Why I love…TENC – The plans and pitfalls of an interleaved curriculum

The presentation is downloadable here: TENC – Presentation

The copious amount of notes and thinking behind the presentation is here:  TENC Handout Booklet (warning this is a long document and includes some of the resources and the invisible thinking that went on behind the scenes when developing an interleaved curriculum). Also, none of these documents are new, they were all worked on in the implementation stages of driving forward an interleaved curriculum.

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I started with this slide, which is the contents of the presentation. This introduces what I am trying to explain about the plans and potential pitfalls of embedding an ambitious strategy within a team of strong minded professionals. We have embedded this in English,  across the whole department in a year, an ambitious vision of how an interleaved curriculum can look. The strategy has become known in the department as “embedding learning over time” and looks at how a range of different strands of research evidence based strategies can be used in the curriculum to ensure that students learning is optimised in class, at home and through constant repetition and revision strategies. However, with any new change it is really important to think through how to go about getting everyone on board with the changes.

Some of the changes that were floated by the Head of Department @daveg5478 initially made me feel uneasy for several reasons. I admit I was a complete sceptic to begin with and was concerned the ideas would be perceived as another educational fad and I was concerned that some of the changes would involve a huge amount of work (they did) and that the work would be irrelevant (or as so often happens in my experience – done but not actually used purposefully).  However, reassuringly these initial worries and concerns were fruitless, as I will explore further into this post. However, being a sceptic made me really question what we were trying to achieve and how to achieve this purposefully.

Next, I shared the original curriculum map that we had when I arrived 5 years ago for Y10.

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It is pretty simple and shows that we were working a lot on coursework in the previous incarnation of GCSEs, so probably not dissimilar to many other departments up and down the country. But, and here in lies the rub. While this type of simple curriculum map works in blocks with no going back or moving forward, with no deviation from teaching a topic and then moving on and with no reflection on previous learning, this no longer is suitable or fit for purpose. We have to change in the educational landscape we find ourselves in. We can no longer teach a unit and then move on and forget about it. We no longer have coursework blocks that once taught are forever forgotten. We no longer have the dreaded controlled assessment, which was without a shadow of a doubt teaching to the test. Now, we have a climate where knowledge is power and knowing the texts for literature and how to approach the exams is paramount for both Language and Literature.

This means that we needed a different approach.

2018-07-12 (3)Which brings me to the changes and the rationale for these changes. We decided that as a department 100% eradication of blocked units was too confusing for teachers and that we would develop a different form of interleaving that we would trial and adapt. So, although we are using an interleaved curriculum, it is a manifestation of a 100% interleaved one.

We had already adopted Rebecca Foster’s 5 in 5 starters, which worked brilliantly well. However, this wasn’t consistent and some teachers were using them and others weren’t, so we strengthened the expectation about this. Not dictatorially, but by discussing how to use a starter as a reflection point on prior learning. We explored how a range of strategies could be used to reflect on: learning from the previous lesson, learning from a previous unit or learning from a cross-over unit. By doing this we hoped that the rationale was clear and that we were moving away from a ‘busy’ starter to a purposeful reflection point at the start of the lesson. (I also use 5 in 5 to move between topics in lessons as well)

Pause lessons or revision interleaving lessons, were introduced to allow students to ‘forget’ and then revisit the previous learning, with the intent of embedding the information in their long term memories. The format of these differed depending on the teacher, but an example pause lesson might look like this:

2018-07-12 (4)This would give students the opportunity to return to the previous units on The Anthology and revisit the information in a structured and focused way. During the lesson I circulated the class and prompted students to look at their previous notes in the books and on The Anthology.

Knowledge and skills lesson involved using the KOs – more on this later and linking what they know to what was in the KO and helping them to learn this. A KO lesson generally was not a whole hour as we found that on trialling it and feedback as we went along 20 – 30 minutes was ideal for this.

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We embedded grammar lessons into Y9, which now had a hinge text – Of Mice and Men. In the previous year we had a stand alone grammar lesson every fortnight in year 9 and while these were seen to be worthwhile, they were a bit disjointed. Therefore, adapting these and having a fully interleaved fortnightly grammar based lesson on Of Mice and Men seemed like a logical next step.

Bespoke knowledge organisers:  Y9 Knowledge Organiser Homework Booklet All  here for the Y9 and Y10 versions Y10 & 11 Knowledge organiser Homework Book all of these. We worked together on these as a team initially, as I was very worried that they would be seen as an add on that didn’t need to be used and I was aware that creating them for every unit in every year from scratch was going to take a long, long time and I really didn’t want them to be another arbitrary bit of paper. So, we got together in splinter teams and discussed what we thought should go in them. @Miss_thinks mocked up the first example and then we worked on a slightly different format for KS3 and KS4. We decided to put them together ourselves as a department from scratch, as we wanted to make sure what we wanted our students in our context to learn was what they got in the KOs that we produced and so that they have a uniformity in appearance and are cohesive. We played around with the first few as a team, using sugar paper and including what we wanted as a collaborative planning task. For the literature ones, we used the quotes from a previously collaborated on quote guide:  see here, as the mainstay of quotes and put together all the front pages with vocabulary and terminology ourselves. As the year went on and time pressures impinged on everyone in the team, Dave divided the job of creating the new and still to be completed KOs between the English leadership team (Dave, me, Rachel and Laura) but crucially we asked for feedback every time a new one was created to ensure that what people wanted on these was included. This was a massive undertaking and although it did takes countless hours the end result was really good and has been really valued by staff and students.

More focus on target work and meta-cognition was something that we were already pushing as a whole department strategy and this year with the ‘embedding learning focus’ this was even more important. When we feedback work to students it is crucial that we get them to do something with it. This meant increasing the use of meta-cognitive tasks with the classes and ensuring that students didn’t know their estimated grades immediately and that any work they had marked or any whole class feedback elicited some form of DIRT work. This is an ongoing continuous focus and needs to be worked with and on and discussed. As well as this, getting students to carry forward their targets is also important and an ongoing process.

We decided that we needed a way to track whether students were being effective in the strategies that they were using to learn the KO information and decided that simple KO quizzes using multiple choice questions was the way forward. This meant that I spent an inordinate amount of time logging into different MCQ platforms and researching what we could use. We are (thankfully) a mobile free school, so I knew it wouldn’t work to use some of the mobile apps. In the end I went with Google Forms as the functionality and ease of use was good. Again, we worked on these as a leadership team and created the bespoke quizzes using the KOs and then sent these out to the class teachers for students to log in and complete. More information on this process is available in the TENC handout attached at the top of the blog.

