Towards the end of last term, some Year 12 and 13 students studying A Level English Literature attended Lecture Days on “Frankenstein” and “The Handmaid’s Tale” organised by Sovereign Education in Central London.
English Teacher Susan Roberts reported on the trip for us.
Not only were these informative and a great way to revise the two texts, but the days gave a taste of what academic university life would be like. The venue was large and packed. The 4 lectures on each day were 45 minutes long, with students expected to make their own notes. However, perhaps the most important part of the learning process was about the lecturers themselves.
All were academics, many from Russell Group universities including Warwick and Nottingham. However, what was fascinating was the diversity of presentations. One on “The Handmaid’s Tale” was engaging, interesting, informative and perfectly pitched. The most entertaining of the presentations came from a lecture on Exploration and Discovery in Frankenstein, where after a somewhat awkward beginning the lecturer managed to transform his presentation into a totally compelling lecture, worthy of the rapturous round of applause he received at the end. He even apologised for the beginning of the lecture.
What did we learn from the experience? Probably not a great deal than we didn’t already know about the texts, which in itself, was reassuring. However, lessons were learned about the importance of presentation, planning and delivery, and that Mrs Doy is an amazing driver!
And finally, that passion and love for your subject should never be condemned but should be valued and cherished.