Category: A Level

How well do you know your poetic devices?

I’m sure my students are completely fed up with hearing me bang on about ‘subject terminology’ – that special vocabulary, those names for writing tools, which are unique to the subject.  Thing is, they form part of the mark-scheme at

Posted in A Level Literature, Fun and Games, GCSE English Language, GCSE English Literature, KS4, KS5, Poetry Tagged with:

FREE AUDIO: A Streetcar Named Desire

You can access a BBC production of Tennessee Williams’ important play by clicking this link.  The link is valid until 24 April. A Streetcar Named Desire (one of our A Level texts) is on the surface a domestic drama – the

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Quote of the Day: Ian McEwan

If you could make a change to anything you’ve written over the years, what would it be? From my first book, First Love, Last Rites – remove all the pretentious commas doing the work of full stops and replace with full stops.

Posted in A Level Literature, GCSE English Literature, KS4, KS5, News Tagged with:

The Science of Revision …

With mock exams coming up for Years 11, 12 and 13, this feels like a timely article from The Guardian. We all work in different ways, and you need to find a style that helps you.  Personally, I find writing

Posted in A Level Creative Writing, A Level Language, A Level Literature, GCSE English Language, GCSE English Literature, KS4, KS5

Quiz Time: how well do you know English phrases?

Let’s start the month with another quiz! English is full of colloquialisms – informal words or phrases – and my students get to hear quite a few strange ones, with my Southern dialect confusing their Northern ears … for instance,

Posted in A Level Language, Enrichment, Fun and Games

Poem of the Week: 28 November

  Many of you will know that this coming Wednesday is St. Andrew’s Day, so I wanted – for the second week running – to use a poem by a Scottish poet.  And then, given last week’s Y11 Sixth Form

Posted in A Level, A Level Literature, Enrichment, Fictional Characters, KS5, Poem Of The Week, Poetry Tagged with: , ,

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: FREE audio and more

  “All human beings, as we meet them, are commingled out of good and evil: and Edward Hyde, alone, in the ranks of mankind, was pure evil.” Whilst Y11 draw towards the end of their Victorian Literature studies, it’s not too

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And the ‘Word of the Year’ for 2016 is … ?

  Once again, Oxford Dictionaries have announced their words of the year. Last year, you might know that the title was won by an emoji – a sign of the times? Can you guess which words made it into the top

Posted in A Level, A Level Creative Writing, A Level Language, KS5 Tagged with:

10 women who changed Science Fiction

It’s no secret that I am an avid Science Fiction reader, or that I really admire Margaret Atwood.  But she’s not by any means the only important woman writing in the field – SF is as much for, and by,

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Student Excellence: Lexi Brockbank (Y11) 2

On 05 November I offered you one of Lexi’s poems, the poignant and yet inspiring ‘Trapped‘.  Here’s another of her works, entitled ‘Ghost Girl‘. Thematically it reminds me a little of Trapped, but there is a less urgent, more reflective pace

Posted in A Level Creative Writing, Creative Writing, Enrichment, KS4, KS5, Poetry, Student Excellence, Young Adult