The homework taking a three-pronged approach was something that I felt strongly about as I like to give tangible work that takes some time and effort to complete, as I find the buy in is better, however I also recognise that the marking load can then become burdensome. So, we decided to incorporate the metacognitive drive and feedback process as a non-marking homework (although it can be read and not commented on as the lesson progresses) and the consolidation work encompasses whatever form of homework the teacher wants to set, meaning that the homework expectation is ‘tight but loose’.

Finally, with Y11 we upped the anti a little with our revision programme by introducing the English lectures. These varied in format between myself and Dave, but we researched, created and presented higher thinking lectures for all students who wanted to attend and despite them being aimed at higher level thinking, students of all prior attainment attended and found them useful. We podcast these as well, to upload to the Weebly as an extra resource to listen to. This was another way of interleaving the revision as we concentrated on learning that had already occurred and tried to take it to another level.

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For my own benefit I created the above chart divided into KS3, KS4 and Lit A-Level, as that is what I teach at A-Level, this chart sets out what ‘embedding learning is’ and also what it looks like as a summary in each key stage. This helped remind me of what the overall picture for interleaving the curriculum was at each different key stage.

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Which brings me to the new model for the curriculum and the curriculum map. This has evolved from the original basic one into an excel spreadsheet version that maps out all the different elements that sit underneath the main unit blocks. As you can see there are all the components that I’ve already discussed. By having this in the unit overview and printed in A3 in the office it helps guide the whole department. I also include this information in a fortnightly bulletin that reminds teachers of the key interleaving foci each fortnight and offers the opportunity to attach resources that might be useful for these as well.

I recognise that this is a lot of information and I added a reflection point into the presentation which looks like this:

Are you currently using any of these ideas in your department?

OR,

Is there anything that you think might work for your context?

OR,

Could you adapt these ideas to suit your way of working?

AND,

What challenges do you imagine?

Obviously, every context is different and what works for us will be slightly different to what will work for other people in a different context.

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Then, I looked at some of the potential problems that I envisaged before we implemented all these different interleaved ideas. These were mainly time and ensuring that if we were as a whole department going to embed a new or different way of working that we needed buy in from the department and we needed to make sure that the work that went on was purposeful, based on research evidence and suited the needs of the students and the new curriculum. Dave completed a presentation with the Department, which outlined the vision and exemplified this with a student example of how the old model of curriculum was no longer suitable or was failing some of our students. Then, we started the project. Some of it evolved from good practice that was already occurring and some of the ideas were new and took some getting used to for teachers. The students didn’t bat an eyelid though, perhaps due to the fact that they are interleaving learning all day every day by moving from lesson to lesson and subject to subject.

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Some of the potential problems didn’t occur, such as MCQ worries, as everyone bought in and did these and understood the rationale behind them (with a few admin hiccups – the supporting documentation looks at solutions to these). However, there was a lot of discussion and forward momentum as a department to ensuring that the different strands of the interleaved model were being used consistently and the review process was and still is ongoing. I think communication was the key to making major changes work and making sure that the team understood the long-term benefits of adapting our daily practice. We also took a solution focused approach and pre-empted concerns that we thought the department might have. We also read widely about the different approaches that we were taking and thought carefully about what would work for us, or not work for us and why.

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As always with any major changes there are always things that don’t work or that have been misinterpreted or interpreted differently from the intent. For example; one teacher saved up their interleaved lessons to teach all in a block, which was a source of confusion, but it turned out that they hadn’t understood (fully) the rationale for dropping in lessons in an inter-leaved way. However, a quick discussion about the rationale made this clearer and then they continued with teaching, but now popping the interleaved revision in as intended. It wasn’t and isn’t a big thing, but shows how communication needs to be really clear and that the rationale behind major changes needs to be communicated as well as the how to do it. Time was a constant bind in the first year, in terms of preparing all the new materials and making sure this was ready on time, however in terms of the whole process, time will tell whether this approach works. With the KOs, because we created them separately there was at times some anomalies across these and this needed ironing out. So, in gained time we met, checked, discussed and formalised the definitions and what we wanted on these and then adapted these. These were then collated as a year group in a booklet and put into our assessment booklets which also has the comprehensive terminology definitions in them that match up with the definitions in the KOs.

Again we had a reflection point:

What problems or issues could you foresee with this type of change in your context?

Or,

Are there other solutions you think would work?

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As always with any process there are things that when you reflect on them, they could be changed or improved or done differently and the slide above encompasses some of the ideas for improvement, that I think will continue to strengthen this approach. For me writing is a key area to improve and we are going to embed these fortnightly in KS3 as another strand to the interleaved curriculum (this is direct inspiration from @Xris32) and we will ensure that these are both Fiction and Non-Fiction challenges. We have already started the KO audit process and have this ready for September as well as the MCQ clear up. Re-quizzing will be something to embed through homework next year and with staff continued re-visiting of the knowledge retention strategies will be pertinent. Finally, in curriculum evenings with parents and parent e-mails with information we will strengthen the links and understanding of what we are doing  to interleave the curriculum and increase knowledge retention.

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Of course, I’m not professing to have done all this myself (that would be ludicrous). The thanks for the whole approach and making it work go to the whole team @Churchilleng, those on and off Twitter and as you can see from the final presentation the English leadership team get a special mention, as the communication and discussions we had are a large part of what helped us shape this curriculum.

We also read a plethora of blogs from @Team_English1 which inspired this approach and the following books. So thank you all for your hard work and inspiration.

Making every lesson count @Andytharby

Make it Stick – Brown, Roediger and McDaniel

Why don’t students like school – Daniel T Willingham

Memorable Teaching – Peps McRae

Some links to other blogs here on the topics covered here:

Why I love… Combining live writing, metacognitive approaches & feedback

metacognition

Why I love…English Lectures: The Eduqas Anthology

Why I love…Interleaving the Curriculum

Why I love…Adapting Revision Plans for the Final Push

Why I love…Closed Book for GCSE Literature

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Why I love… Building Effective Relationships

Warning this is an anecdotal and reflective blog post, which I hope highlights my belief that relationships are one of the keys to ensuring students will learn and that leadership can be trust based.

