Friday, September 28, 2012

Introductions to literary essays

Here is a useful presentation on how pupils' literary essays can learn from fiction:-

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Macbeth 3: Act I scene 3 - 'supernatural soliciting'

This is the third in a series of analyses of key moments in Macbeth via the iPad app ShowMe.

Here is Macbeth's first soliloquy, in which he shows his fascination with the 'imperial theme'.

'Porch Swing in September'

Our second Poem of the Week this term, and the 72nd overall, is 'Porch Swing in September', nipping in just before the end of the month. See more on Ted Kooser, former Poet Laureate of the United States, here.

For Better For Verse

The University of Virginia has an interesting and unusual resource that may be helpful for pupils and teachers of poetry. 'For Better For Verse' is "an interactive learning tool that can help you understand what makes metered poetry in English tick". You can analyse accentual-syllabic verse by poets including Thomas Hardy, Shelley and Emily Dickinson

The Instructions are under a tab here here and need some careful study.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Macbeth 2: Act I scene 2 - 'disdaining Fortune'

This is a series of analyses of key moments in Macbeth via the iPad app ShowMe.

Here, a soldier describes how Scotland has been rescued from disaster in battle by the 'worthy' and 'valiant' Macbeth.

Friday, September 21, 2012

'Macbeth' 1: Act 1 scene i - 'Fair is Foul'

This is a series of analyses of key moments in Macbeth via the iPad app ShowMe. In this famous opening scene, we see images of turbulence and confusion.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Poem of the Week

Today we resume the Poem of the Week scheme: we post the poem around the College, and read it in English classes. Poem of the Week number 71 is one recited from memory by Mr Swift in his talk this morning in Chapel encouraging pupils to enter the Poetry Aloud 2012 competition. He said he first came across 'Sea of Faith' by John Brehm (above) during his teacher training course.

Mr Swift also recited W.B. Yeats's 'The Fish' and (very briefly of course, to finish off with), Ogden Nash's 'The Fly':-

The Fish

Although you hide in the ebb and flow
Of the pale tide when the moon has set,
The people of coming days will know
About the casting out of my net,
And how you have leaped times out of mind
Over the little silver cords,
And think that you were hard and unkind,
And blame you with many bitter words.

The Fly

God in his wisdom made the fly
And then forgot to tell us why.

Pupils can get full details of Poetry Aloud from their teacher, or here.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Superb New Reading Technology

Pupils will be excited by this brilliant new technology for processing information:-

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Junior Certificate results, 2012

Many congratulations to our candidates in the 2012 Junior Certificate exams on their excellent results.

In English,

92% of all our candidates sat the exam at Higher Level.

34% of all candidates achieved an 'A' at Higher Level.
66% of all candidates achieved a 'B' or 'A' at Higher Level.
86% of all candidates achieved a 'C' or 'B' or 'A' at Higher Level.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Choosing the Extended Essay, 2012

Transition Year pupils are currently making choices of books for your major piece of work this term, the Extended Essay. Here is much advice which may help; many of these books are in the Library, and if not the Librarian can get them for you. You will also be given a paper copy.

This and other documents can always be accessed under 'Department Documents' in the right-hand column of this site.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Bill Clinton's Convention speech

Here is a fascinating and valuable resource for studying rhetoric and modern political speech-making - the text of Bill Clinton's speech proposing President Barack Obama for the Democration nomination again at the Convention in Charlotte.

The original speech is in black, with deletions in red and additions in blue. Tracking all these changes gives a vivid insight into Clinton's intentions and expertise as a speaker, and the choices he made as he responded to his audience.

Below, a recording of the whole speech.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Transition Year English course, 2012-13

This afternoon, our latest cohort of Transition Year pupils start on their English Course. Culminating in May 2013, they will tackle an exciting mix of long essay work, reading, literature study and creative writing. Click here for the full course.

The main aims of this course are:

  • To bridge the considerable divide between Junior and Leaving Certificate work, focussing on areas which will help pupils mature and become more sophisticated readers and writers. In the words of our College TY policy: “The academic momentum of pupils should be maintained (and indeed increased) to provide a suitable bridge between the type of work associated with the Junior Certificate and the more demanding Leaving Certificate courses.”
  • To open pupils’ eyes to the potential of self-directed learning, especially in the major Extended Essay project. Transition Year policy document: "Pupils gain the ability to take greater responsibility for their own learning and decision-making.” And “it is important to note that an emphasis is placed on exploring different methods of teaching, learning and assessment.”
  • To emphasise the importance of experimentation in writing, and of revision and redrafting of work.
  • To encourage more academic self-awareness about English, especially in the Extended Essay, the Work Portfolio process and the pupils’ course and self-assessment in June.
  • To broaden the reading of all pupils.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

'The Great Gatsby' resources

The Times Educational Supplement and its English site are currently drawing attention to its Great Gatsby teaching resources. Prominent among these are our own video/audio annotations via ShowMe (more coming soon on Macbeth). Our VI form this year will be tackling Gatsby as part of their comparative module.

Monday, September 03, 2012

7 years a-blogging

And so we head into our 7th academic year blogging...

Coming up this term, lots of book reviews by Transition Year pupils, our first-ever self-published Junior Certificate textbook, our first-ever Whole School Evaluation, a new series of Macbeth ShowMe demonstrations for revision, more special Macbeth revision resources, more podcasts, plenty of news of the College musical Fiddler on the Roof, and much more of all things English.