On Twitter, tweachers and thin skins.

This is not a teaching post per se, though you might get mileage from it when teaching non fiction writing I suppose.

It is more of a plea:


Thank you.

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Filed under Paedagogy, teacher training

Introducing Lear: 2

Here I have discussed the nature of the Fool in 1.4 and also given a brief introduction to the meter of the play.

I have tried to focus my discussion of the Fool on 1.4 simply to maintain the sense of introduction to the play.  My intention is that if students use these talks effectively, they will soon be able to make the links and develop the interpretations of the play for themselves.

The talk about meter focuses on Gaps in the Iambic Pentameter and the effectiveness of these in establishing emotion and allowing for action.  Again, I have focused on 1.1 for the reasons outlined above.

lear 4 fool

Lear 5


Filed under OCR A level, Shakespeare

Introducing King Lear

These three videos introduce King lear to a new Year 13 group. My focus is to consider first the nature of Kingship and then to look closely at the first two scenes of the play, to help to establish some good working practices and also to clarify the plot as it develops.

There will be more, but I do not intend to treat the whole play in this way.

I hope it is of use.
Lear 1 nature of king

lear 3

Lear 2 scene 1


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Filed under OCR A level, Paedagogy, podcast for english revision, poetry, Shakespeare

CIE IGCSE Poetry suggestions

A second post relating to the 2015 selection fro Songs of Ourselves.  In this post I have commented on Summer Farm, City Planners and Where I come from.  There are PowerPoints and a screencast link for Where I come from.  The screencast is not intended to be definitive – I hope it will provoke debate and discussion.

Summer Farm

Where I come from

City Planners version 2

Screencast link to  the John Lyon English Youtube course:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVO752-RNJc&feature=youtu.be


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Filed under CIE IGCSE, IGCSE support, KS4, Milton, podcast for english revision, poetry

CIE poetry coursework: exploration of depiction of love.

Year 11: You have one more piece of coursework to complete: The coursework element of the CIE poetry study for English Literature. I have chosen three poems to use in this coursework: Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116, Rossetti’s Sonnet Remember and Achebe’s harrowing A mother in a refugee camp. All can be found in your Edexcel Anthology, in section C.

The rubric:
The coursework portfolio must contain two assignments, each on a different text (You have completed one on All My Sons already.). Assignments should be between 600 and 1200 words (including quotations, but excluding references/bibliography). Candidates must not confuse length with quality. Assignments that are significantly over or
under the word count guidance may be self-penalising.

If poetry or short stories are used for an assignment, candidates must cover a minimum of two poems
or stories. Candidates are not required to compare poems or stories within the assignment, as it is
assumed that the assignment is based on the study of a wider selection of poems or stories broadly
equivalent to a poetry or short stories set text.


“Explore the presentation of love in any two of the poems you have read.” You may extend this to write about all three if you wish, but remember that 1200 words is a maximum word limit.

The resources below are designed to help you with this task.
sonnet lesson
remember revision lesson

together with the video screencasts here, on the John Lyon You Tube course:

Refugee Camp: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxgVhOmI618&list=PLyPrb5LbqEDMS9mMGlB1W55UKjRKnqjaL&index=7
Sonnet 116: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0peKyjf0D8&index=19&list=PLyPrb5LbqEDMS9mMGlB1W55UKjRKnqjaL
Remember: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJ_dODx7I1w&index=21&list=PLyPrb5LbqEDMS9mMGlB1W55UKjRKnqjaL

As ever, I am indebted to my former colleagues @engleeshteacher and Lisa Healy for the wonderful screencasts that they have posted to YouTube to support learning.

Most of you might wish to focus on the two sonnets which manage to make such a different case for “love” within the restrictions of the 14 line structure, but don’t let that stop you being adventurous.

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Filed under CIE IGCSE, GCSE support, IGCSE support, KS4, podcast for english revision, poetry

CIE IGCSE poetry teaching ideas.

These are three Powerpoints and other links to assist with the teaching of A Different History, Pied Beauty and Continuum for the CIE IGCSE course 2015.

I hope they are of use. Not wishing to reinvent the wheel, I have added relevant and excellent screencasts to the John Lyon English Department You Tube course. I hope I have not offended by doing so.


Pied Beauty

different history

The YouTube page can be visited here:https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCq3LxoT-wZYtY5ccPAckZpQ/playlists

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Filed under CIE IGCSE, GCSE support, IGCSE support, KS4, Paedagogy, poetry

Year 7 Writing module: IED leading up to Christmas

This module is based on a Year 9 scheme discussed here:http://jwpblog.wordpress.com/2012/08/29/an-autobiography-sow-for-year-9/ on the blog.  It was originally my work and was then adapted by the excellent @Engleeshteacher, Traycie Wrycraft.  I have come back to it to use with my new Year 9 class in a 4 or 5 week slot up to Christmas.

In essence, I teach the main features of creative writing to IED and then ask the students to make a little CD booklet of their responses.  I provide CD covers and the rest is simply fun.  This year I will be looking at drafting as special focus in line with Ron Berger’s “Ethic of Excellence”-  one of my touchstones.  My wish is to play as small a part as possible in the creation process.  The work should be independent and should reflect a wish to be as good as it possibly can be.


Y7 IED cd writing


y7 writing stimulus images


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Filed under KS3, Paedagogy, writing skills

Approaching Edexcel igcse LANGUAGE PAPER 1

This is a short talk I gave to my year 11 group.  It is designed to run together with the attached power point and to help students prepare for the 135  minute bundle of joy that is Edexcel paper 1.


Approaching paper 1 edexcel

Edexcel Lang paper 1 top trumps

give back summer exam

Preparing for Unseen texts


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Approaching Unseens in the VIth form

This post is a result of preparing a student for the ELAT examination at Oxbridge level.

I am reminded of the teaching of the unseen paper for the IB Diploma and these resources which I used at that time.  I am indebted to my former colleague Margaret Alderson who has found the Quadrant for me – I had lost mine in the move between schools.

The Quadrant requires sophisitcated thinking, but it repays use and practice.  For some students the SCASI approach is just as effective.  The vital thing, it seems to me, is to have a clear plan of how to address the extracts prior to the examination.

A quick note:  IBDP gives 3 hours for a single passage.  ELAT gives 90 minutes for three from a choice of five…  In this case, speed and accurate objectivity are absolutely vital.  I attach some ELAT materials from the web site for convenience.

quadrant  a powerpoint explaining the quadrant approach

unseen lesson intro

marginal unseen paper







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Filed under EDEXCEL CERTIFICATE, IBDP support, IGCSE support, Paedagogy

Year 10 Table essay plan

Year 10 were planning a response to the statement “In terms of character development is one of the most important scenes in MAAN.”

This is the result, for them to download.

new doc 2 (2)

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Filed under KS4, Paedagogy, Shakespeare