Greater Confidence » Better Results

Proper exam preparation can make the difference between success and failure. We are committed to helping our students succeed!

Shakespeare Academy equips students with the proper skills and vocabulary required in the analysis of English literature.

Exam anxiety is real and affects a large proportion of students.

Our uniquely structured teaching method makes literature relevant, and provides students with the most helpful tools to succeed.

  • First in school in English
    Topping Advanced and Extension 1
  • 100%!
    Full marks in writing
  • Ext 2 English and EE
    Successful HSC and EE completions
  • Increased rankings
    A few terms = a large difference

The secret to defeating exam anxiety is building confidence. By bringing English literature to life, students develop a deep understanding of literature. And with that understanding comes confidence. Dr Samantha Lin


The Role of Parents

Parents and caregivers play a key role in providing guidance and support to their child as they plan their future. Helping them gain the confidence they need to achieve great results is one of the best ways to support their future success.

English is the undisputed global language with over a billion speakers all over the world. As such, speaking the English language fluently provides students with a competitive edge in academic and professional lives.

With HSC and IB exams focused on reasoning, writing abilities, and real-time analysis and interpretation, exam results depend on having strong foundations and critical thinking skills, not on memorising (bad) essays. At Shakespeare Academy, we prepare students for their exams and help them excel.

What they learn here will benefit them for life.

"We strive to banish the myth that Shakespeare and other English literary classics are difficult to understand and enjoy"

William Poulos | Senior Tutor @
Shakespeare Academy

"It's wrong to think that young people don't appreciate English literature. The teaching method makes all the difference."

Monica Kim | Tutor @
Shakespeare Academy

Suitable for: Year 12
Duration: 2 hours a week for 9-10 weeks; 18-20 hours total

About:

‘The Craft of Writing’ is a new HSC module that focuses on…well, the craft of writing. Specifically, we’ll be looking at writing types beyond your argumentative essays: creative/imaginative stories, discursive writing, persuasive writing, and personal essays. Additionally, we’ll be working on reflection statements, which are a special type of literary essays where you analyse your own writing.

Throughout the course, students are given a range of HSC prescribed texts to study, analyse, and emulate in their own writing. Students learn about the various writing types that are required for the HSC, and practise their writing skills on a range of topics. By the end of the course, students are equipped with the required knowledge and skills to tackle this new HSC module.

Student Writing Outcomes:

  • One full creative/imaginative piece;
  • One full discursive essay;
  • One full persuasive essay;
  • Elements of personal essays; and
  • At least three full reflection statements.

Student Learning Objectives:

  • Reviewing and consolidating techniques for analysing the craft of writing;
  • Employing various literary techniques in own writing;
  • Understanding how a range of prescribed Module C texts are crafted;
  • Developing unique written voices and styles;
  • Having the tools to analyse and write about prescribed Module C texts and students’ own writing; and
  • Practising writing skills under exam conditions.

Suitable for: Year 11 | Duration: 2 hours a week for 9-10 weeks; 18-20 hours total
Prerequisites: Poetry for Beginners OR Literary Techniques (one-day crash course)

About:

You love gossip. Don’t try to deny it. Who doesn’t like hearing about a scandal? Ever talked to your friends about what your other friends are doing when they say they’re “busy”? Maybe they’re shopping. Maybe they’re on dates. Maybe they’re part of an international spy organisation. Or maybe you should mind your own business.

The tragedy Othello, written by our man Big Billy Shakes, shows us the dangers of gossip, as the sly, cunning Iago causes the downfall of a military general, Othello, by doing little more than creating and spreading rumours. Furthermore, Othello, one of the first black protagonists in English literature, struggles with the racist remarks of those around him.

In every lesson, students read extracts from Shakespeare’s text and then analyse how the literary techniques create meaning and explore the themes of the play. Students are also given a range of secondary readings that present alternative perspectives of the play. Each week, students are asked to provide written responses for homework, including essays, opinion pieces, and creative responses.

Student Writing Outcomes:

  • Opinion pieces about the extracts and characters studied in class;
  • Analytical paragraphs or partial essays about the extracts studied; and
  • Full essays about the themes and concerns of the play.

Student Learning Objectives:

  • Reviewing and consolidating an extensive list of techniques for literary analysis;
  • Understanding Shakespearean language;
  • Understanding the characters, themes, and context of Othello;
  • Having the tools to analyse and write about Shakespeare’s plays in opinion pieces and essays;
  • Considering the similarities and differences between people today and people in Shakespeare’s time;
  • Organising and writing literary notes in preparation for essays and exams; and
  • Evaluating Shakespeare’s responses to questions we still have today.

Suitable for: Years 8-10 | Duration: 2 hours a week for 9-10 weeks; 18-20 hours total
Prerequisites: Poetry for Beginners OR Literary Techniques (one-day crash course)

About:

Shipwrecks, cross-dressing, lost siblings, unrequited love, drinking and duelling, and the ultimate prank: yes, this is none other than Shakespeare’s festive comedy Twelfth Night! Beneath the play’s comic surface lies a range of more serious issues: class differences, gender inequality, and how much ‘fun’ is too much. You’ll get to discuss them all here at Shakespeare Academy!

In this course, you will learn about both the joy and melancholy of Twelfth Night. In every lesson, students read extracts from Shakespeare’s text and then analyse how the literary techniques create meaning and explore the themes of the play. Students are also given a range of secondary readings that present alternative perspectives of the play. Each week, students are asked to provide written responses for homework, including essays, opinion pieces, and creative responses. At the end of the course, students are equipped to analyse, understand, and appreciate Shakespeare’s other plays.

Student Writing Outcomes:

  • Opinion pieces about the extracts and characters studied in class;
  • Analytical paragraphs or partial essays about the extracts studied; and
  • Detailed literary notes organised in booklets based on characters and themes.

