Department Contacts

APS host 'Poetry by Heart' final

On Tuesday 7th November, the English Department hosted the final of the annual Poetry by Heart competition.  Congratulations to all the finalists who learned and performed one pre-1914 and one post-1914 poem from the national Poetry by Heart anthology. The evening was a great success where the students communicated clear understanding of the message and emotion of the poems they performed. At the end of the evening, the judges, actor Elliot Levey and Spoken Word Artist/TedEx Speaker, Lionheart, commented that they were particularly impressed with how each finalist seemed to ‘internalise their poems’ and the skilled way they managed their vocal performances including the ‘cadence of their delivery’. 

Our school champion this year was Flo Ellary, for her hypnotic rendition of Robert Browning’s: ‘Porphyria's Lover’ and her contrastingly amusing portrayal of: ‘God, A Poem’ by James Fenton.

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Alexandra Park wins at Oxford again!

Congratulations to Jamie Toeg (10L) for winning the prestigious Orwell Youth Prize at Pembroke College, Oxford.  In addition, another APS student: Flo Ellary (9X), was awarded a "highly commended" certificate.  Schools from across the country take part in this competition, which aims to ‘make political writing into an art’.

As part of the national competition, our students participated in two writing workshops where they explored the theme of the prize this year, ‘Identity’. They were then encouraged to discover and develop their talents and abilities by submitting writing to professional writers who offered personal feedback on their entries. Our students demonstrated excellent engagement in the workshops and really used this opportunity to explore the power of writing; to then have two winners from this is incredible. 

To celebrate the students' participation, all those who entered were invited to attend a Celebration Day at Oxford University. In addition to the prize giving ceremony, the day is an opportunity to inspire young people with writers’ seminars and a lively debate. This year a special election manifesto debate was held where two out of the four political parties created were led by APS students. The engagement and passion demonstrated by all our young people was amazing and a pleasure to watch.

Well done to all those who participated, especially to Jamie and Flo. APS students winning two years in a row is a fantastic achievement!

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APS Students write the 'dark truth'

By Laura Formby, writing for the Holloway Express.

Students at a secondary school in Muswell Hill have published a novel about l0ve and death called ‘The Dark Truth.’

Alexandra Park School chose a number of 12-year-olds for the White Water Writers programme – publishers who use workshops to help groups of around ten writers to write and publish their own novel within five days.

Students from Year 8 took part in a collaborative writing course between March 6th-10th.

The workshop allows them to use their imagination and help each other write a novel.  They develop their writing and communication skills, teamwork, attention to detail and confidence.

‘The students learnt so much from this experience,’ said Joanna Chadwick,  Assistant Headteacher.

‘They started as usual Year 7 and 8 students with school-age appropriate skills in English. By the end of the course they were novel writers! They learnt how to edit, review, work as a team, use interactive writing software and really proof read, as that was essential to making sure the book was a success. They learnt to express themselves in ways that challenged their usual mentality and entered new rounds of creativity and craftsmanship.’

Ms Chadwick said that she would love to see a few budding writers from this initial project. What she thinks is really important is that has sparked the belief and awareness that being a writer is actually possible.

She said: ‘ You don’t have to be the most fluent or perfect writer – you just need to have passion, the creative vision and the ability to work hard to create something that you are proud of.’

The novel is about characters Jaspar Chapman, who wants to find his sister’s killer, and Milly who is finding it hard to cope with her mother’s death so ends up making the biggest mistake of her life.

The programme was funded by The Shine Trust  who helped get several books published and uploaded onto Amazon.

All the ideas, words, chapters as well as the spelling mistakes are entirely the students’ own work.

‘The school is very proud of the students,’  she said. ‘The ultimate reward is surely the book being published.’

The school is now planning to hold a book signing.  Details will be in the school newsletter and each student is receiving two books. One will be signed by all the teachers involved.

‘What I think went down well with the students was the pizza party lunch that we threw for them to say well done for completing it,’ said Ms Chadwick.

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Poetry by Heart Competition

Congratulations to all the students below, who were finalists in the APS Poetry by Heart competition on the evening of January 10th 2017.  All gave excellent performances of two poems - one written before 1914 and one written after.

Our school champion was Liliana Newsam-Smith, who said "The PBH competition was a very inspiring and enjoyable process, which I am very grateful to be a part of.  I have always loved poetry and having the opportunity to recite some incredible poems by Katherine Philips and Alun Lewis was a great experience for me."  Runner-up Keir Chauhan's message to future participants was "To all those who enjoy poetry, literature and drama, this is a wonderful experience and well-worth doing."  Liliana and Keir now move on to the regional stage of the competition.

APS Poetry by Heart Finalists
Sophia Amin Grace Gellar Michael Deane 
Aan Tailor Olivia Bucherer Eva McNeil
Ella Gregory    

Congratulations and thanks are also due to our accuracy judge, Celia Warre, last year's Poetry by Heart finalist, and to our other judges, Anne Turvey, Lisa Marie Utley, Heather Wood and Lauren Cowan.

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