Category Archives: Uncategorized

Confronting the Bard: Shakespeare Rap by Suzanna Lawrence

All the World's a Stage

All the World’s a Stage

We explore the work of William Shakespeare in a number of ways: passionately, enthusiastically, uninterested, at times kicking and screaming. But whatever we say about the work of what many consider to be the greatest playwright in the English language, we know that his work endures and inspires and has done so for hundreds of years, providing us with great food for thought. Here is a perceptive and poetic piece about the great man and his works by Suzanna Lawrence in year 8.

Shakespeare Rap

Okay
Got my gangster gear all here
Let’s go

Oh! Hey, what do we have here
Shakespeare
Poems, plays and sonnets
Although the gore might make you vomit
It’s gonna be worth it in the end I promise
Okay, let’s start here with Othello
Cause I will not let him go alone
I will be there through thick and thin
Even when he accuses me of cheating on him

Moving on
To a Midsummer Night’s Dream
Because the forests will still gleam
When the spell is broken
Everyone is causing mischief
Trying to find love for you
But of course we all know
That the course of true love never did run smooth

Bringing Hamlet now
Poison and madness
“The lady doth protest too much”
Guilty consciences
Unhealthy deviance
A testosterone-filled, poisonous, mischievous
All the characters are leaving us
Another story with a dead end

Now we move on to
The Merchant of Venice
“All that glitters is not gold”
A pound of flesh
For a lady’s love
Pick a box, take a chance
Religion can save you from what you aren’t

The Tempest
Happiness, light
Not much fire or spite
Love at first sight and
It ends all bright
Not exactly a moving storyline
But his record is great
So just give Shakespeare a break

Never gonna be my favourite writer
Never gonna like all of his plays
Never gonna be his number one fan but
He changed English for the better-so
Let’s just learn to appreciate what we got

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Filed under Key Stage 3, Plays, Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, Theatre, Uncategorized, Year 8

Retrospective: The British Museum, Autumn 2012

British Museum

The British Museum

We’ve made a concerted effort to get out of the classroom more often this year and see some of the amazing cultural sites on offer so close to us here in Fairlop. Not only do these excursions help you learn about new things, but by getting out of school, you expand your mind and break down the mental barriers that hold in your intellectual creativity and the time and evironment allow you to reflect and see the world, which is exactly what happened when Mr Mukherjee took a group of GCSE students to the British Museum in the autumn term. Here, he reflects on the experience.

THURSDAY 11TH OCTOBER 2012

Another museum, another exhibition, another trip into London. Look, there’s a piece of old jewellery, and an old book in a glass case, and there’s a big block of wood cut from the trunk of an old tree. But at least I’m not in school!!

And yet, look closer. Start to read the information.

The jewellery – that’s not a necklace, it is a circular glass box in which has been placed the eyeball of one of the conspirators involved in the Gunpowder Plot to kill/replace King James I. When he was captured and found guilty, via extreme torture, he was hanged, drawn and quartered. (Look it up, it is a horrible way to go!) During the disembowelling, his eyeball was taken illegally and placed into the glass box.

The block of wood – this was actually cut from an old tree that existed in Shakespeare’s time and it bears the carved initials of two young people who wanted to celebrate their love for each other forever. That would be over 400 years old!

The book – this was smuggled into Robben Island, disguised as a Hindu text. It was actually the Complete Works of Shakespeare and it was passed around the inmates of the prison for a number of years; the prisoners being enemies of the apartheid regime in South Africa. Look even closer, and you can see the passage highlighted in the text that Nelson Mandela chose as his favourite piece – it comes from Julius Caesar:

Cowards die many times before their deaths;
The valiant never taste of death but once.
Of all the wonders that I yet have heard
It seems to me most strange that men should fear;
Seeing that death, a necessary end,
Will come when it will come.