Student – Teacher

When my Y11 left last year (2017) I was given a little necklace from Egg. Egg was my nickname for one of my Y11 students. Egg: because she used to come into my class with her hoodie tied up so tight around her face that it made her look like an egg. The nickname stuck. My class knew who I meant when I said (early on in Y10 Egg can you… etc.) She even signed all her work Egg. I’m sure we have all had presents at one time or another and this one really got to me, because she was a lovely student, who initially lacked confidence and then blossomed. I’m pretty certain this was due to being encouraged and feeling a sense of belonging and being liked by me (as the teacher).

Our class last year was a lower mixed ability or mixed prior attainment (boy heavy class) and I recognised from my previous boy heavy, mixed ability class that the girls were quieter, less vocal and less confident: this was something I really wanted to address. Also, through that particular set of exam results I recognised that I would need to work on confidence in the girls in order to help them attain and I tried really hard. The boys in the class were amazing, but they had a tendency to dominate (if I let them). However, they wanted to learn, but the point of this anecdote is: the relationships in the class were perhaps the most important element of getting the students to work hard and achieve.

Even on the day of the walking talking mock, right at the end of Y11 I had one student say “we’re going in last – is that because we’re bottom set?” to cries from the other students of “shut up”, because we’d worked hard on the mind-set in the class that they were a mixed ability set and that they were perfectly able to achieve as highly as any other group. This is what I want for all my classes. I want them to know that I believe hard work, effort and that their ability is not fixed in any way. What they have attained in the past is not a determiner of what they will achieve in the future.

This was just one anecdote about one class and I find the most challenging classes are the classes, where for one reason or another, relationships are strained. It means that my behaviour management is trickier in these classes, it means that I enjoy the lesson less and it means that the class are less willing to ‘go with me’ in their learning. This is perhaps, where building relationships are most crucial, as this pays dividends with ensuring that I can optimise learning for the majority of these students.

Departmental Relationships and Moving On

As I think about my next school and my new job as Head of English, I’m reflecting a lot on what I think educationally and professionally and I keep going back to relationships. In the department that I work in now, the relationships I have are the crucial in building trust, respect and showing that I care not only about the students that I work with, but also about the team of people that I work with. I’m in equal measures excited and terrified about the prospect of being a Head of Department.

Some of the thoughts I have buzzing around in my head at the moment are:

  • What if I can’t lead effectively?
  • What if the team don’t like my style of leadership?
  • What if I don’t fit in?
  • How do I build a good reputation as a respectable leader who believes in trust based leadership?

And a hundred more like this! however, I’m sure that I will face the new challenges in the same way that I face challenges now and hope that I’m able to build good relationships and that the teachers I work with will come with me, in the same way as my current colleagues do.

I’m really sad to be leaving Churchill, as I love the people that I work with both students, my department and the wider community, but they say that all good things must come to an end and I am moving on and just hope that my new school and new team are as brilliant as my current one. Having met them, I’m confident that they are.

See the source image

 

Why I love…Creative Writing as a slow process

Step By Step Narrative Writing (scaffolding to independence in Creative Writing)

My year 10 class have been brilliant and really engaged all year, but they have struggled with writing creatively. From the initial ‘blind’ story that I asked them to write, I identified a range of areas for the whole class, that they would collectively need to work on. This ranged from punctuation, sentence starters to paragraphing and technical accuracy to building a plot, creating engaging events and characters and building a sense of a story. However, I wanted to do this in a slow and considered way (taking a leaf out of Jamie Thom’s @teachgratitude1’s Slow Teaching book) rather than teaching what I sometimes feel can be disjointed components and skills, that lead into a final piece.

I freely admitted to my class that I am not a ‘creative writer’ and that I am far happier writing non-fiction than writing a story and that for that reason I have to force myself out of my comfort zone when teaching creative writing.

The list of strategies and the reflections that the class made are here on what they could do to ensure in their creative writing they were working on these skills are further down this blog and I hope that reading about this slower approach is useful.

I started with Freytag’s narrative triangle and made the decision to omit the falling action from my deliberate slow teaching of the structure. The reason for this is I find students struggle to then complete a satisfactory conclusion if they have been guided to complete a falling action and the story starts to flounder. Therefore, with this in mind the process of slowly building and crafting a story began (with clear emphasis from me that crafting is a process and shouldn’t be rushed).

I have gone through the process for each lesson below, however essentially, each part of the story took a lesson to do and every student in the class was encouraged to reflect, adapt and edit as they went along. I wrote a poorly written example on the board each lesson, of the different stages of the story, using the title “The angry teacher”, which originally started out as “A normal day”. This captured the imagination of the students as they valiantly painted me as “it” and “the raging beast”, which was great as they were using imagery really well to develop the character and to show the emotions, which was exactly what I wanted. After they had improved my poorly written version, I took feedback from the class on each section of the story and wrote up on the board their improved version, discussing as we went along (how it was better and what choices has been made in the writing process had made it better). From this, for each section of the story we built success criteria for what a good introduction looks like. Etc.  Each time we did this, I quickly typed this into a document for future reference. All this work was done with a pen and a whiteboard, there were no PowerPoints or fancy gadgets used throughout the process and I think this simplification was really useful as we explored the process of creative writing and really slowed down how to write a story.

At the end of the process, we did some metacognition relating to the overall process, which I have elaborated on below and then we used the title ‘A Memorable Event’ to independently (with the help of the co-created structure) create a story that would take them confidently into the exam.

Creating the Introduction

The boring introduction for re-working

I was stood in front of the Year 10 class, who were exhausted from trek, as they walked for a day. Year 10 were trying to work out why writing an introduction opening to a story was so important to Miss Strachan. She was so boring. The whole class couldn’t even be bothered to listen.

The steps in the lesson: 

As a class, we discussed why this was an awful opening, as a way in to the writing process and I circled on the board the sentence openings to avoid and we talked about PANIC, the acronym that they are familiar with.

P – Preposition, A – Adjective/Adverb, N – Noun, I – ‘ing’ – word with ing endings, C – Connectives.

The Task – Re-write the boring opening making it more interesting. Think about PANIC and the words you use.

Feedback: we heard several different examples from the class and together came up with the following success criteria from the best examples we heard and explored together how adverbs can have power to explore emotions and debated what makes effective showing rather than telling straight away.

Finally, after this feedback I asked them to consider what they had written and use the co-constructed criteria below to continue adding to and editing their introductions to make sure that they were effective. During the lesson I circulated and talked to students about their work, answered questions and generally kept them going.

Key Points for Interesting writing and the introduction co-created success criteria:

What will make a good introduction?

