Category: A Level

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

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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

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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

Literary Anniversaries: 10 November

“He Who Marches Out Of Step Hears Another Drum” Back in September we celebrated the birth of Ken Kesey, author of ‘One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest‘.  Today, we commemorate his death in 2001. But we also have an important

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