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Reading the Will: Chapter 2 of “Jekyll and Hyde”

In Chapter 2 of “The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde”, the reliable (if somewhat dull) Mr Utterson extricates his friend’s will from the safe, and recoils at its unusual contents; if Jekyll dies or disappears, his estate will be inherited by the villainous and mysterious Hyde – whose violent attack on aContinue reading “Reading the Will: Chapter 2 of “Jekyll and Hyde””


Visualising our Year 11 Journey

As Head of Year 11, last week I created a roadmap for our students to help them visualise their journey to the end of the academic year. This journey involves high expectations and challenge, underpinned by continued support for wellbeing, mental health, careers education, and revision – and the roadmap demonstrates how staff are goingContinue reading “Visualising our Year 11 Journey”

Making Homework Meaningful at Key Stage 4

One of the most frustrating times of the week is homework day – for students, teachers, and parents or carers. My day will probably begin with checking my emails, to find one sent late the previous evening by a student who can’t find the worksheet or the instructions for the task set the previous week.Continue reading “Making Homework Meaningful at Key Stage 4”

Writing a novel is a political act: narrative voice in “The Kite Runner”

In the foreword to the 10th anniversary edition of The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini wrote that “it’s quite an honour when readers tell me that this novel helped put a personal face on Afghanistan for them”. This sentence articulates the central concept of this best-selling novel: the desire to make history human. In many ways,Continue reading “Writing a novel is a political act: narrative voice in “The Kite Runner””

Revision strategies: create a revision book

This revision activity is a slow-burner, and is something that students might work on over a number of weeks or months. It is also important to make sure that students aren’t simply copying out information – the process of selection, refinement, and retrieval that I outline below will maximise their ability to retain the informationContinue reading “Revision strategies: create a revision book”

“Othello”: unmissable quotations (part 2)

6. “Reputation, reputation, reputation! O I have lost my reputation! I have lost the immortal part of myself and what remains is bestial.” (Cassio, Act 2 Scene 3) This scene is a key turning point of the play as in it Shakespeare presents the characters poised on the brink of chaos. The drunken brawl –Continue reading ““Othello”: unmissable quotations (part 2)”

“Othello”: unmissable quotations (part 1)

I recently created a list of my unmissable quotations from “The Kite Runner”, aimed to help students revise key concepts and analysis. As a follow-on from that, here is the first half of my list of top quotations from “Othello”. 1. “Even now, now, very now, an old black ram is tupping your white ewe.”Continue reading ““Othello”: unmissable quotations (part 1)”

The Kite Runner: 3 unmissable quotations

When writing about literature, I often find that I return to the same quotations repeatedly, perhaps because they resonate across the fabric of the text and articulate the key concepts the writer is communicating. These quotations are often ideal to include in exam essays, as they tend to be both rich and malleable (that is,Continue reading “The Kite Runner: 3 unmissable quotations”

Book Reflection: 3 things I’ve learnt from “Leadership” by Stephen Tierney

“Leadership: Being, Knowing, Doing” is the product of many years of headship, which Stephen Tierney has distilled into a set of guiding principles (Ways of Being, Ways of Knowing, and Ways of Doing). At once richly thoughtful and informed by practical, real-world examples, this book is an interesting read for aspiring and experienced leaders. HereContinue reading “Book Reflection: 3 things I’ve learnt from “Leadership” by Stephen Tierney”

Book Reflection: 5 things I’ve learned from “Why Don’t Students Like School?”

Daniel Willingham’s seminal book, Why Don’t Students Like School?, is a foundational text for modern pedagogy. This introduction to cognitive science for the classroom is at once robustly-researched, thought-provoking, and unerringly practical. Yet, how many of us who diligently read this book as trainee teachers have returned to it later on in our careers? PickingContinue reading “Book Reflection: 5 things I’ve learned from “Why Don’t Students Like School?””