in literature and even pseudonyms, which means a fictional name that one might use so they don’t get judged for who they are and not what their abilities are. We learnt that women got judged unfairly in literature and had to use pseudonyms so people would read their books, a famous woman for this was Jane Austen! This week has been really fun and thank you to all the staff and students who have made this possible!”

– Jessica S (Y7, Dn)