Tag Archives: Patrick Ness

Knife of Never Letting Go, Storyboards.

Y9 are making a short advertisement for the book.  Their storyboards are here for them to refer to:

storyboard 3

storyboard 1

storyboard 2

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Filed under KS4, prose, Uncategorized

The Knife of Never Letting Go: Guide and activities

A repeat post for my guide and activities for this wonderful text.  I am so looking forward to engaging with this again, and bothering @Patrick_Ness on Twitter when my students have questions or present something great.





The screencast is here: KONLG intro

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This blog: hello and thank you!

Next week I have been asked to speak to the HoDs at my new school about my use of ICT. Mine, rather than the department’s and focused on this blog as a way to develop my own thinking and paedagogy.

It’s funny, because I began this blog in 2012 as a means of supporting my year 11s through GCSE. The early posts were podcasts relating to Hardy poems and a range of pre-1914 war poems for the AQA GCSE we sat in those days. It was intended to be a convenient way of putting everything in one place so that students could easily access it on their phones and computers. I blogged because I have never seen any reason NOT to share my material.
As it has grown, my rationale has developed.

Looking at my wordpress stats for this year ( https://jwpblog.wordpress.com/2014/12/30/2014-in-review/ ) I see I am read in the vast majority of countries in the world by an astonishing number of people. Over 100,000 last year and currently around 400-500 per day on average. This is amazing and humbling. I started this for 25 boys and girls! (by the way, if anyone knows who the solitary viewer in Afghanistan is, I’d love to know – a squaddie helping a child with homework from afar? A lonely schoolchild hoping to find magic? A less welcome viewer looking at my teaching of Charlie Hebdo in 2012…)

So, back to the matter in hand… I use the blog now to provide teaching resources to anyone who wishes to use them and who stumbles across them on Google and to help me to clarify my own thinking about teaching in general and about my specific class needs. The blog is a wonderful palette on which to mix my ideas before presentation. Posts need to be considered and reflected upon if they are to be of use.
I try to revisit teaching ideas once the whole scheme has been worked through. Longer SOWs like my work on Patrick Ness or Catherine Johnson found here: https://jwpblog.wordpress.com/2013/05/22/the-knife-of-never-letting-go-teaching-ideas/  and here:  https://jwpblog.wordpress.com/2014/04/09/sawbones-in-year-7have been taught and revised. I still use them and I hope others have found them useful.
I write essays on the blog, not as downloadable exam answers, but to stimulate debate. I will often take a position and push it. I challenge my students to unpick the writing. I hope I am clear in all these posts that I am not claiming instant A*. I have only been plagiarised to my face once in four years.
I use the blog to host video which links to my Department You Tube course : https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCq3LxoT-wZYtY5ccPAckZpQ where I host my own screencasts and link to others, the point being that I think I can help students to navigate the thousands of courses to avoid using material written as Year 10 project as the basis for A level analysis.

I love blogging on here – it is an outlet for my thoughts. It makes me think twice before making a statement – the internet users around the world are rarely slow to come forward if there is criticism to be made – yet I slowly gain followers and generally receive positive notices. That’s good for the ego, if I am honest. We all need a bit of praise from time to time and often it is the last thing that there is time for in an academic world which revolves around results, league tables and constant and obsessive scrutiny. Blogging is strangely liberating.

I tend to think of my blog as dovetailing with my twitter account – @mrpeel – as a form of continuous CPD. A post from a while ago sums up my Twitter experience well:https://jwpblog.wordpress.com/2013/11/15/twitter-and-me/  please feel free to read it.

In short, I have benefitted from the need to think clearly and from the platform that blogging provides. My students and others around the world have benefitted (I hope) form reading some of my material. My awareness of ICT and the Cloud as a teaching tool has leapt forward as I am comfortable in this area and have made so many positive contacts through this medium.

To everyone who has used the blog; to those who follow me and to those visiting for the first time: Thank You. I love blogging and I love teaching. I hope my maundrelling on here can be of use and benefit.

Happy New Year.


