Friday Headlines

the weekly newsletter from Dr Ruth Weeks, Headmistress

Inspiration at Language and Literature Day

16 February 2018

Edgbaston High School was delighted to host the much-anticipated Language and Literature Day on Wednesday this week. The event took the form of a series of workshops and talks, with the aim of demonstrating the range of academic disciplines and careers available to young women interested in pursuing these subjects.

We began with a talk from our opening keynote speaker, Stella Clarke. Stella, an EHS Old Girl, is Head of the English Translation Unit at the European Commission in Brussels and spoke about her experiences and how speaking an additional language is beneficial to a career overseas.

We were delighted to welcome award-winning actress, author and comedian Meera Syal to give a keynote speech mid-morning. Her refreshing, funny and honest perspective on life was very well-received by the girls who took away with them Meera’s words of wisdom to follow your passions and to be true to who you are. Meera also took part in a special Q and A with our A level English and Drama students.

The workshops for Year 9 and Year 10 students followed, with girls attending sessions on a carousel arrangement. A superb range of presenters delivered a wide range of topics and including Arabic and Portuguese workshops from the Brasshouse Languages Centre; a poetry writing workshop from Matt Windle, the Birmingham Poet Laureate; a British Sign Language workshop from BID Services and further language and linguistics workshops from Sheffield, Cardiff and Nottingham Universities.

After a busy morning there was time for lunch and a visit to the Careers Fair in the Sixth Form Centre which had attracted a wide range of exhibitors. Thank you to all of the universities and employers who attended. We were also delighted to welcome back Old Girls Rachel Learmonth, Hollie Cattaneo and Nina Das Gupta back to EHS.

The day culminated with a keynote speech from award-winning author Joanne Harris. Ms Harris has produced numerous bestsellers including her ‘Chocolat’ series, the first of which was made into a feature film starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp. In her talk, Joanne talked about her pathway to literary success, the challenges she has faced and how she overcame them. An informal question and answer session brought the talk to a close before guests were invited to attend a book signing of Joanne Harris’s new and beautifully-illustrated book ‘Pocketful of Crows’.

Thank you to everyone who has been involved in making the Language and Literature Day such a success. We are also very grateful to the speakers and exhibitors who gave their time to present workshops and provide the Careers Fair.

A day of education and inspiration for EHS girls!

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