Day School: John Betjeman

Ref: C2419099

Sir John Betjeman was famous in his lifetime for his many television programmes and appearances, his campaigns to preserve and conserve historic buidings, and of course for his best-selling poetry. He also assiduously cultivated the image of himself as 'Teddy Bear to the Nation'. While this description contained some elements of truth, there was much more to the life and writings of John Betjeman than just that, As well as writing endearing and humourous poems, Betjeman was a serious, original, and important poet and prose writer , with a surprisingly broad range of sympathies and interests. Today we will explore some of his poetry and prose in the context of his interesting life and times, in an attempt to understand this fascinating man and writer.

Course aim

The aim of the course is to consider the poetry and prose of Sir John Betjeman in the context of his life and times.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • approach texts with an enhanced critical understanding
  • express opinions and responses with increased confidence
  • have some appreciation of the life and writings of John Betjeman, and the relationship between the life and work

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions

What else do I need to know?

  • All materials will be provided

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation

Download full course outline

Day School: John Betjeman Course Outline


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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