The English Department at Seisen teaches students to think critically about texts and how to analyse writer’s choices, themes, and ideas. The English program in centred on the improvement of English language structure, formal writing, oral presentations as well as dramatic performances.
Students in English have the opportunity to read a variety of novels, poetry, short stories, and plays.
Students in Grade 7 and 8 focus on building the skills acquired in the PYP and using these skills in formal writing. Students further focus on characterization, Shakespearian comedy, constructing and presenting short performances based on play scenes, formal essay writing, oral presentations, the literary devices of poetry, and historical literature.
Students in Grade 9 and 10 focus on synthesising the skills acquired in middle school and using these skills to improve their formal writing. Students further focus on short stories, a personal research paper, a classic American novel, and Shakespearian tragedy. Students gain knowledge of nuances in literature texts in preparation for their IBDP Literature course. Students also work on their ATL skills (Communication, Social, Self Management, Research, and Thinking), allowing them to become better thinkers and learners.
Students in Grade 11 and 12 focus on refining their literary analysis skills to concentrate on the writer’s choices and how this creates meaning. Students elect either Higher Level or Standard Literature in consultation with their teacher based on their strengths and other subject selections. Both Grade 11 and Grade 12 assessment comprises an oral component, a written component, and formal examinations. The texts studied range from classics to ancient Greek plays to modern poetry to Nobel Peace Prize winning short stories. Seisen students have achieved well above the world averages for both SL and HL Literature in previous years.
Drama challenges students to question the world around them, who they are, why they are here, and how they respond to others. As an area within Fine Arts, it moves far beyond words, exploring the world through feeling and emotion. It encourages students to wonder and play, extend their creativity, develop good communicators and effective collaborators while promoting empathy and understanding.
The study of Drama has broad benefits for students of all abilities.
At Seisen, Grade 7 to 10 students undertake Drama activities to develop the following:
- Development of presentations skills – such as use of voice, movement, facial expressions, and gesture – giving students self-confidence and an awareness of how to engage an audience.
- Development of creative and critical thinking skills, as students problem-solve how to work collaboratively to develop performances.
- Development of the ability to consider the perspectives of others and heightened social awareness.
- Development of voice projection, character development, script writing, audience engagement and other elements of play production.
Actresses and theatre buffs in grades 9-12 have the opportunity to participate in three productions each year:
- The Fall Play, is a Seisen International School and St Mary’s International School co-operative event where students experience all elements of producing a professional West End/Broadway style play. They have a chance to showcase their talents in acting, character analysis, set design, costume design, makeup, and publicity with all the rigor and fun of a professional production.
- The One-Act Play, is an opportunity for Seisen theatre aficionados to get the freedom to experiment with space, structure, and style in a series of short plays that are student directed and, frequently, student written. Students say they often develop an unexpected bond with their peers and a sense of accomplishment when they "finally put it all together!
- The Musical, where students experience the discipline and scope of a fully integrated musical theatre production. Actors, instrumentalists, vocalists, and dancers collaborate with set, costume, makeup, lighting, and publicity crews from Seisen, St Mary’s International School and International School of the Sacred Heart to create a full fledged Broadway-style event!
Students in Grade 9 are introduced to different theatre styles and conventions. From creating fun characters to Realism, Drama helps build confidence, presentation skills as well as using art as a source of positivity in the world. Through a project based learning style, students brainstorm, plan, rehearse, perform, and reflect in each unit. Students are encouraged to use creativity and take risks in order to create meaning in performance.
Students in Grade 10 extend their learning further by exploring increasingly more abstract theatre styles and conventions. Verbatim Theatre, Greek Theatre, Non-Naturalism, and monologue allow students to widen their scope of knowledge and implement these into diverse and mature performances. A student centred class, Drama students have the freedom to create performances from scratch or through interpretation.