  • Don’t give away too much information – withhold information
  • Use imagery – e.g. personification
  • How for emotions = use adverbs to develop what feelings you want to create
  • Build a mood using pathetic fallacy
  • Vary sentence starters effectively (using PANIC) and banning boring words – the/I/it/she/he
  • Show don’t tell
  • You must self-edit
  • You must practice

Creating the Build Up

The boring build-up

Now, she was stood at the board writing something else on there. Year 10 are so bored. Some of the class looked asleep. What would get them interested thought Miss Strachan. The sun was still out.

Task – Adapt the build up to imply or suggest tension and drama is rising in the classroom

Teacher – Circulate and work with students helping them to develop their build up

Feedback – Stood pointing at the board, she is glaring at one unlucky helpless child, the room is tense; everyone is praying that they are not the next victim. Sun shines through the translucent panes of glass, making beads of sweat appear on the brows of the unlucky child and everyone else in the vicinity.

From exploring the new example written on the board and from the circulating during the class, we took the success criteria forward as being imperative for interesting and engaging build-ups in a story. This was co-constructed by the class and teacher meaning that the students knew exactly what each individual component means. It also gave the students a guide to what they should include next time they are writing the build-up in a story.

 Question asked to the class – What has been/can be used to create the tension and drama?

  • Use the senses
  • Say the reaction of the student (character reaction)
  • Say the teacher’s reaction (character reaction – possibly exaggerated)
  • Describe areas of distress

The success criteria we co-created

A good build-up will include:

  • Key points for interesting writing:
  • Not to give away too much information
  • Imagery – E.g. – personification, imagery, simile and metaphor
  • Use the senses throughout
  • How for emotions = use adverbs to develop what feelings you want to create
  • Building a mood using pathetic fallacy
  • Vary sentence starters effectively: no I, the, it, she, he to open
  • Use PANIC for opening sentence starters – Preposition, Adjective/adverb, Noun, ‘Ing’ words, Connective
  • You must self-edit

 Creating the Climax

We repeated the process above and stated that the build-up success criteria needed to be included in the success criteria for the climax and that they should continue to use these techniques in the climax of their story.

I wrote a poor example, for them to use if they needed the structure or said they could carry on from their build-up and then they wrote, while I circulated and spoke to them. At times, I stopped the class to read out an excellent example. Then, we feedback and co-constructed the success criteria of what a climax needs to be a climax

What does a good climax need?

  • Dramatic scene
  • Some kind of fight/argument
  • Something needs to happen
  • Something unexpected happens
  • Something naughty or that your character shouldn’t do

Creating the resolution or the conclusion

Again, as per the previous lessons, I followed the same structure and used questioning, feedback and modelling to elicit what the student were doing and how they were creating a workable, believable and engaging end to their story and then we created the success criteria.

What does a good conclusion or resolution need?

  • Needs to link to the rest of your story
  • Be memorable
  • Can resolve the problem or leave it on a cliff-hanger
  • Leave your story with something memorable
  • Use a technique: ellipsis, question or exclamation mark

The self-editing process

As the final part of the writing process, I said to students that we had worked on the creative process, but had not been too worried about the technical accuracy, which we could not ignore. So, as a class we discussed what we thought we would need to concentrate on and then began self-editing the stories thinking about the following:

Checking the whole story:

  • Develop detailed description across the story
  • You want your reader to be engaged with your character/events
  • Check SPAG
  • Sentences are varied – simple, complex and compound
  • Check you have not missed words out of the sentence
  • TIPTOP your paragraphs
  • It must be believable and engaging

As the final lesson to this slow writing process, I wanted students to show me that they understood exactly what they needed to do in order to write an effective story. As the final task, I asked them to spend a lesson writing about the whole process using meta-cognition.

Meta-cognition Task – Write a letter to yourself on how to approach creative writing in the exam

I gave minimal guidelines, but told them they needed to use paragraphs and that they needed to include the following information:

  • An introduction
  • How to write in 45 minutes in the exam
  • What makes a good clear engaging introduction?
  • What makes the build-up work?
  • What does a good climax look like?
  • Resolution / Ending
  • Top Tips

Sentence Starters were on the board, just to help them get started and an example of one of the letters produced is below (I asked the student for permission to publish this).

  • Remember,
  • Some things you need to think carefully about
  • This letter will…

The example from a student: 2018-07-06.png

What have I learnt about creative writing and teaching slowly?

Slowing down and breaking down the story into bite-sized chunks was an excellent way to approach this with this class.

Modelling a bad example was very effective as a springboard and scaffold for better writing for the students as they could see what not to do and they were confident that success was available to them, as surely they could do better than what was currently on the board. (I have had “you always model good examples” as feedback previously, so I took this on board and tried a different approach)

It fostered confidence in the students and they were able to see a good story developing.

Students were able to give it a go.

Painting a teacher (me) in this case in a poor light was really engaging for the students during the process and made them use excellent metaphors and similes in their writing as they brought to life my loud Scottish characteristics (even if there were lots of ‘no offence’ Miss comments as I read them).

Students have applied the process excellently in their next story “A Memorable Event” and I am quietly confident that they all have a believable and engaging story that works prepared.

It is hard to go slow, at times it was frustrating to see how little was on the page, but I had to remind myself that the point was crafting not racing through a story and then feeling disappointed that the elements I had taught didn’t combine at the end miraculously in an excellent story.

Crafting takes time and reminding the students that it is a process and that they can go through the process and still be unhappy with the end result, but that they can then edit it, was transformative for some students.

Having freely admitted to the class that creative writing is my least confident area, do I think that it is now fixed? The answer is no, probably not, but I feel like this approach worked for me. Also, it is with thanks to reading @teachgratitude1’s book ‘Slow Teaching’ as that inspired me to really think about this area of my teaching and to try and come up with a workable solution. On this occasion, I do feel happier with the way I have taught the creative writing element to the students.

Am I a creative writer?  No, not yet!

I hope that this has been useful in thinking about an approach to creative writing that may work with students struggling with this process.

Slow Planning & writing Copy of the slide below

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Why I Love…A beginner guide to the Eduqas Language Papers

There have been a few times over the past few months, where I have been asked about the nitty gritty of the Eduqas papers for Language. On those occasions, I have sent an e-mail to the person asking with a simple breakdown as an overview. I thought it might be useful to share that here and then if anyone asks it is already easy to access and should hopefully give people a quick guide, if and when they want it. I have also attached a more comprehensive guide to the Eduqas GCSE, which I made when the specification first came out and I wanted to know the minutiae, because as KS4 coordinator I knew that any questions on the GCSE would head my way and I wanted to be as ‘up to speed’ as I could.

