English and Humanities

Learning Can be Learned

Learning is for life, not just for school. Projects are a powerful way to get students to practice good learning habits alongside the aquisition of important knowlege

A illustration of how this works in practice is Project Titanic, run by the English and Humanities department for 6 weeks.

Who or What Sank Titanic?

1. Real-Life Experience 

Titanic is 'launched' with a visit to Clovelly Lifeboat Station. The project immediately gains relevance and a 'hands-on' flavour. How has maritime safety and rescue changed in a century? Students study local information leaflets to create a Lifeboat Station leaflet of their own.

Knowledge Learning Habit
Local Community Questioning
Maritime History
Leaflet Writing

2. Becoming History Detectives 

Who or what sank Titanic? Students research social and industrial history to draw conclusions. Again, they produce something tangible - a page for a Route 39 reference book about the Titanic.

Knowledge Learning Habit
Edwardian History Independent research
Historical Sources Group Debate
Informative Writing Critique

3. The Literary Connection

How does a moment in history become a work of literature? 'Kasper Prince of Cats' is set in the time of the Titanic. The book's author, Michael Morpurgo, comes to the Academy. He explains that in order to write the novel, he too became a detective, looking for historical clues around which to weave a fictional narrative.

Knowledge Learning Habit
Reading Group discussion
Literary Analysis Questioning
Fiction Writing

4. Using Language Creatively    

Each student writes a fictional diary excerpt of someone aboard the Titanic. Students give each other helpful advice about how their work might be improved. Group feedback allows the individual to take their work to a higher level. It is not an easy skill to learn but is constantly encouraged at the Academy.

Knowledge Learning Habit
Creative Writing Critique

For more information contact Caroline Smart: caroline.smart@route39.org.uk