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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”

Revision Strategies: Killer Quotations

This revision strategy is all about helping students to see how they can use killer quotations to answer almost any question that comes up on the Literature paper exam. The trick here is to select quotations that are malleable and resonant, as well as having potential for rich analysis. It is worth spending time consideringContinue reading “Revision Strategies: Killer Quotations”

Revision Strategies: Working with WAGOLLS

Using WAGOLLS (What A Good One Looks Like) or model answers in lessons is an essential component of exam preparation. When I use them in lessons, I usually work through the same process with occasional variations. I work with the class to write a WAGOLL under the visualiser, which I then photocopy for the nextContinue reading “Revision Strategies: Working with WAGOLLS”

Revision strategies: post-its

This is an activity which focusses on getting students talking. It requires them to embed key words and quotations into verbal summaries of texts, and the range of tasks ensures that there are plenty of opportunities for rehearsal. Step 1: preparation Give each student between 5 and 10 post-its, depending on how long you wouldContinue reading “Revision strategies: post-its”

Revision strategies: snap

This particular revision activity takes a bit of preparation as it requires sets of cards. Of course, you could ask students to make the cards themselves. Whether you pass the responsibility on to them or do it yourself, the result is a game that is great for prompting students to make meaningful connections across theContinue reading “Revision strategies: snap”

Revision strategies: stop the bus

Once you have got the hang of this activity, this revision strategy is a quick and easy one to use in the classroom. It prompts students to retrieve vocabulary and justify their choices, to talk meaningfully with their partner and to the class, and to think on their feet. Step 1: set up Direct studentsContinue reading “Revision strategies: stop the bus”

How can we overcome barriers to reading?

This morning I hosted a discussion on twitter about barriers to reading, and how we can overcome these in the classroom. The responses from teachers about issues around reading were fast and furious, and can be roughly categorised into these groups: Students are often reluctant to read for pleasure – life is busy, and readingContinue reading “How can we overcome barriers to reading?”

Revision strategies: one sheet summaries

Like many of us, I am in the midst of revision with my exam classes, and so I am constantly on the look out for activities which will be both meaningful and provide a break from crunching exam questions. One strategy I enjoy is the one sheet summary. I can’t take the credit – norContinue reading “Revision strategies: one sheet summaries”

Using booklets in teaching A Level English Literature

The Covid pandemic has accelerated a huge rise in a particular method of delivering learning: the booklet. Almost overnight, teachers across the country printed off their worksheets and extracts in booklet form, hurriedly handing them to students as they walked out of the school gates in March 2020, or driving the length and breadth ofContinue reading “Using booklets in teaching A Level English Literature”