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Filed under Paedagogy, teacher training

Reading and discussing literature: what we lose if Speaking and Listening is taken from the curriculum

The video link attached to this post is one I made in class last week. In it, three members of Year 9 (aged 13-14) discuss the novel The Knife of Never Letting Go. The model which was used when preparing was the BBC Radio 4 programme “A good read” and my students rose to the challenge well. I would be fascinated to receive some extra feedback to share with them!
My point is that since I work in a school which offers the Edexcel Certificate – IGCSE for state sector schools – I still have to prepare students for 10% of their final grade in Speaking and Listening. Meanwhile, this discipline is to vanish from the standard GCSE requirements.

Since it is important both in terms of developing children and giving them the tools to survive in the outside world AND it is important because it has the potential to improve GCSE grades, my department and I devote considerable time to honing the skills – hence beginning in Year 9 to promote good practice and to deliver substantial pieces of oral work. I really hope that colleagues find time to listen to the work shown here, featuring Yasoda, Zeeshan and Ritvik. They start slowly, but this develops beautifully. The film is unedited and the entire class had been given one hour-long lesson to prepare their thoughts, before being chosen at random. This sort of activity is threatened by the removal of the requirement to examine S+L- after all, to hear a class of 29 took well over a week of lessons!

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Filed under EDEXCEL CERTIFICATE, EDEXCEL CERTIFICATE, GCSE support, Paedagogy, teacher training

Twitter in action in the classroom


Do you use Twitter?

Many teachers do use social networking as a valuable source of CPD. Events like the brilliant and inspirational #TLAB14 exist through Twitter and the range of comment and discussion is often spectacular.

Yesterday it really worked.

The document attached shows two responses from authors whose work I am reading with years 9 & 8. Lovely work had been produced, so I copied it and tweeted to Patrick Ness (@patrick_ness) and Tim Bowler (@tim_bowler). The texts being read are The Knife of Never Letting Go, in 9, and Starseeker, in 8.

Within the lessons… a reply and retweet. Brilliant affirmation of hard work by the students and a reminder that authors are real people and alive!

My resource plans are below:
lesson 1-16

knife of activities guide

a reading guide to The Knife of never letting go

teaching outline

activity booklet starseeker

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Filed under Paedagogy, teacher training, writing skills

Knife of Never Letting Go Role on Wall

Year 9: here are three of your role on wall tasks to download and save. I think these are great, with real engagement with the text and subtext. Well done, Mathangi, Kavi and Aman.

todd by viola

The purpose here is to chat Viola’s feelings about Todd, up to the end of chapter 10. Todd has only just realised that Viola has been able to hear his Noise. The students needed to chart the noise she has heard (inside) and her reaction to it (outside)


Filed under teacher training, writing skills

Knife of never letting go, final thoughts

The final thoughts rest with my class – 9EY3! Here are a selection of reviews and trailers for the book. I hope you enjoy these as much as they did.
All in all, I am very glad that i found this text and that I had the luck of a group of boys who really entered into the spirit of the work I devised. I hope that should Patrick Ness stumble across my study guide or awful attempt to represent him in interview, that hew won’t be too angry! I have not edited the reviews in any way, for public consumption – there are little errors- the enthusiasm wins through.

So, go ahead! The material works and the book enthrals.


review_on_the_knife_of_never_letting_go sajh


and the film clips: http://www.evernote.com/shard/s211/sh/ddb827b1-6b2c-43c1-9870-8250db2e26fd/d00f4cd3f03de0460c06498174e58713


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Tension graph – chapter 31 NONLG

Year 9 have been working on tension tracking in the novel Knife of Never Letting Go.

The graph sheets are here to download to sue as preparation for the task: “How does Ness create tension in Chapter 31?”

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Knife of Never Letting Go: Innocence and experience work

Year 9 charts to outline Todd’s “journey to manhood” in sections 1-3. This activity is not in the original work book, and provided a good opportunity for the boys to work together to generate ideas.

Todd innocence experience 1-3

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Filed under KS3, teacher training, writing skills

Year 9: Knife of Never Letting Go

The two Love charts can be found here:
love pdf

Enjoy your weekend!

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Filed under IGCSE support, KS3