In the last few weeks, Key Stage 3 native Chinese students have been working hard on their narrative writing skills. Year 7 students have been practising writing about ones’ emotions and feelings in detail when telling a story. Year 8 students have been very excited to create their own adventure stories, in which they aim to portray their characters’ personalities and characteristics through the development of the stories. Year 9 students have been sharing their life experience in writing, with a focus on building up tension and creating an exciting and atmospheric climax to their stories. The Mandarin team are very proud of the excellent and imaginative work we have seen this week. We look forward to sharing them with you in our yearly Mandarin Writing Collection.

Media Studies

Since the start of the year, Year 7 have been examining the origins and characteristics of superhero films in Media Studies. We began by asking: what makes a superhero? What do superheroes represent for ordinary people? When and where did they originate? And, why did they become so popular? What are the features of the dystopian worlds that these films are often set in?

After this, we moved onto some technical terminology in order to understand a range of different camera shots in films, which would be useful to use in our analysis and discussion of superhero media. We are now beginning to examine how superhero films have been affected by different global crisis in the 20th Century, such as terrorism, war and climate change. This week, we have been looking at the context surrounding the events of 9/11, and how the 2002 Spiderman filming process, as well as audience attitudes towards cinema, were influenced by these.

So far, students have been thoroughly enjoying taking a different look at their favourite superhero films. The goal of this course is for students to have an awareness of: how real-world events have an impact on media and audiences, how media forms can influence audiences, and how audiences in turn can influence media forms.