English Studies… It’s a bludge, right?

I adore my Year 12 Studies kids. They are the most amazingly creative and eccentric group of people. What I hate, is the label that seems to be attached to our subject. 12mths ago when we came together I tore through the first lesson (with what in hindsight could be described at manic enthusiasm) determined to break the stereotype of ‘bludge‘, ‘film studies‘ that plagued us. There were hushed whispers of “Isn’t this Studies?” Floating around as we went through our topics for the year.

We started with a novel study and in depth look at the Hollocaust, creating an interactive museum for our junior students to explore. How to do I begin to describe this? Whilst we had some not so keen members (they’ve since left and gotten jobs) at the other end of the spectrum we had amazingly keen researchers reading until late into the night and bringing back in-depth knowledge to the group. Their knowledge exceeded mine, so I stopped reading and started listening.

Team work was a bit of an issue, but they made it work and on presentation day the exhibitions were mind blowing – and truly horrifying given our topic. They recreated living conditions, gas chambers with dry ice and models of Dr Death experiments. Typing this it sounds super creepy, but the maturity in which they handled this topic and the conversations every lesson was impressive. And Studies is a bludge, right? Ha. I found myself staring slack jawed at my kids on presentation day, I mean I knew they’d been researching, but the facts they were rattling off showed an expertise I hadn’t expected. When I questioned one of my boys at the end he said “but you said I had to know everything!” Well yes. Yes I did. And he did. Can I shine proud for a moment?

We’re not perfect by any means. We still have dysfunctional groups, we get slack and miss deadlines occasionally. But as a whole I feel like they’re breaking the mould and showing what the Studies course can be. Every project they step up and deliver something exceptional. They care. And I think they’re having fun.

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