A Level Lecture Report

For the third year running, year 12 and 13 English students were taken to a series of lecture days led by a range of experts from both the exam board and leading universities. The aims of the day were to ensure that our students had experienced top quality lecturing that would challenge the most able to achieve the best results at A level. The lecture days also give students a good introduction to the style of University education.

All year 12 students attended the Aspects of Narrative lecture on 20th November to support their studies for the exam text. Some students found that a lot of what was included in these lectures had been covered in their lessons which was encouraging to hear, and an improvement on last year when we taught this module later in the year. Year 12 students found their ‘Comedy’ lecture on the 5th of December very useful to their coursework pieces that they were in the process of writing at the time.

Year 13 students also had two lecture days: ‘Frankenstein’ on 27th November and the Gothic on 3rd December. These were both excellent days with some fantastic lecturers present. Both of these lecture days support students’ studies towards the exam module: Texts and Genres.

The behaviour of students on all four days was exemplary. Students were punctual and well prepared. The year 13s, having already been on the year 12 trips, were a particular pleasure on these two days.

Below is a report from Sofia Frangiamore (Year 12)

Year 12 attend lectures in London

The English Literature students of Year 12 were fortunate enough to attend a series of lectures at a venue in Holborn, London to further extend our understanding of the A-Level course. Situated in the grand hall of the City Temple, the first lecture day was concerned with 'Aspects of Narrative', which was useful as it is an area that we will be tested on in the summer exams.

We learnt about the underlying mechanism behind a story, the impact of different types of narrator on a story, and the methods of achieving characterisation; most of the information could be helpfully applied to the texts we are studying. One lecturer took a more practical approach and explained the requirements of the exam, suggesting points we could include in our answers.

Three weeks later we returned for a second lecture day on 'Dramatic Comedy', also relevant for improving the coursework essays we are currently writing on Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. On that day the lecturers spoke about the relationships between comedy and tragedy, the reasons behind laughter and the origins of drama itself. The lectures were delivered by university professors and former examiners, and in the main they were professional and passionate.

It was worthwhile experience for those of us hoping to go to university, where a significant part of the course is lecture-based; towards the end of the day it was a challenge to remain alert. Some lectures were not as directly relevant to our A-Level course, whereas others were, so we had to gauge how much of the information was useful enough to take note of. Nevertheless, it was an excellent experience

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