Year 9 students have enjoyed an extra English lesson with visiting lecturer Dr Claudia Capancioni of Bishop Grosseteste University in Lincoln. Dr Capancioni spent the day at The West Grantham Church of England Secondary Academy, delivering a series of talks for groups of Year 9 students, teaching the whole year group in one day.

This term Year 9 have been studying examples of travel writing from a range of contemporary writers in their English lessons. In her inspiring talks, Dr Capancioni helped students to learn more about the origins of travel writing through its literary heritage. She  explored ways in which we can identify key features of the genre, and considered how both fiction and non-fiction writers represent travel for their readers. Students worked together to study some examples of nineteenth century fiction writers using features of the travel writing genre, including extracts written by Mary Shelley and Bram Stoker.

The talks also gave students an opportunity to find out more about academic life as Dr Capancioni explained her role as Programme Leader for English at BGU, and described her recent research into travel literature. Many students who are interested in teaching as a career enjoyed the chance to find out more about the world of work beyond school.

Neil Paddison, Curriculum Team Leader for English at The West Grantham Church of England Secondary Academy, said “Our Year 9 students were really grateful for the opportunity to learn more about travel writing from an academic expert.” He also said that Dr Capancioni had generously taken time to talk with English department staff after the talks, helping them to develop their resources to support Year 9 further still.

The talks were arranged by Wayne Martini, Head of Voltaire House at The West Grantham Church of England Secondary Academy, and funded by LiNCHigher, a local partnership of organisations whose aim is to increase aspirations amongst young people and improve access to Higher Education across Lincolnshire.