The Essay: How To Help Students Get Better at Writing Essays

A couple of days ago I came across this incredibly interesting observation by Peter Stockwell, which immediately got me thinking about lots of things related to essay writing: If there is a canon of literary texts that move in and out of preference over time there is also a canon of acceptable critical discussion that... Continue Reading →

Revising Macbeth: Oxford School Shakespeare GCSE Revision Cards

For very good reason the last several years has witnessed an explosion in thinking about effective revision strategies, with an increasing focus on self-testing and retrieval. As we increasingly use and model these skills in our own classrooms so too do students increasingly use them in their own independent practice. Yet, whilst we may be... Continue Reading →

Resonant Reading: A Poetry Reading Strategy

Before outlining this strategy to help students to encounter and explore a poem, first a question: when teaching poetry, what is the appropriate weight to give to our own interpretation of the poem? I think this is a really interesting question. Presumably, before we teach a poem we read and think about it first, perhaps... Continue Reading →

Would It Be Different If…

I’m currently working my way through an excellent series of Massolit lectures by John McRae that looks at unseen poetry. They’re great, really useful for teachers preparing unseen poetry, with lots of excellent choices and ways of framing an encounter with them. However, I’ve been especially struck by a question John McRae asks across several... Continue Reading →

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