The guide I created is here: Guide to 2015 ON GCSE EDUQAS

Language Paper 1 – Section A – Fiction Reading

This paper is split into two: 1 hour on reading skills divided by 5 questions (more on this below) and a 45 minute creative writing task (again more below)

Fiction Reading

Reading:

1 hour: Do each question in order

Students will be given an A4 (approximately) sized extract from a fiction text to read, comprehend, analyse and evaluate. The different expectations for each question are below.

A1 – List five things is short snappy answers. We prefer to recommend bullet point answers and for students not to use compound sentences. It is then clear for the examiner exactly what the information the student is stating. We recommend 5 + answers as the correct answers will be awarded, so it is worth putting a couple of extra answers in relation to the question, in case of repetition or wrong answers.

A2 – 5 quotes with concise points about how lang creates meaning – we recommend brief link to question – terminology – quote (short and snappy – one word is fine or short phrase)- meaning, connective to move on (5 mark question). This is an analysis based question and really needs to be concise, but to hit the high marks needs the terminology reference and what the language is doing. I think of it as the how? and why?

A3 – Same as A2 with 7 – 8 quotes and effect stipulated (&why to meaning). (10 mark question) Again, this is an analysis question but this time the effect is more predominant and students should be reminded to explore why the language has the effect consistently. For high range students they should accurately specify the terminology used, for mid range students they can analyse the language and still pick up good marks without the terminology. For that reason it is important not to get to hung up on terminology and certainly not to ‘spot it’. Also, being concise in the A2 – A3 – A4 is the dream. The students have a lot to cover in terms of quote analysis and if they can precisely specify in two sentences the effect of the language, with quote and terminology, then they are onto a winner. It is all about being concise and not using empty phrases or waffling in this exam.

A4 – structure/levels of tension – 7 – 8 quotes – same system as A2 and A3 with & the all important why? and how? the levels of tension increase/decrease. This is the structure and language analysis question and can be tricky for students, but if you remind them that it is effectively an A3 question with an element of structure analysis it is a good one for picking up marks. (10 mark question)

A5 – This is the evaluate question and is a bit trickier for students on the whole. We advise that the link to the question, use a quote and opinion about the quote as well as briefly explaining the meaning. We ask them to try to focus on 7 – 8 quotes across the whole text, explain that they can refer to techniques, but that tone tends to be more important in this question.

Finally for paper 1 reading, a really good answer can deal with a quote in 1 to 2 sentences for all A2 – A5 questions as they really need to be concise and specific to get to the heart of the meaning and cover the quotes.

Section B – Creative Writing for 45 minutes. 

Creative Writing – it should be engaging and believable, using an example of something that they have or are likely to have experienced. They are offered four separate prompts in the exam which they choose from. They should use the prompt, but quality of writing is really important and making sure that the reader is engaged.

This part of the exam is out of 40 marks, last 45 minutes and communication and organisation (the overall structure of the story and a cohesive plot) is worth 24 marks and 16 marks are awarded for SPAG and sentencing.

That is Paper 1 in a nutshell – I hope!

Language Paper 2 – Section A – Non-Fiction Reading 

Reading: Non-Fiction

This paper is split in two and lasts for two hours. The first hour is the reading paper and sticking to time and moving on from question to question is imperative in order to get all the questions answered. For section A the reading, there are two sources, one is a modern extract and one is a 19th century extract.

A1 – comprehension – select information this can be one word or a short phrase from the text or in own words. This is 3 short questions that offer the opportunity to offer quick precise selection of information from the text. (3 marks)

A2 Language Analysis – as per the A2/A3/A4 Fiction paper (exactly same system & concise) 7 – 8 quotes (10 marks). This is the non-fiction analysis question.

A3 – Inference needed and short simple sentence answers, 2 or 3 simple questions, that offer students the opportunity to write in a one sentence answer their idea linked to the question. There is some inference, but no analysis needed. (3 marks)

A4 – Evaluate in the same way as the fiction A5 question (exactly same system & concise), 7 – 8 quotes. (10 marks)

A5 – synthesis – bring together two examples from each extract and show how they are either similar or different – state this – there is no need to compare – System I use is – Link to question – text 1 quote similar/different – text 2 quote – brief summary of how they are the same different, connective to move on and same system again – short and to the point. (2 quotes from each text)

A6 – Refer to both sources and try to select 4 quotes from each text to compare using comparison connectives and thinking about how they are the same or different and why the writer used them in relation to the question.  The comparison can be fairly straightforward but should show an understanding of the main similarities and differences in the texts.

Non-Fiction – Section B – Transactional Writing (or writing for a purpose)

Writing: In this component of the exam the student have to write two non fiction texts that shows some development. They will be given two tasks and they are expected to do both. They have 30 minutes for each task and we recommend that they spend five minutes planning the task. They should consider the PAFT (purpose, audience, format and tone) really carefully and show understanding of technical accuracy.

Furthermore, the text types and purposes for each task will be different. They may be asked to inform and advise, persuade, entertain, describe or review. They will not be asked to do a leaflet and they may have to do a letter, speech, review, article, interview, blog or report (historically the one they find hardest).

Finally, they are being again assessed on their communication and organisation and their use of SPAG and sentencing for this but over the two tasks. They find sustaining quality difficult (often) over two tasks and this is something to bear in mind.

I really hope that this beginners guide to the Eduqas Language Exam is something that others will find useful and do let me know if you have any questions. I have immersed myself in this one for what feels like quite a long time!

Why I love… Combining live writing, metacognitive approaches & feedback

Recently, with Y12 and Y13, before they finished school of course, I have been pushing myself out of my comfort zone with writing at the same time as the class. There have been several beneficial spin offs as a result – more on this later.

Interestingly, each time I do write with Y12 and Y13 I don’t think, wonderful I’m great at this! Instead, I consistently think, that was really difficult. Then, invariably my mind goes into overdrive and I start to think about the following questions:

• Why was that difficult?
• Where did I flail during the essay?
• What was my thought process as different points in the essay?
• When did I realise I needed to add more AO3/AO5 – or whatever AO component into the essay?
• What did I find easy to do?
• How was my timing?

It is these types of self-reflection questions that I am working on with my classes as a result of the live writing process. Each time I have done the live writing process with the class I have shared the process in a range of ways: immediately and verbally; delayed and written; as a combination of the thought process verbally, written and as part of a feedback task.

