English

Why don’t we teach Breaking Bad in the classroom?

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For those people who have signed-up for the Mars expedition and have begun intensive training, the recent airing of the final episode of Breaking Bad might will have passed them by. However, I would imagine that most of us will … Continue reading

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CfE – ‘dumbing down’ and where the CfE debate should go now

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A recent Scotsman article has provoked me to reflect on some of the author’s points. The author makes the point that we are subjected to an annual and predictable ritual as the exam envelopes drop onto doormats at this time of … Continue reading

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National 5 English Text – Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson

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Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson is one of the texts selected by the SQA as a Scottish text for the new National 5 English exam. I thought it might be a good idea to read it so I could pass … Continue reading

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Interview with James Robertson, author of The Testament of Gideon Mack

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James Robertson is one of the foremost novelists writing in Scotland. His novel The Testament of Gideon Mack was selected by the SQA to be one of the Scottish Text novels for National 5 English. The novel starts in the … Continue reading

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National 5 English – is The Testament of Gideon Mack a suitable text?

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The Testament of Gideon Mack is a novel by James Robertson that has deservedly found its way onto the Scottish Texts list for National 5. It is a novel that raises many issues about modern Scotland as it does about … Continue reading

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The Great Gatsby: the world’s longest music video

It’s difficult to explain the trauma, anxiety, frustration, the sickening feeling of disgust, boredom and moral outrage I felt while watching Baz Luhrmann’s version of The Great Gatsby. It’s not the worst film I’ve ever seen, by far, but it … Continue reading

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English exams – Get the basics right: Part 2

As in the last post, this post focuses on making sure you follow simple steps to exam success. A lot of this is commonsense. However, this is what goes out the window when you’re sitting the biggest exams of your … Continue reading

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English exams – Get the basics right: Part 1

Although the small things in life seem so trivial and unimportant, neglecting them can have massive consequences. The footballer who doesn’t tie their laces; the singer who doesn’t do a soundcheck; the teacher who doesn’t check ICT before an important … Continue reading

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Higher English Close Reading – The last question

In a time out of mind the last question of the Higher English close reading paper used to be seriously intimidating. After 44 marks-worth of questions completed, you would then have to answer a 6 mark evaluation question. Given that … Continue reading

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Higher English critical essay – topic sentence – transitional words

  Writing in a way that in interesting should not be completely forgotten about when you’re writing your Higher English critical essay. A bit of creativity and style mixed in with the purpose is good. Ideally, essays about English should … Continue reading

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