Trident’s English Department’s programme is dynamic both in and out of class with scheduled annual class excursions that expose our students to the world of literature beyond the classroom and beyond our small town.
Each year a group of students head to the Reader-Writer Festival in Auckland where they attend seminars and workshops with some of the world’s literary best including Man Booker Prize winners, Eleanor Catton and Richard Flannagan; Poet Laureates, Carol Ann Duffy and Selina Tutsitala Marsh; New Zealand writers, Glen Colquhoun and Witi Ihimaera and best selling authors such as Patrick Ness, Anthony Horowitz and Markus Zusak.The Festival brings the very best local and international writers of contemporary fiction and non-fiction, scientists, economists, poets, journalists and public intellectuals together with audiences to explore ideas, share stories and experience brilliant conversations. The festival celebrates curiosity and a sense of intellectual adventure and the programme is driven by the desire to spark ideas, to get us talking and to give us a time and place to engage with the world.
Teachers take a group of lucky students each year to go to see Shakespeare plays at the Pop-up Globe in Auckland where they are treated to the world’s first full-scale temporary working replica of one of the greatest theatres in history, the second Globe. This season the Globe presents Shakespeare’s ultimate exploration into the abuse of power with romantic comedy The Taming of the Shrew, dark comedy Richard III, a timely production of controversial comedy Measure for Measure and the most famous play in the canon, Hamlet. “This isn’t dusty Shakespeare. This is bawdy, hilarious, brutal and bloodsoaked. It is the theatre that changed the world.”
Trident regularly produces students who qualify for the National Spelling Bee competition which attracts the top performing schools in the country. Impressively, for the last seven years, Trident students have reached the National Final after qualifying through some tough regional rounds. Making it to The Spelling Bee Final includes some additional benefits such as an all-expenses-paid trip to Wellington and a visit to parliament.
While we know travelling away from school is not possible for all students, Trident ensures that our students do not have to leave town to see high quality live theatre performances - we have the Ugly Shakespeare company visit annually. They have just been here to perform last week and students who chose to watch the show saw Shakespeare’s ‘Taming of the Shrew’. Students and teachers alike thoroughly enjoyed the show and we thank the group for visiting.
Taking a group of students weekly to the local Radio Station 1XX to present shows is yet another opportunity our students are afforded at Trident via the English Department. This group of students enjoy the opportunity to work on their oral language skills in an authentic setting and get great feedback from the community.
We congratulate our English Department on how they weave these fabulous learning experiences into their already full programmes and know our students appreciate the time and effort it takes to make this all happen.