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    Headteacher’s News

    This week: Beyond the school gate

     

     

    Beyond the school gate….January round-up

     

    As always, our teachers are making excellent use of the range of opportunities on offer in London beyond the school gates.

    Our sixth form drama students enjoyed a trip to the National Theatre to see Peter Shaffer’s  remarkable play ‘Amadeus’ in January and absorbed the remarkable performances by Lucian Msamati and Adam Gillen.

    A level History of Art students saw the fascinating ‘Guerilla Girls’ exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery, considering the issue of diversity in European art institutions.

    The Guerrilla Girls’ new commission for the Whitechapel Gallery revisits their 1986 poster stating “It’s Even Worse in Europe”.

    Characteristically deploying their strategic combination of humour, information, bold graphics and a subversive use of public space, their latest campaign includes a banner installed on the front of the Gallery and a display of posters and new research.

    Guerrilla Girls: Is it even worse in Europe? Explores diversity in European art organisations. It presents responses to questionnaires sent to 383 directors about their exhibitions programme and collections. The questions were formulated to critically look at the narratives that are produced by cultural institutions.

     

     

    Our Y11 students went on their annual adventure outside school to gather ideas for their exam project. The location this year was the Tate Modern Gallery, and the girls drew inspiration from the vast range of contemporary works on view.

    Y10 Music Performance students visited the very local Roundhouse for a practical workshop on DJ-ing techniques, and they had a fabulous time with an opportunity to use commercial standard equipment themselves. We look forward to seeing (and hearing) what they learnt in their own compositions and performances in the future.

     

    Many thanks to the classics department for organising a trip to St Paul’s Girls School with our sixth form classicists to hear a lecture by Professor Stephen Oakley on ‘Ovid and the fun of being in love’.  Professor Oakley’s talk was introduced as follows:

    The talk will show how Ovid departs from his predecessors among the Latin love poets, who emphasised the pain and passion of being in love, by constructing a persona that was insincere and witty. Ovid suggests that one can play the game of love without much engaging the emotions; in short, it can be fun to be in love.

    Professor Oakley is Kennedy Professor of Latin and Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge. He has a particular interest in literature of the late Roman Republic and Augustan period.

     

    Sixth form Government and Politics students were welcomed into the Houses of Parliament to tour the Palace, attend a workshop about the work of parliament and improve their understanding of the process of government. More coverage to follow!

     

    Finally, our Y9 students experienced a joint history and theology trip to the Jewish Museum in Camden, and were privileged to meet a holocaust survivor. This visit is always a very moving one, and enables students to understand more powerfully the terrible pain endured by Jewish people during this horrific period. Students spend time in The Holocaust Gallery, described as follows:

    Told through the story of one British-born survivor of Auschwitz.

    This intimate gallery tells the story of Auschwitz survivor, Leon Greenman OBE. Born in the East End of London, Leon was living with his family in the Netherlands when war broke out. Unable to prove their British nationality, the Greenmans faced a similar fate to their fellow Jews across Nazi-occupied Europe. Leon’s wife and son were murdered at Auschwitz. He survived six concentration camps and until his death in 2008 spoke to thousands of young people as a witness of the Holocaust, delivering a powerful message against racism.

    We hope to publish some of our students’ responses shortly.

     

    January has been a very busy month, and I’d like to thank our staff for arranging the trips and our students for their enthusiasm and hard work during all these outings.

     

    Elizabeth Kitcatt