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 acquisition of important knowledge

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.
  • Local Community 
  • Maritime History
  • Leaflet Writing
Learning Habit
  • Questioning

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.
  • Edwardian History
  • Historical Sources
  • Informative Writing
Learning Habit
  • Independent research
  • Group Debate
  • 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.
  • Reading
  • Literary Analysis
  • Fiction
Learning Habit
  • Group discussion
  • Questioning
  • 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.
  • Creative Writing
Learning Habit
  • Critique
For more information contact Caroline Smart: caroline.smart@route39.org.uk