We undertook a timed essay for Y12 on Unseen Prose, a process that the students are familiar with and I wrote it at the same time as them. Then, following the lesson I took the essays in and typed up my own essay and my thought process. I chose to segment my thought process into the 15-minute planning, mainly to foreground how important planning is in this type of essay and to separate the planning from the actual writing. See

Below for the whole document I shared with the class (a word document copy of the Unseen Passage is attached here for reference): The Invisible Man 2018 Unseen Practice

The Invisible Man – Live Written Example at the same time as the class.

Exploring characters (my focus in the essay) and my thought process for planning & writing the essay (my metacognitive approach)

15 minutes planning:

• highlighted key quotes/formulated ideas about the extract
• decided my focus – slightly conscious that the tension and drama was fairly calm and the science fiction element was not obvious at this point of the novel
• recognise that there are clear juxtapositions in the way the characters are dressed and behave – 3 characters, 1 – stranger, 1 – landlady and 1 maid – thought about why this is important – perhaps the two very ordinary characters are a contrast to the aura of mystery in the Invisible Man (title useful to use – perhaps?)

Writing the Essay:

• Conscious of the need to plan my structure more effectively
• Got stuck in straight away – having a key focus was useful – exploring the characters
• Recognised I needed to focus on terminology more and tried to embed this
• Lacking in critics – so I consciously chose to include alternative opinions if I could and the one critic view that I found in the 2 context snippets
• It was difficult to write – I felt at times that I may be repeating myself!

Your Task:

Annotate for the AOs as you go through the essay

Then answer the following based on your reading of the essay:

Kindness – What is done well in the essay (strongest AO and why?)

Curiosity – What would you like more of in this essay?

Determination – What would you recommend is worked on in this essay?

Next steps – Read your own essay and feedback. Decide on your own:

Kindness point – What is done well in the essay (strongest AO and why?)

Curiosity point – What would you like more of in this essay/what would you do differently next time?

Determination – What would you recommend you work on in your essay?
The Essay

In the text “The Invisible Man” by H G Wells the characters are shown as juxtaposing between a man or person who appears very private and the owner or proprietor of the public house ‘Mrs Halls’ who is open and friendly. The other character ‘Millie’ is presented, as being servant-like Wells seems to suggest there is an aura of mystery surrounding the guest.

In the opening line “The stranger came in February, one wintry day” which sets up with pathetic fallacy, a sense of the unknown, the ‘stranger’ gives and is given no name, suggesting he wants to remain unknown. Also, the time of year is cold, the weather is “biting wind”, and “driving snow” which implies the time of the year and weather is inhospitable and should deter people from catching the train to “Iping”. A “guest to stop in the wintertime was unheard of piece of good luck” reinforcing that this is an out of the way place and readers could infer that the “stranger” is deliberately looking for somewhere out of the ordinary to stay. This point could be supported by the supported by the coursehero context which “Wells depicts characters from the country, who tend to be religious, superstitious, and accepting of the supernatural.” As this link may foreshadow the later Sci-Fi genre of the story and account for the presentation of the man as if he has something to hide.

Mrs Hall appears to be presented as hospitable and kind, if perhaps a little surprised at the unknown guest. Her questioning and polite tone “Can I take your coat, sir?” is befitting that of a landlady, as is the haste with which “resolves to show herself worthy of her good fortune” which reinforces the earlier idea of the characterisation of “characters from the country” by Wells as more “compassionate and community orientated”. Mrs Halls appears immediately concerned for the wellbeing of her guest and despite his abrupt “No” she almost repeats her question to him. This again reinforces the feeling that the character is slightly out of place and wants to be left alone. Alternatively, it could suggest he has had a long journey and just wants to relax now that he has arrived at his destination. The way the guest responds “with emphasis” broaches no argument from the landlady and makes the stranger appear to have an air of authority about him. Furthermore, a sens of distress or acknowledgement that she is not welcome is given in the onomatopoeia of Mrs Hall “in a quick staccato” lays the rest of the table for his dinner. Therefore, implying she has recognised the unfriendly demeanour of the traveller. One of the characteristics of the second context is that of “a journey or quest motif” and this seems to be emerging here in “The Invisible Man” as the character has just arrived “walking from Bramble Hurst railway station” showing that he is either starting his journey or quest or ending it. However, it would appear from the mysterious aura surrounding his arrival at a common place boarding house or public house that this may be the start of his journey and that he is looking for somewhere specific.

Another aspect of the characterisation of the man that appear interesting is; the descriptive prose used to describe the protagonists manner of dress. He is shrouded in mystery shown through the listing of his clothing and the developed detail specifying how these clothes hide every inch of his appearance. He is “wrapped up from head to toe “ and a “soft felt hat hid every inch of his face” creating the impression that he has something to hide or that he has some kind of feature that stands out. One critic suggests that Wells “earned him the title of one of the father’s of Science fiction” and while this extract certainly shows Wells as an accomplished creator of character, there isn’t a huge amount of support for this critical viewpoint. Although the title itself “The Invisible Man” creates imagery of the man being bundled up in clothes in order to hide the very fact that he is human, but cannot be seen by the naked eye, save for when clothes cover his body. Perhaps, this is why Wells chooses to over elaborate on the appearance of the man “big blues spectacles” as this noun phrase indicates that the man’s features would not be visible as a result of the vast size and colour of the glasses. Perhaps, the clothes and appearance of “the stranger” are deliberate symbols of this supernatural being trying to fit in and appear normal and the same as everyone else. Wells is able to manipulate the “emerging genre (Science Fiction)” while still promoting a character who appears at first glimpse from this extract ordinary but stand offish, reinforcing the idea that he has something to hide. Again Mrs Hall appears to be the only character to comment on the main character with the simile “like a man of stone” which indicates an unnatural stillness about him.

The final character to discuss is Millie, the maid, who is described as “lymphatic” which implies that she is ill and or not very good at her job. This impression is reinforced by the use of plosives “brisked up a bit with a few deftly chosen expressions of contempt” showing that she is a minor character who perhaps emphasises the judgemental temperament of Mrs Hall, who is the person offering contempt” towards Millie. Although Millie and Mrs Hall are serving the man, they appear to be used nby Wells to offer an insight into what “the stranger” is like. In the final line of the extract, the man’s demeanour is again questionable, as he doesn’t move “until she was closing the door “with the verb “closing” implying a desire for privacy.

