All Teachers Are Equal, but Some Teachers Are More Equal Than Others

At the risk of being lynched by colleagues, I’m going to suggest that my own subject – English – is more ‘rigorous’ than other subjects. By which I mean it’s far more planning and assessment heavy. Yes, I’m looking at you, PE and IT… please don’t pound on me PE teachers, I never did like contact sports! Beyond explores teacher equality in the classroom… Continue reading All Teachers Are Equal, but Some Teachers Are More Equal Than Others

Sneak Some Literacy Into Your Lessons

Teaching Standard 3 includes the following: ‘Demonstrate an understanding of and take responsibility for promoting high standards of literacy, articulacy and the correct use of Standard English, whatever their specialist subject.’ Is this really fair? With everything else you have to include in your own subject lessons, how can you be expected to include literacy standards and a focus on Standard English too? Surely that’s the job of the English department? Actually, this standard is really important. You need to be able to demonstrate your own understanding and accurate use of Standard English in a range of different ways: report … Continue reading Sneak Some Literacy Into Your Lessons

Whole-School Literacy: A-B-C, Easy as 1-2-3!

“I can already speak English; why do I need to carry on learning it?” It’s the battle-cry of pupils still confused by commas and semi-colons and fearful that our demanding exam system might label them failures in their native language. Little do they realise, this sentiment is probably not far removed from the apprehension with which many of their teachers approached the QTS skills tests. A quick glance at most Twitter feeds is enough to prove that you don’t need to be a stickler for SPaG to become successful or influential, yet at the same time making such an error … Continue reading Whole-School Literacy: A-B-C, Easy as 1-2-3!

Take Cover! How To Survive Cover Lessons

Twinkl content writer, qualified English teacher and sometimes cover supervisor Paul Brand shares his blueprints for surviving cover lessons. The hazy, indeterminate nature of cover lessons makes them a battleground from which nobody emerges with much credit, and I speak as someone who’s fought on all sides. Is there any solution to the age-old conflict that arises whenever the regular class teacher has to temporarily vacate their position of authority? Petty Officers Let’s start with the kids. The eyes of even the brightest and best light up at the sight of a cover teacher trooping through the gates. Looking on … Continue reading Take Cover! How To Survive Cover Lessons

#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?

Revise ‘London’ by William Blake

‘London’ by William Blake I wander thro’ each charter’d street Near where the charter’d Thames does flow, And mark in every face I meet Marks of weakness, marks of woe. In every cry of every Man, In every Infant’s cry of fear, In every voice, in every ban, The mind-forg’d manacles I hear: How the Chimney-sweeper’s cry Every black’ning Church appalls, And the hapless Soldier’s sigh Runs in blood down Palace walls; But most thro’ midnight streets I hear How the youthful Harlot’s curse Blasts the new-born Infant’s tear, And blights with plagues the Marriage hearse. Listen to an audio … Continue reading Revise ‘London’ by William Blake