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Filed under Uncategorized

New Releases: There Was A Country by Chinua Achebe

there was a country achebe

(Image taken from http://www.standard.co.uk)

There Was A Country, by Chinua Achebe, comes out in paperback this week, two months after the influential Nigerian author died in Boston. If you’ve never read Achebe, his work is well worth checking out. His best known work is called Things Fall Apart, considered by many to be the ‘archetypal modern African novel’, the book deals not only with the themes of alienation and a cultural conflict, but also with the universal theme of trying to find a feeling and a place of belonging in one’s environment. Unlike Things Fall Apart, There Was A Country is a non-fiction book, an autobiographical account of the Nigerian civil war from Achebe’s perspective. He writes with power and conviction and would be well worth reading. Enjoy!

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Filed under A Level, African Writing, Non-fiction, Novels, Uncategorized, Year 12, Year 13

Telling Your Story… Outstanding Writing

‘After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.’ Philip Pullman, author of His Dark Materials and The Sally Lockhart Mysteries

Here in the English Department at King Solomon High School, we subscribe wholly to Pullman’s words about stories. They’re important. They can have a profound effect on people. They can move worlds.

This is why it’s so important to recognise the creative writing talent blossoming in our students. Below is a video made by our Head of English, Mr Mukherjee, for year 8 prize day this year, showcasing some of the fantastic work done by our students. Have a look and leave a comment. It is pretty astounding.

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July 1, 2013 · 2:26 pm

Theatre You Should See: The Amen Corner by James Baldwin at The National

Marianne Jean Baptiste and Eric Kofi Abefra in The Amen Corner by Jamed Baldwin (taken from theguardian.co.uk)

Marianne Jean Baptiste and Eric Kofi Abefra in The Amen Corner by Jamed Baldwin (taken from theguardian.co.uk)

James Baldwin is one of the most important American writers of the 2oth century. His novels and essays express eloquently the difficulty of a black person in America in the 1950s and his play, The Amen Corner , currently on at The National Theatre is a visually and musically stunning exploration of that experience. It is a beautiful and inspiring fusion of gospel, comedy and tragedy that pits suffering and grief against faith and community. We would wholeheartedly recommend it as a thoroughly enjoyable night of theatre. See The Telegraph’s review here.

Year 9s who enjoyed the unit of study on ‘The Black Experience’ will find the play especially illuminating. It will be on at The National until 14 August and is a testament to the high calibre of theatre that lay at your doorstep. If you can’t book, go and wait for returns, a surprisingly rewarding experience if you’ve never done it.

Enjoy and Shabbat Shalom!

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Filed under American Writing, Plays, Theatre, Uncategorized, Year 9

Standing and Delivering… The Jack Petchey Speakout Challenge

The Jack Petchey Speakout Challenge is an annual competition held across London to celebrate public speaking. It is open to all year 10s and this year, Elliot McKay was chosen to represent King Solomon High School with fellow year 10 Ethan Berg in reserve. Both performed admirably displaying great oratorical skill. Here they are with their entertaining and thought-provoking speeches, ‘Nerds’ and ‘What I Think.’ Check them out and let us know what you think.

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Filed under Competitions, Public Speaking, Speaking and Listening, Uncategorized

Famous Literary Birthdays… Orwell!

The Man Himself, Great British Author George Orwell (Image taken from opendemocracy.net)

The Man Himself, Great British Author George Orwell (Image taken from opendemocracy.net)

Yesterday was the Great British author George Orwell’s birthday. He wrote darkly prescient political novels like 1984 and Animal Farm. My personal favourites are two of his non-fiction works, Down and Out in Paris and London and Homage To Catalonia, a brilliant account of Orwell’s participation in The Spanish Civil War.

For Orwell fans, there is a great series recently done by Radio 4 on ‘The Real George Orwell’ parts of which are still available to download and listen to here. Do check it out. For more information about Orwell, check out The Literature Network’s page on him here.

What about you? What’s your favourite Orwell?

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Filed under British Writing, Fiction, Non-fiction, Novels, Orwell, Uncategorized