Originally by Carol Ann Duffy

We came from our own country in a red room
which fell through the fields, our mother singing
our father’s name to the turn of the wheels.
My brothers cried, one of them bawling Home ,
Home , as the miles rushed back to the city,
the street, the house, the vacant rooms
where we didn’t live any more. I stared
at the eyes of a blind toy, holding its paw.

All childhood is an emigration. Some are slow,
leaving you standing, resigned, up an avenue
where no one you know stays. Others are sudden.
Your accent wrong. Corners, which seem familiar,
leading to unimagined, pebble-dashed estates, big boys
eating worms and shouting words you don’t understand.
My parents’ anxiety stirred like a loose tooth
in my head. I want our own country , I said.

But then you forget, or don’t recall, or change,
and, seeing your brother swallow a slug, feel only
a skelf of shame. I remember my tongue
shedding its skin like a snake, my voice
in the classroom sounding just like the rest. Do I only think
I lost a river, culture, speech, sense of first space
and the right place? Now, Where do you come from?
strangers ask. Originally? And I hesitate.


Happy New Year

4 months to make a difference…

Close Reading Board Notes 14-12-12

1- this question is a context question. Remember that two marks are available. One for the meaning. One for quoting the words or phrases in the first paragraph which help you understand the meaning.

2- a- only one mark. Very brief answer. Which example of different punctuation do you

2-b. What does he mean by conversational? Chatty? Informal? Again only one mark so keep it short

2 -c Contrast means to show the difference. Which ‘opposite’ words do you see? How do they show difficulty?

3 A link question. Easy. ‘The phrase _____________ links back to the topic of ___________. The phrase _____________ links forward to the topic of____________.

4. Easy two marks. Two bullet points. Answer IN YOUR OWN WORDS

5. When you see the word ‘structure’ in a question you should immediately be looking for sentence structure. What stands out in these two sentences AND why does it do so? YOu are answering two parts here.

6. Same as 4. Dead easy. Two bullet points.

7. Two bullet points again. It is the words ‘more familiar’ which are the clues. How did he feel about things up until now! How does he feel about things after this? In your own words.

8. Simple, short quotation. No full sentence. One mark.

9. A- Two bullet points. When you see the word ‘techniques’, the question is among you to think about all of the language techniques we’ve worked on. Sentences structure, repetition, punctuation, imagery. Which ones do you spot in this paragraph. For each bullet point you must quote and example then say how it’s shows how stupid he felt.

9 b – Why might he be relieved? One mark, very brief answer, not a full sentence.

10 simple two bullet points. See 4 and 6. In your own words.

11. Imagery question. What does he compare his problem to? Remember about Literal and Figurative. Describe the thing being compared. One mark. Explain why this helps explain his problem. Two marks. Simple.

12. When you see the words ‘explain how’ it is usually asking you to recognise and explain a technique. Which one do you see? One mark. Why do you think it was used? Two marks.

13. Remember when we worked on Puns? Newspaper headlines which had double meanings? Think about that here. Two different phrases. Two marks.







Week 11 Beginning 29th October

It might be an idea to start re-reading ‘The Catcher in the Rye’, perhaps a chapter every second night. Now that we have finished the book, you might see other, more importnat things as you read it again. Try it.

Monday 29th

After completing the tasks on The Catcher in the Rye on Friday, it will be interesting to see how Holden develops in the next few chapters. These will be the questions to look at this week, from chapters 5 to 12.

Holden longs to be able to ‘catch’ the innocent before they become what he thinks of as ‘phoney’, corrupt adults. Explain how Jane features in this.

 Holden is a liar. List some of the whoppers he tells in these chapters. He also expresses a death wish (p.42). Suggest what might make him consider suicide. What alternative escape route does he contemplate?

 In these chapters, Holden behaves like the phonies he detests on several occasions. How?

 How correct is Mrs Hayes in her estimation of Holden? (p.53) Give some

          evidence to support each of her allegations.

 Holden attempts a degree of what he considers sophisticated adult behaviour:

          make a list of examples.

I’ll give you a week to work on these.

In class we will analysing the first stanza of ‘Originally’ and discussing word choice, sentence structure and imagery.

Tuesday 30th

In the lead up to the second Critical Essay, we will be analysing the same things as yesterday in Stanza Two of ‘Originally’. What do you think ‘All Childhood is an emigration’ really means’?

In period two, we will collect all of the Figures of Speech that we know and create a revision resource which will be of use for the whole year. Pun, Simile, Metaphor, Alliteration, Personification, Onomatopoeia, Oxymoron, Hyperbole, Understatement, Euphemism. We will finish the lesson with definitions and examples.

Wednesday 31st

We will finish our analysis of Originally by analysing Stanza Three. Notice how the tone of the poem changes along with the events.

After school today we will spend some time discussing the opening paragraph of a Critical Essay. Any critical essay.

Thursday 1st

The importance of English becomes clear when we begin to recognise some of the things we study in class in our real lives. If you pick up a newspaper any day you will start to recognise imagery and notice that it is used every day. So, we’ll do that today. Read a newspaper article. I’ll give out highlighters so we can spot any language techniques we find. This will be important for tomorrow.

Friday 2nd

Close Reading practice assessment

Discursive essays due today


Monday for ‘The Catcher in the Rye ‘ improved essay

Week 10 beginning Monday 22nd October


This is week 10 so we need to start making a move and getting through some work. This is the plan for this week.


Monday  22nd


Since finishing the novel on the last day of term, I want to spend a little bit of time retrieving some information for your notes. We’ll do this over the next few weeks but here are the questions for this week. They will be given as homework for Friday but you can start them today and work on them after school on Wednesday if you like.


TASK A: Chapters 1-4


1.    Write down the information about Holden’s family background given in these chapters.


2.    Establish the narrative style employed by Salinger and pick out some of its recurring features.


3.    At the start of Chapter One, Holden has reached the end of his physical (geographical) journey and his emotional/ psychological journey. Where is he? What kind of emotional and physical state is he in?


4.    Several ‘symbols’ are introduced in these opening chapters – the hunting hat, the ducks, Thomson Hill. Explain each one.




Tuesday 23rd


During the last week, we completed the first NAB in Close Reading. Today I want to spend time analysing the good and  the bad of what happened.  I will go over each of the questions, explaining lay out of questions and how marks were won and lost.


In the second period we will also begin the first poem of the year. It is called Originally and was written by Carol Ann Duffy. We will spend some time getting to know the poem and trying to understand exactly what it is about.


And think about this question; What is your earliest memory?


Wednesday 24th

There will be a short note on imagery to add to your Language notes and a reminder of what an Oxymoron is. This will be linked to Originally which we will spend time analysing after looking at some Oxymoron examples.


After school we will spend time thinking about the Salinger questions from 3.15 until 4.



Thursday 25th

Today we will be reading the newspaper. It is crucial that you see English as a skill which affects every area of your life.


In pairs you will be given a copy of today’s paper. Each pair should read through the paper finding one example (at least) of each aspect of imagery we have learned.



Friday 26th

To finish up the week, we will discuss the questions you had for homework. Note-taking will be essential today.


I will also return your Critical Essays with some advice for future work. This will be due on 5th November.




November 2nd Draft 2 of Discursive Writing

November 5th Salinger Critical essay on the opening chapter.