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The English Faculty at Tavistock College firmly believes that reading is the key to success – not just in English but in all subjects. In addition to the novels, drama and poetry that students will study throughout Years 7-13, we encourage our pupils to see the significant benefits that reading for pleasure can bring. We know that better readers also become better writers, as well as being more accurate in the technical skills of spelling, punctuation and grammar.

Our programmes of learning are designed to be both engaging and creative, whilst simultaneously preparing pupils for the increasing challenge of the new Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 specifications. At Key Stage 3, we have developed a thematic approach to learning, which places an increasing emphasis on technical accuracy and the need for greater depth and breadth of exposure to texts, including ‘classic’ literature from the 19th and 20th Century. Recognition is also give to the fact that English is not only about creative writing or the study of seminal texts. We also appreciate the need to prepare learners for the world of work as well as further study. With this in mind we also ensure our programmes provide the opportunity for real world learning, allowing English to be not just a vital academic subject but a route into a greater understanding the wider world.

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English & Media Blog

KS4 Success Evening Presentations

Posted: 19 October 2017

KS4 Success Evening Presentations

Posted: 18 October 2016

Tavistock College students win Carnegie Shadowing Award

Posted: 8 July 2015

At Eggbuckland School on Monday June 22nd, Tavistock College students won the Carnegie Shadowing event. Students have been meeting weekly for a few months to read and discuss all the shortlisted books for the national Carnegie Awards.

Each participating school was then allocated a book to present, in any way they chose. The presentation had to include not more than 5 students and had to last not more than 8 minutes. Tavistock were allocated the powerful and moving novel, “Buffalo Soldier” by Tanya Landman which is set in America at the end of the Civil War. A slave girl, Charley is the main character and her story of survival, through some desperate years, incorporates the desperate stories of the Native Americans, the settlers and the Yankee Cavalry.

The students presented the emotion of the novel through music and drama. They researched the songs and music of the time and of the different groups of people fighting for freedom. Issy Prout’s beautiful and soulful singing captured the misery of slavery; Zara Richards conveyed the idealism of the settlers with her flute music; Thanae Garland Tsirka represented the harrowing tale of the native Americans with her drumming, based on the earliest recorded drumming of Sioux warriors; Matt Boyle conveyed the aggression of the Yankee Army with his loud and expert snare drumming and Emily Handel, who had written a lot of the script, kept the whole thing together as a narrator.

The piece was powerful…it sent shivers down the spine and the group were worthy winners. They worked hard to research the era and to present the harrowing conflict between all the different factions. The audience were very aware of the question, which was left unanswered, “what is freedom?”

Many congratulations!