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.


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 11 – We’re back!

We’ve made great progress this year already and I’m delighted with the turn out at Supported Study last week. I expect to see more of you on Wednesday.


Monday 31st

While it is clear that ‘November’ by Simon Armitage is not the cheeriest of poems, we have to investigate the real meaning. All poems are, I think, influenced by personal experience so we have to analyse the poet’s true meaning. After discussing the ‘Understanding’ part of the task last week, we’ll look closer at the analysis today. How does the poet use effective language techniques to allow us to understand the true meaning of the poem? Look at this document:


Textual Analysis November

We’ll also have a wee chat tomorrow…Critical Essay assessment. Perhaps a Glow Chatroom?

Tuesday 1st

The first Critical Essay timed assessment of the year. The Catcher in the Rye. Go for it. Don’t do what Holden did in his History exam. No wee notes at the end..



Wednesday 2nd

I hope that you are beginning to see the links between Understanding, Analysis and Evaluation. If you can get these then everything will begin to fall into place. Analysis is all about recognising the effect of techniques and how they help the writer to make his or her point. Today we’ll look at how evaluation recognises the effectiveness of that language. How successful was Simon Armitage in using language to get his point across?

Thursday 3rd

The imagery question. As this is the focus of the newspaper work this month, I’ll be expecting you to be able to do this with your eyes closed – though not literally. Remember: quote, literal meaning, figurative meaning. Can’t go wrong. Lots of practice today.

Friday 4th

As always, a wee catch-up day on a Friday. Saying that we are facing a big load of writing coming up so I want to draw some ideas together on November to see what we need for a Critical Essay.



Newspaper Friday 11th

November Critical Essay Monday 14th