To what extent is Shakespeare Relevant to a Hills Grammar student?

In our first ‘English is Lit’ article, published at the beginning of Term 1, I mentioned that, “A part of the English teaching team’s vision is to strive to inspire all students to engage with literature with the belief that ideas can change the world.” Each year as Term 2 approaches, we get very excited knowing that we are teaching Macbeth, Othello and Hamlet to students in Years 10 -12.

Keeping in mind that we aim to inspire our students, we love to collaborate and implement effective teaching strategies that work to enhance the impact Shakespeare has on our students. One interesting point that was made recently by a student in my Year 11 Advanced English class was that: “You don’t have to be a scholar to understand Shakespeare. Ironically, he speaks our language!” I was so impressed by the student’s insight and further encouraged topical discussions about Shakespearean issues. Key contributions were made regarding social justice, human asylum and the impacts of racism and oppression in a modern world. Ultimately, the universality of William Shakespeare’s works allows students to see themselves in his very real and multifaceted characters.

All students are encouraged to engage in the critical thinking process and are therefore required to address inquiry questions such as:

  • How does our personal context influence our perception of a text?
  • What is Shakespeare’s deeper purpose in including a villainous character like Iago?

As we interpret language and meaning, we like to go beyond an Elizabethan context and ensure that our students are thinking about real world matters.

The English teaching team is committed to teaching your child about the universality of Shakespeare’s works and the powerful impact literature as a record of the human experience. We love to collaborate and work together to enrich the lives of Hills students through our love for teaching.

Justine Zarebski | Acting Assistant Head of English