Upper School Choice - chess

Meera Syal Visit Brings Literature to Life

9th October 23

KAS Literature is a school directed course (SDC) that the School introduced this year as an alternative to the GCSE Literature qualification. This exciting development comes from the School wanting to create a Literature syllabus that is more closely aligned with our core values of knowledge and understanding of the world, independence and the transferable skills of creative thinking and communication.

The course includes a wider range of texts from far more varied cultures and time periods, and so we were excited to welcome Meera Syal to give a talk on her book, Anita and Me, to our Year 10 students.

Teacher of English, Steven, said: “We have chosen to study Anita and Me as it wholly encapsulates our aims with the KAS Literature course. It’s a vibrant, funny and moving novel which celebrates multiculturalism, the importance of family and the pain and joy of growing up, and to have the chance to study such a work outside of the restrictive bounds of GCSE exam requirements is a great privilege. To have access to an author is an incredible opportunity, and Meera’s talk was funny and eye opening in equal measures, with her answers to the students’ considered questions further illuminating the novel.”

One Year 10 student commented: “The talk from Meera Syal was so useful for my studies. It was great to get her point of view on it, get to ask about her experiences and how much of the book was true. Sometimes it can be hard to see what the author is trying to say with their book and it’s a lot more personable when you have the chance to speak to them. The talk has definitely helped me enjoy the book; you can see it through her eyes and learn which parts she loved – it feels more sentimental.”

Another added: “I feel that you can see the book in a new way after chatting to the author. The text feels more open to study now that I have a better insight into her life. KAS Literature is great for getting that different experience which this talk provided for me and the chosen text.”

It was great to catch up with Meera after her talk and speak to her about her book and being invited into the School:

“I was absolutely thrilled when I heard Anita and Me was included in the KAS Literature syllabus. I knew how I felt growing up not being able to find books that I could see myself in and not being represented. I wanted to stake our place in British history as we were never really commemorated; I didn’t want us to just be a footnote.”

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