11/5/23 Roundup – English (all year groups)

Revision sessions

In the next two weeks, we have the following sessions running. These are really useful sessions to refine exam technique, increasing confidence in saying the right thing for each question. Remember, the first Literature exam is Wednesday 17th May: Mrs Hunt and others will be available before school for last minute preparation from 8am.

Revision suggestions Year 11:

We’re nearing the Literature exams now. Watch out on Talaxy for “10 day revision” packs for each of your set texts – each daily sheet should take 15 minutes or so, and we recommend focusing on the text you find most challenging… or you could always do them all! Remember, little and often is the key. For Literature, remember you need to show an understanding of the plot and its meaning, key methods and quotations used by the author(s), and – for set texts – an understanding of the social / historical and literary contexts of the text(s) which includes the author’s message

Romeo and Juliet: The famous sonnet

If you watched the King’s Coronation Concert this last weekend, you might have recognised the famous sonnet from Romeo and Juliet, featured in an amazing collaboration between The Royal Ballet, The Royal Opera, the Royal College of Music and the Royal College of Art. 

Catch up on iPlayer (from 46:20): https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m001lt2m/the-coronation-of-tm-the-king-and-queen-camilla-the-coronation-concert (free account needed)

Watch Ncuti Gatwa (Dr.Who!) discuss the interpretation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJb-c9XwWCg

Then, use it to consolidate lesson work / exam preparation as suggested below:

Year 9 students – Can you identify the features of a sonnet, and say why you think Shakespeare used one for this highly emotional moment? Treating it an unseen, can you identify the meaning of the sonnet, and any methods Shakespeare uses? Bonus music challenge: did you spot the use of “West Side Story” in the musical accompaniment? Can you identify the instruments used, and why these have been chosen? 

Year 10 students – you could use this to help prepare for Y10 exams… Can you explain why this is such an important moment in the play? Can you link this out to another sonnet / another moment in the play where Romeo and Juliet express emotion? Can you bring in what you know about the literary contexts of sonnets?

Year 11 students – if this were your exam extract, what do you think the question would be? Which image(s) could you explore, and how could you link them to similar images elsewhere in the play? What is the central metaphor used, and why?

Post 16 students – if this were in an unseen poem, or in the “love and relationships” analysis, how could you apply what you know about the literary and social contexts of Shakespeare? In what way are the lovers here presented similarly/differently to Othello and Desdemona?

Bedrock shoutouts

A huge shoutout to 9HD and 9HS  – both leading the way in Bedrock points for the first week of May. Remember, we expect all Y9 students to earn their 20 points each week, as this not only supports work in all subjects this year, but it also provides an excellent vocabulary base to support GCSE study and beyond. Work of the week

Mrs Bell would like to highlight Y13 Language students, who have been refining their exam technique and independent annotation skills. In the exam, they will be given a short extract of children’s spoken language, and they need to be able to identify a wide range of features including phonology (how children are pronouncing particular words, and why), grammar (where children are using non-standard grammar constructions, and why) as well as the fun bits of children’s word choices. Not only that, they then need to use this data to evaluate how true a particular statement is about children’s language – it’s not an easy task and they are really rising to the challenge. Great work, Year 13!

Carnegie Reading Group: Y9

‘The Eternal Return’’: After witnessing the death of Clara, Spence finds himself caught in an endless time loop where he is forced to relive and re-evaluate the same 24 hours which culminates in Clara’s death. Soon he finds himself questioning the behaviour of the people he holds most dear. Are there ways Spence can influence and change the outcome?

This week Leo posted a review of ‘The Eternal Return’ which has gained a mixed response from our group, as Leo expresses below.

‘I mostly enjoyed this book and I will now explain why I MOSTLY enjoyed it. I found the aspect of how each time Spence respawned, he tried to learn from his mistakes and be better each time. I also liked how the author changed the day subtly each time which kept the reader interested and on their feet in a way. I mostly enjoyed the book as the ending ruins it. I feel it had nothing to do with the story whatsoever and felt like an imposter amongst the story. I feel the story would be better if the book ended with Spence and Clara being happy with one another and end on a positive but alas it doesn’t. Overall, I enjoyed this book and felt it started strongly, carried on and had the potential to go out with a bang but the ending was a real disappointment.’


Next meeting: Tuesday 16th May in A14 at 1.25. Please can everyone in the group attend to swap books and reviews. Thanks for all of your efforts with these great books!

Mrs Baldwin

One thought on “11/5/23 Roundup – English (all year groups)

  1. Pingback: 14/5/23 Roundup – Key messages & Term dates (all year groups) | Thomas Alleyne's high school

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