Halloween Secondary Resources from Beyond the Grave

Trick or treat? It’s that time of year again when things go bump in the night! Whatever happens by jack-o-lantern light this Halloween, make sure to prize open our crypt-full of Halloween secondary resources and add a terrifying twist to your Maths, English, and Science lessons… Continue reading Halloween Secondary Resources from Beyond the Grave

secondary resources: a shelf full of books

Beyond’s Latest & Greatest Secondary Resources

Did you know that in between teaching, ranting, and blogging, we also create secondary teaching resources! If you’re looking to plug some gaps in your lesson plan, need some inspiration, or fancy having some evenings to yourself this week, dive in and take a look at some of our latest and greatest resources. Continue reading Beyond’s Latest & Greatest Secondary Resources

Would You Pass a Memory Test?

It’s a disturbing irony that the idea for this blog post originally came to me on the way to work and I’d contrived to forget it by home time! I had to rack my brain to dredge it back up. The same thing sometimes happens with words, which is not a good look for an English teacher. The most embarrassing memory lapse to date was forgetting the word ‘syllable’ in front of Y8. Fast approaching my fifth decade, I accept it as a sad fact of life that the memory slowly deteriorates. Then again, were my youthful powers of recollection … Continue reading Would You Pass a Memory Test?

The Value of ‘Said’

In learning, certain things have value don’t they? Maths is full of them. 3.14 for example – That’s the value of pi. I know that one. But when we look at English, how do we value words? Are there some words and phrases that are intrinsically more useful than others? What for example is the value of the word ‘said’ in writing? If my son’s primary school teachers are to be believed there isn’t any. It may be one of the top 100 words used in the English language but its value in writing is negated greatly when it comes … Continue reading The Value of ‘Said’

In Defence of the Controversial Opinion

I was recently browsing through Twitter and a particular thread caught my eye. It was a post asking readers to give their most unpopular, even sacrilegious, literary opinion. In the comments below was a cacophony of spicy takes: fan fiction and Young Adult literature are as important as classic novels! Ebooks are better than paper! Dog-earing pages is fine! Some films are better than the book! As I scanned through, I found myself nodding in agreement with some, while others made the colour rise in my cheeks as I struggled to contain the urge to reply with a tirade about … Continue reading In Defence of the Controversial Opinion

In Defence of Paper: I’ll Be Keeping Stig of the Dump

If you ever find time to Netflix and chill in amongst all the planning and assessment, you might have caught Marie Kondo’s Tidying Up, in which the Japanese organising consultant compels viewers to de-clutter their lives and homes. Now, I am conscious that my classroom would undoubtedly benefit from the trained eye of a professional organising consultant, although I doubt a teacher’s salary would stretch to such expertise. What I – and numerous other bibliophiles – take issue with is Kondo’s minimalist dictum stating that book collections should be limited to 30. I am willing to concede that space-saving Kindles … Continue reading In Defence of Paper: I’ll Be Keeping Stig of the Dump

How Many Have You Read? A Reading Challenge for English Teachers

Ignoring the fact that most of us follow the academic calendar more closely than the Gregorian one, we have a New Year’s challenge for you, ourselves and your students. A quick Internet search on January 1st revealed a plethora of different reading challenges, including one with a “foolproof plan on how to read 300 books in 365 days”. Unless that plan incorporates a) jacking in work or b) students’ exercise books (in which case, what a doddle!), then 300 books looks like a pipedream to us. The average English teacher would dearly love to read hundreds of books each year … Continue reading How Many Have You Read? A Reading Challenge for English Teachers

#SpeedPD: Teaching a Tricky Text

It’s the thing we all dread as English teachers: doing that difficult poem or play or novel with a class. The one we don’t like, but have to teach anyway because it’s on the GCSE English Literature syllabus. So, what can we do to make it more bearable for ourselves? Try these top five tips: Make a list of five good things about the text. They might not be groundbreaking – it could even be ‘it’s short’! But force yourself to focus on the positives. Use someone else’s resources. Ask a colleague, or get onto the Twinkl site to see … Continue reading #SpeedPD: Teaching a Tricky Text

English Teachers – Have you Seen Twinkl’s 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway?

It’s the run up to Christmas, things are starting to feel a bit festive, but you need something to challenge and absorb your class for those last few lessons. Never fear, our gift from Twinkl Secondary is a selection box of Christmas tasks to educate, engage and excite your students. All of the resources below are available, free, on the website for the remainder of 2018 – just make sure you have registered on the site. A Winter Poem Teaching Pack (https://www.twinkl.co.uk/resource/t3-e-119-new-a-winter-poem-teaching-pack, https://www.twinkl.co.uk/resource/t3-e-208-writing-prompts-winter-lesson-pack) Engage your KS3 pupils in a seasonal and fun lesson which includes a short, step by step … Continue reading English Teachers – Have you Seen Twinkl’s 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway?