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Professor Simon James Visits Greenfield

posted 29 Apr 2014, 01:28 by anna.cole@greenfieldschool.net

Last week Professor Simon James from the Department of English at Durham University visited Greenfield Community College as part of the “Speakers for Schools” programme.  

Professor James delivered a fascinating and thought provoking talk on Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde as a way of introducing literary criticism to a group of year 9 and 10 students. Students and teachers were challenged to consider big questions around what makes great literature, whether it possible to predict which books will stand the test of time, how books reflect or challenge the morals and beliefs of their historical context as well as some complex psychological ideas about the purpose of life.   His talk encouraged students to think more creatively and see links between science and literature reflecting the specialism of Greenfield. 

Sue Laing – Assistant Head Teacher and strategic lead for literacy said “Events like this are brilliant because they prepare our students for the academic challenges to come and open their eyes to questions which resonate beyond the classroom.”  

Professor James also made a variety of interesting links between nineteenth century literature and contemporary films such as ‘The Hunger Games,’ showing that despite a difference of over a hundred and fifty years, good stories will always capture the human imagination!

Speakers for Schools is an independent UK charity launched in 2011, providing state secondary schools and colleges talks from a range of industry leading professionals and academics, free of charge. The network currently consists of 850 speakers who donate their time to go into state schools and speak about their background and area of expertise, providing stimulating sessions for students through a talk. The charity works with schools in England, Scotland and Wales and has had over 2,500 schools apply to date.


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