Overall, it appears Wells chooses to use the drab and commonplace maid Millie and the nosy, bustling and interested Mrs Hall as characters whose very ordinariness make the man seem much more strange than he may otherwise. The characterisation of the stranger by Wells also appears to be a deliberate choice to show that he is out of place, slightly sinister and not a character that would normally appear, at this time of year in “Iping”. This reinforces the context segment two’s stipulation that “Science Fiction was still in its early development during the late 19th Century” and this would be supported by the very fact the man is made to appear very ordinary with a strange set of behaviours that mark him out as different.

Copy of The example essay and thought process from above is linked here:  Example – 2018The Invisible Man

To set up the lesson I used a word document with information that I selected from the exam board feedback on this component of the exam and asked the students to explain in bullet points and their own words exactly what the exam board recommended. I took feedback from the students and questioned them on their understanding of the points the exam board made and prompted them to link it to prior learning that we had undertaken, hints and tips that I had mentioned in class previously and to the AOs.

Copy of the Word Document here: What did the examiner say about Unseen Prose

Then, I gave the students the feedback and thought process document that I had written and got the students to work on annotating the AOs in the essay, using a blank AO template from the exam board specifications. I then asked them to peer assess for Kindness, Curiosity and Determination, which are the school values. Again, I took feedback from the class and got them to explain then what they thought their main AO focus was going to be in the feedback that I gave them.

With the thought process or the metacognition work that I had undertaken at the top of the essay I explained the importance of the invisible thinking that goes on when under pressure to write a timed essay. I asked them to be keeping in mind exactly what they need to do the next time they are writing an essay in timed conditions and to be thinking about the different AOs and tips and hints that they knew. It was easier to explain in the lesson, but I was trying to get the students to understand that if they have the mechanics of writing a good essay embedded in their memory, then the actual writing process will become easier. Also, by sharing my own insecurities about the work I had done, I was hoping to model that it is okay to feel uncertain and to not have covered everything every time.

Then, I gave back the marked examples and asked the students to undertake the AO annotation process and to self-assess their work in relation to the praise comments and the targets I had given them. Then, with the blank AO sheet I asked them to tick where they thought they were at that time (unanimously, they were harsh with their marks). Once and as they were doing this I circulated round the class speaking to each of the individuals and discussed their individual targets and put my grade ticks onto each of the AOs. This showed them the mark that I would have allocated for their essays and hopefully, that they were doing themselves a bit of a disservice by marking their work so harshly.

For the final part of this feedback/metacognition/live modelling inspired lesson, I gave the students a new Unseen Prose passage with context and critics (see attached: ) and asked them to spend the 15 minutes they would have in the exam planning their question focus and the response. During this planning they were to keep in mind the specific targets that they had been set in my marking feedback and what they had specifically decided to focus on.

Finally, I set the unseen passage as homework for them to improve on the unseen prose responses that they had completed in timed conditions. I will mark and feedback on this with their previous targets in mind and hopefully when I hand back the essays we will see some progress on those targets.

Copy of the Sherlock Holmes Unseen Prose passage attached here: SherlockHolmes Unseen 2018 Practice

The spin off benefits

The spin off benefits that I mentioned earlier are: an understanding as a teacher of the potential pitfalls for the students; knowing the invisible thinking that needs to be happening in students minds when writing; understanding the balancing act that juggling the AOs requires; focuses me to look at the height of my expectations for several things not least the amount written and the analytical detail written in; it offers the opportunity to feedback the metacognitive thought process; it offers the opportunity to feedback (a hopefully) decent model; we have the chance to evaluate as a class why certain elements are difficult and the students know that I am 100% aware of what they mean; I can empathise with the cramps in the hands; I can empathise with how draining that level of concentration is; it makes me think more carefully about the process; it makes me think about the forward planning and how to effectively make use of the live written model; I think that the students appreciate me writing at the same time as them and it helps them in the long run. I am in no way saying that I am a perfect analytical writer and I make that clear to the students, but hopefully the process is useful for them and it helps them learn more and better, because I am with them every step of the way.

Hopefully, this is a useful look into this multi-faceted Y12 lesson and that if nothing else, the resources are useful. Thanks for reading.

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Why I love… Reviewing “Closing the Vocabulary Gap” by Alex Quigley @huntingenglish

This is my fifth Edu Read this year and although we are well into June, this is actually my May review (I think exam season was a tad busy!) The other Edu Book Reviews can be linked here: Inspired by @teachergratitude an Education Read a month for 2018

With thanks to Alex Quigley @huntingenglish for writing the book – a pleasure to read and as this tweet suggests one to continue thinking about:

What is it? 

It is a book which explores the importance of vocabulary, not just in English, but across the whole school. The book offers a plethora of useful and easy to implement ideas about how to explore vocabulary more consistently with students and to foster a culture of “word consciousness”.

As a teacher of English I like to think that I am embedding strategies within my lessons consistently to foster this word consciousness that Alex talks about, however there are so many other ways to embed this and to engage with this fostering of vocabulary acquisition in the book that I hadn’t thought about or that were not perhaps as systematic as I could perhaps make them. My understanding of vocabulary is embedded within my mental schematics and this can make it hard to understand when a student misrepresents or misunderstands or misuses a word, however, this book helps to look under the surface of the mental schematics and starts to look at how ‘good’ readers became ‘good’.

Alex looks at roots of words and how knowing these can have the potential to unlock knowledge of whole word families for students. He looks at academic vocabulary, which can often remain an alien concept to students all the way through school, as well as Tiers of vocabulary that we can use for negotiating the different classrooms that our students navigate daily.

Why is it useful? 

Again, it offers a range of strategies, helps to look at the tiers of vocabulary that we expect students to use, references the range of academic language that students are faced with across a school day and offers ways to implement these into lessons.

It forces you to think about whether students are fully engaged and understanding the words that we use daily in our own classroom context and if they are not – challenges us to look into adapting the way we work.

Importantly, the book is not about vocabulary in the subject domain of English only, the book reinforces the importance of vocabulary knowledge and understanding across the curriculum and is as important in an Art or Design Tech class as it is in a History, Science or Maths class.  For this reason it is a book that I think every teacher should read.

Why you should read it? 

Put simply: we are all teachers, we are therefore all teachers of reading, which means that we are all teachers of vocabulary. If we want to encourage out students to do the best that they can and be the best that they can be, then applying consistently some of the strategies references in the book will make a big difference to the outcomes for students.

