Today marks the beginning of one of the most eagerly anticipated parts of the school year … the final summer half-term. The countdown’s on, for teachers at least: 7 weeks; 35 working days; a maximum of 28 lessons with each of those classes.
‘RICHARD: Vouchsafe to wear this ring.
ANNE: To take is not to give.’ (RIII, I.ii)
PTS read-through: The Merchant of Venice, Act V
Occasionally, actually quite often if you’re me, you say things in class which get far more of a reaction than you anticipated. One of those moments came recently, when I suggested that an engagement ring was a symbol of ownership, not so different from a brand on a cow, if you thought about it.
‘Silence invaded the room’, as Steinbeck might have said.
The students were either reappraising their world-views, or they were reappraising me. It’s never easy to tell which.
Occasionally, teacher good luck messages and the valedictories get a bit mawkish or twee (and wearing my heart on my sleeve, I’m probably as guilty of this as others). That said, I still want to write one for my Y13s.
If beginnings feel tricky (until you read this, naturally), then signing off an essay can feel just as daunting, and it’s equally important. Faced with the time pressure of writing an additional half paragraph of analysis only to finish mid-
-sentence, or writing a strong conclusion, I know which one I’d choose every time.
It’s that time of year again.
OCR A Level English Literature (paper 1): Thursday, 23 May, 13:30hrs
AQA GCSE English Literature (paper 1): Wednesday, 15 May, 13:30hrs
as well as mocks for Y10 and Y12 students … and the most daunting thing of all is starting your answer. (For tips on how to end your essay, click here)
“Do I need an introduction? Why? What should be in it?”
Last week’s pre-exam discussions with Year 13 looked again at how we might adopt a Feminist critical stance to our exam texts. The fabled AO5, I hear OCR students gasp …
I shall despair; there is no creature loves me,
And if I die no soul shall pity me. (Richard III: V.iii) [a]
No matter how many times I watch it – with Y9, 12 and 13 classes, or alone – Benedict Cumberbatch can move me to tears, delivering what I think are the saddest lines in Shakespeare.
The saddest lines … by arguably the biggest villain?