Week 14 – Do, do, do…

There is something about the Conga that is both horrible and brilliant at the same time. A dance you would never, ever think of doing at any other time seemed o be amazing fun when you do it up the corridor of the English Department. Well done! I’m very proud of you all.


The work on the supermarket article on Friday is of the standard that you will expect to see in the exam. The purpose of the group exercise – and I’m quite happy to give four or five periods over to this – is to think about creating questions which both challenge and guide the person answering them. If you can do that well you can begin to think about the questions in the exam and how they may be answered.


We should now be right tin the middle of your own Close Reading creation. Remember that you will need to construct an answer scheme as you go. It wouldn’t be a great idea to leave it until the end. Make it hard but not impossible. The examiners want you to answer in a particular way but questions should also be a guide.


Still on the group task.  I’d hope you would finish this today. If not, it will be for homework.


I mentioned last week that Personal Reading would begin to be much more important. Today I want you to be working on the same type of things we look at for the Newspaper work. Find examples of imagery, interesting sentence structure, context, links, word choice, everything. We learn real reading skills in English not merely to prepare for the exam.
Hamlet is one of those plays of which even teachers get a wee bit scared. They say it is the greatest, they say it is the most complex; but I think it is a wonderfully rewarding piece of Literature which affects us all. Let’s get stuck in…


Discursive Writing due on December 2nd

Newspaper work due on Fridays


Week 13 – Lucky, lucky you

While this is a short week – for you anyway – don’t be mistaken for thinking that you can take your foot off the gas. November is notoriously a difficult month in terms of NABs and Critical Essay in particular so keep on top of things. It’s about to get tough! Keep in mind, what you should be working on.

100 words on The Catcher in the Rye

‘November’ Critical Essay for Wednesday

Tuesday 15th

I’m returning Discursive essays today. While it has been a while since you’ve seen them, I’m hoping that you’ll be able to put into practice all of the things we’ve been working on in terms of sentences structure, tone etc. Remember that language is not learned in isolation. It affects everything we do. I’m reasonably happy with the topics you’ve chosen but it will take a more concerted effort as it is a Folio piece remember.

Wednesday 16th

In the double period today we’ll be doing quite a bit of writing. I want to return to the Class page on Glow and show you how the Class Blog works. This is where I want you to post your final discursive pieces but you will also be helping and commenting on each others’ work: which is how a blog should work. Don’t be afraid of this: last year the class loved it after initially being nervous and it really helped. Writing should be for a real audience, not just for me.

We’ll also be looking closely at the ‘November’ essays. I want you to, again, read each others’ essays before you hand them in. I expect a high standard this time as we’ve already completed one Critical Essay but let’s go back to the Marking Criteria and see where we’re at.

Thursday 17th

Textual Analysis is a really difficult assessment to pass and the ‘Great Expectations’ passage was a tough one. It would be unfair if I didn’t go through this one in great detail- at least so you had the structure of the answers required. So, that’s what we’ll we do. This is more about skills than marks so I’ll be asking you to think about lay out as much as anything.

Friday 18th

Wee bit of a change of direction today. Group exercises allow you to share your confusions as well as help each other find answers and I think that is really important. We are starting a mini project which will take about five or so periods. It will require a lot of focus and team work. Music an biscuits may well ease the pain.


Newspaper Work due on Friday 25th

Discursive essay on Class Blog for Wednesday 30th

Week 12 – Is It me or is it cold?

There is a lot going on at the moment so it is vital that you keep on top of things. The 100 words on ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ is up on GLOW so I’ll expect that next week. Your first timed essay is behind you and ‘November’ is just about nailed. Good progress. This week will be as bit of a juggle so let’s get to work.


Monday 7th

I’ll be returning your Symbolism essays today. We’ll begin by having a wee look at them and, perhaps, just a word on how we can take them forward.

When we discussed the Knowledge About Language work on Friday, Inversion was mentioned. I think it would be good to spend some time on that today. We’ll look at some examples and, by the end of this week, it’ll be dead easy.


Tuesday 8th

I think we have as many notes as possible for November by Simon Armitage. What we’ll do today, before our next Critical Essay. Is to discuss what we learned from the Symbolism essay about how to improve. How to introduce evidence, how to improve on introduction/ conclusion etc.


Wednesday 9th

Some more sentence structure, I think. We keep adding to the list of things we can say about sentences and today we’ll look at antithesis. It is a more complex idea and we’ll spend some time getting to grips with it.

In the second period, I’m passing ‘November’ over to you. A bit of planning, a bit of mind-mapping, a bit of discussion. I’m more than confident that, by the end of the period, you’ll be ready to write.


 Thursday 10th

I’ll give this period over to you to begin to write the essay, after a wee chat about tomorrow’s Textual Analysis NAB.


Friday 11th

Yesterday this was tomorrow’s NAB. Now it’s today’s. Good Luck


Tuesday 15th November Critical essay and 100 words on ‘The Catcher in the Rye’

Friday 18th Newspaper Work