Student Learning Objectives:

  • Reviewing and consolidating an extensive list of techniques for literary analysis;
  • Understanding Shakespearean language;
  • Understanding the characters, themes, and context of Twelfth Night;
  • Having the tools to analyse and write about Shakespeare’s plays in opinion pieces and essays;
  • Responding creatively to a range of scenarios related to Twelfth Night;
  • Considering the similarities and differences between people today and people in Shakespeare’s time;
  • Organising and writing literary notes in preparation for essays and exams;
  • Evaluating Shakespeare’s responses to questions we still have today.

Suitable for: Years 10-11 | Duration: 2 hours a week for 9-10 weeks; 18-20 hours total
Prerequisites: Poetry for Beginners OR Literary Techniques (one-day crash course)
Additional Material Fee: $20 (one text)

About:

It’s alive! Have you ever created a monster? We don’t mean a bad essay; we mean something that has a life of its own and frightens people. How would you react if you did create a monster?

Maybe you have never made a monster. Maybe you have written a bad post on social media? Made a bad video? We all know about ideas that initially sounded good and then went beyond everyone’s control. Initially a ghost story, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is a novel about one of those interesting ideas that went horribly wrong. The novel asks if technological advance always improves human lives and asks how humans relate to their families and societies.

If you’re worried about the advances of technology (and at least one of our teachers is terrified by them) then Frankenstein is the novel for you. Costumes are optional.

Student Writing Outcomes:

  • Opinion pieces about the chapters studied in class;
  • Analytical paragraphs or partial essays about themes in the novel;
  • Full essays about the novel;
  • Creative responses to the themes and concerns expressed in the novel.

Student Learning Objectives:

  • Reviewing and consolidating an extensive list of techniques for analysing novels;
  • Understanding the mindset and challenges of people from a different period of history;
  • Having the tools to analyse and write about novels in opinion pieces and essays;
  • Considering the similarities and differences between people today and people in the 1830s; and
  • Evaluating the novel’s explorations of questions we still ask today.

Suitable for: Years 7-8 | Duration: 2 hours a week for 9-10 weeks; 18-20 hours total

Student Writing Outcomes:

  • Original poetry inspired by the poems studied in class;
  • Opinion pieces about the poems studied in class; and
  • Analytical paragraphs or partial essays about the poems studied.

Course Outline

  • Lesson 1: Introduction to Poetry
  • Lesson 2: The Language of Literature
  • Lesson 3: ‘We Real Cool’
  • Lesson 4: Life, Death, and Between
  • Lesson 5: Invictus
  • Lesson 6: Sonnets – A History
  • Lesson 7: Shakespearean Sonnets
  • Lesson 8: Sonnets after Shakespeare
  • Lesson 9: Nature
  • Lesson 10: Conclusion

Suitable for: Years 8-9 | Duration: 2 hours a week for 9-10 weeks; 18-20 hours total
Prerequisites: Poetry for Beginners OR Literary Techniques (one-day crash course)
Additional Material Fee: $40 (two texts)

About:

Ah, the 20th century. Your grandparents helped shape it, your parents have lived through it, and you’ve learnt about some of its major historical events. But did you know that literature from the 20th century explores issues and ideas very similar to today’s? In this course students will study and analyse prose fiction from the 20th century, including works by George Orwell, Franz Kafka, and James Joyce. Students learn how to analyse and interpret texts based on context, and how to write essay and creative responses to the material studied. At the end of the course, students gain a thorough understanding of 20th century prose fiction and how the literary ideas have carried on into the 21st century.

Student Writing Outcomes:

  • Opinion pieces about the texts studied;
  • One short story (creative writing); and
  • Analytical paragraphs or essays about the texts.

Student Learning Objectives:

  • Reviewing and consolidating an extensive list of techniques for analysing prose fiction;
  • Understanding the mindset and values of people from the wider 20th century;
  • Having the tools to analyse and write about prose fiction in opinion pieces and essays;
  • Considering the intersection between literature and politics;
  • Analysing the literary uses of allegory and anthropomorphism; and
  • Evaluating the relevance of 20th century fiction today.

Suitable for: Years 8-10 | Duration: 2 hours a week for 9-10 weeks; 18-20 hours total
Prerequisites: Poetry for Beginners OR Literary Techniques (one-day crash course)

About:

Romeo and Juliet might be Shakespeare’s most famous play, but how well do you know it, really? Do you know what it means to bite your thumb at someone? What is an apothecary? In this course we will answer these questions while asking what Shakespeare’s tale of star-crossed lovers can tell us about love, marriage, and listening to your parents. In every lesson, students read an extract from Romeo and Juliet and then analyse how the literary techniques in the extract create meaning and explore the themes of the play. The students are then asked to share their analyses with the class and to write analytical paragraphs. Students are taught effective note-taking techniques and fill in two notes booklets based on characters and themes, which they can use as their final study notes for any school exams. At the end of the course, students are equipped to analyse Shakespeare’s other plays.

Student Writing Outcomes:

  • Opinion pieces about the extracts and characters studied in class;
  • Analytical paragraphs or partial essays about the extracts studied; and
  • Detailed literary notes organised in booklets based on characters and themes.

Student Learning Objectives:

  • Reviewing and consolidating an extensive list of techniques for poetry analysis;
  • Understanding Shakespearean language;
  • Understanding the characters, themes, and context of Romeo and Juliet;
  • Having the tools to analyse and write about Shakespeare’s plays in opinion pieces and essays;
  • Considering the similarities and differences between people today and people in Shakespeare’s time;
  • Organising and writing literary notes in preparation for essays and exams; and
  • Evaluating Shakespeare’s responses to questions we still have today.

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