While you’re waiting…

While you’re waiting for today’s blog post…

Try this  Bitesize quiz.

then try this vocabulary quiz

Then record your scores in the comment box for a class leaderboard.


Two Weeks to Easter


Friday was my last day out of school and, while I’m sure you missed me terribly, you were looked after well with lots to do. It is amazing that there are only two weeks until Easter. After that, a mere three weeks or so and you’ll never have to listen to me again. However, I don’t need to tell you that the sands of time are running out and you will need to sacrifice social lives to reach your potential. Let’s get on with it.

Check out this link as it has some great articles to read.

New Statesman Morning Call


I would expect you to be well on with your Critical Essays on ‘The Almond Tree’. It is a poem filled with ideas; figures of speech aplenty, evocative word choice, emotional moments. However, when I read them, I want to clearly see that you’ve answered, or at least attempted to answer, the question. Today I want to break down the marking criteria, as much for the Hamlet assessment as anything, and try to ask you to think about what you are supposed to be thinking about….


It is likely that this will be the last class in which to finish your essay. It will be due on Friday but with the time you’ve had I think that should be more than enough. After yesterday’s lesson we should be a little more focused on Hamlet on Thursday so today might provide a good opportunity to go over the difficult parts of what we know, in particular the final section on Laertes.

I’ll also return any outstanding Folio essays.


It is getting very close to Easter holidays and some of you have yet to pass the final NAB. Therefore today will be that final chance. It means the rest of us have more time to work on other things. If you need to work on ‘The Almond Tree’ today, that’s fine. If you need to work on Hamlet, that’s fine too.

Once all NABs are completed we will begin a wee exercise on Close Reading skills. Not the usual, something slightly different but it will mean that you must approach this task in a slightly unusual way.

NOTE: We are definitely staying after school when we will go to a computer suite to work on Folio. Until 4 o’clock.


 Hamlet Critical Essay assessment


Continue with Close reading exercise


Folio due on Monday!!!

Easter Holidays next Friday!!!

Week Beginning March 12th

So prelim is over. We know where we are. Who’s up for the challenge? I’ll expect any writing pieces to be handed in by Friday. Let’s get on with it….

Monday 12th

Apologies again for being out of school today but it is unavoidable. I’ve left some work on Tone for you. We discussed this on Friday. Books will be available. Remember, though, that what I’ve been trying to get across is that tone is not a separate language technique. All of the other language points we have studied – word choice, imagery, sentence structure etc – all add to the tone of a passage. So, when considering the tone of a piece of writing, look at these first. We’ll have a look at this tomorrow.

and read this…because it’s really good

Roddy Doyle: the joy of teaching children to write

Tuesday 13th

I’m hoping we’ll finish the analysis of The Almond Tree today. This is all Textual Analysis work, which should help you with the NAB on Wednesday. We will all be sitting it regardless of whether we have that pass or not. It is great practice for understanding literature. How does a writer use language effectively to get a make a point?

Wednesday 14th

Textual Analysis NAB first period.

In the second we’ll discuss a plan and a task for The Almond tree. I’m confident that you know how to structure Critical Essays very well now so I’ll give you three periods to finish this.

Thursday 15th

Return of the NAB. I marked it last night. In the future… We will have a celebratory look at our passes. And a return to writing Folio. At what stage are we, two weeks before it is due to be completed?

Friday 16th

‘The Almond Tree’ Critical Essay


Writing Folio should be completed by 28th March

The Almond Tree Critical essay should be completed by Monday 19th March

Hamlet Critical essay assessment Thursday 22nd March