Alex discusses the disadvantage gap in the book as well, and using vocabulary building strategies is one way I think we can lessen that gap. Not only that, the knock on effect of using some of the strategies could be really powerful in unlocking subjects for the students.

The books is very well written, accessible and steeped in research. For that reason, as well the fact that it confirms some of the good practice that we already use, which I think is always a bonus, it has been a pleasure to read as confirmation of existing good work and new learning gained from reading it. Sometimes, I know I am doing something that works and I know why it works for me, but it is nice to see that the research supports the methods I am using in my classroom.

Knowing words makes me feel intelligent and I’m sure that this must be true of students and if spending a couple of hours reading this book helps to engage us all in unlocking the potential benefits of explicit vocabulary teaching and steers us away from just assuming a bank of vocabulary in our subjects is enough to help students, then this will have been a worthwhile couple of hours.

The book has already got me thinking about how I can engage with vocabulary more systematically and how I can use the potential of words to unlock the mysteries of my subject and I think that reading the book has the potential to do that for everyone.

Finally, the book inspired me as I was reading it and in order to not lose the inspiration I did a bit of preliminary work that I will hopefully be able to use next year: Vocabulary Blog – Part 2 – Inspired by “Closing the Vocabulary Gap” 

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Why I love… Romeo and Juliet – Aiming high

https://twitter.com/Tom_Briars/status/1008039257334837250

This tweet from Tom got me really thinking about what I do with my highest ability students when teaching Romeo and Juliet. I tend to teach to the top with every text and then differentiate to ensure that students of all abilities are able to learn to the best standard they can and still access the text.

I’m in the process of creating Act by Act 5 in 5 minutes starter activities for the whole play see below (I will share the resource when I have finished it – I’m currently on A2S3, so another week or so to go). However, I am aware that the reasoning behind these is not to stretch and challenge the most able, instead it is for the following purposes: ensuring students have an act by act understanding of the plot, ensuring students have actively studied all the characters by using quotes that the students explore in the questions, retention of knowledge, recapping and revisiting prior knowledge, ensuring that students have an active revision tool that they can use in class and through the Weebly, where the PowerPoint will be uploaded. It has also been a really useful learning process for me as it forces me to synthesise what I think is the most relevant information in the play and select this and create questions that will help the students with the foci I mentioned in this paragraph. A copy of this 62 slide 5 in 5 PowerPoint is now ready and attached here (I had to change the picture as it kept making the PP unstable!): 5 in 5 R&J – Whole Play & Vocabulary key words

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Tom’s tweet for resources really made me think and I have got a plethora of resources for Romeo and Juliet, some that I have made, some that have been shared by the department and some that I have tweaked as a result of the brilliant collaborations. The following aiming higher ideas may be useful and are in no particular order, but I hope that they are useful, plus thanks to Tom for making me think about this in more detail.

The following is some of the ways that I have tried to challenge students with the play:

What is in a name? resource, was a useful resource to get students thinking about the significance of names in the play and forces students to think carefully about the construction of the play and Shakespeare’s intentions. What is in a name

Courtly Love resource – I did this just last week with Y9 and explored Act 1 Scene 5 with the class through the 3 questions at the top of the resource. They were brilliant, and the mixed ability class rose to the challenge of finding a range of quotations for question 2 and 3. There was no fancy PowerPoint or resources, just the text, me and a board pen and the students focusing on exploring the text using the word document. Courtly Love in Romeo and Juliet

Language, language and language – every time I speak to the class or they identify a quote from the play, I will embed the technique as I am speaking to them about the text. This engagement has been really useful as students are now embedding the language knowledge when they talk and discuss the play and they are actively asking about the techniques being used and why they have been used.

Questioning – I have discussed the syntax and the difficulty of the language with the class and asked them to actively challenge me with questions on the play and to create their own hypothesises about the meaning in the play. They then can ask me or each other if they think they have the correct idea or not. This then forms the basis for individual, paired or group and whole class discussions on what is happening and why it is happening like this.

Themes – we unpicked the themes using the prologue as a starting point and are now using this knowledge to unpick what themes are being explored by Shakespeare as we go along. By constantly referencing these we are beginning to synthesise the ideas that Shakespeare uses the most. This is done mostly through questioning as we go along.

Explicit teaching of footnotes – I’ve explained very clearly how to use the footnotes in the play to help the students create meaning and understand the play. While this might seem really obvious it isn’t something that I have done previously as explicitly and it has drastically reduced the amount of questions about what something means, as the students know exactly how to refer to the footnotes and use them to help them be more independent in their learning and their knowledge of the play.

Using triplets – I may have explored this previously (see here) however I think the use of triplets to analyse characters and events and themes is really useful. I ask students as we go along to explore the subtle changes in characterisation through the use of triplets to explore the character at that particular point in the play.

Modelling – Again this is something that I have previously explored (see here) but instead of expecting students to know how to write about Shakespeare independently I will create a success criteria: Link to the question, terminology, quote, meaning, effect, zoom in, writers’ intentions, alternative opinions and then model an answer, so that students are able to understand exactly how to answer the type of question they will face. After modelling I will unpick with the class (by annotating) on the board the steps that have been included and I will make explicit that the students should only do the stages they feel confident with. I’ll also underline sentence starter help in the model that they can use if they need to.

Learning Grids – After teaching the whole play I will use a learning grid like this: to explore the whole play and get students to work on their understanding. This is great as a revision resource and it gets the students to discuss the play and their knowledge and understanding.R&J Learning Grid

The role of the Law in A1S1 – This quick PowerPoint shows an example of a typical lesson for Law and for the Courtly Love example from above. I typed it up as the lesson progressed as I realised that we were going to need a bit more time on each of the lessons, so it is a quick non-fancy PP that reflects the work that I wrote on the board that lesson. We looked at the Prince’s speech in detail and explored how law is different today to what it was like in Shakespearean times. The Role of the Law in A1 S1 [Autosaved]

5-minute essay planning examples – these are done live with the class and then I ask the students to create their own using a range of different essay questions. 5 Minute Planning Tasks from5 Min Essay Plan examples

Examples and metacognition – Exploring how to approach the extracts using metacognition, something that I have explored before (see here) and then using examples to show students how to approach the different parts of the exam. For Eduqas the exam is Extract only and then whole play essay. Love in Romeo and Juliet – Live Model

I am sure that there are other ways that can help to aim higher with Romeo and Juliet and I may even add some more to this post, but I hope that this is useful.

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