As usual, International School Seychelles’ A-Level Literature class are studying a collection of poetry this term. This time however, there’s a twist! The author, Owen Sheers, who they have been studying on the Cambridge A-Level syllabus, will be coming to speak to them in February to answer all of their questions about his poetry and what it all means. This is a rare treat for a group of KS5 students to encounter poetry, not just as something to be learned for an exam, but a living, breathing artistic medium.
The author will also be doing some work with KS4 students relating to his novel, ‘Resistance’, which was made into a movie in 2011, as well as hosting a screening of his 2016 BBC production ‘The Green Hollow’, a poetic movie about the Aberfan disaster of 1966.
Head of English, Ms Julie Donlon, has said ‘we are delighted to be able to give this opportunity to our students. Teaching an English syllabus out here in Seychelles means that the cultural context of the writers can often be very abstract and remote. It is such a privilege to be able to offer the students the chance to go right to the source. What we have been finding whilst teaching these poems, is that so many of the poets’ experiences in rural Wales resonate with our students’ experiences over here. Great writers like Sheers really get through to the fact that, wherever you are from, there are things which we all share. I hope it is really valuable to their examination results, but I also hope they take away from it a special opportunity to engage with a world-class writer.’
ISS’ Principal, Mr. Ashish Bhatnagar says that “any authors’, or poets’ visit to the school is a worthwhile experience and it creates a very influential connection between the students and the writer’s expressions. I am excited that our students will have an opportunity to interact with the author of the book they are studying. Sheers will also be having some sessions with our teachers that will form a part of our CPD.”
Joining Mr Sheers will be the award-winning artist, Katherine Sheers, to whom he is married. She will be taking opportunities to engage with the local art community, as well as being available for advice to ISS’ A-Level art students.