Higher English

‘This is not about me’ by Janice Galloway

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  I have a long connection with Janice Galloway, author of The Trick is to Keep Breathing the Scottish Text for Higher English, even though she doesn’t know it. At a book reading twenty years ago I asked her a … Continue reading

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How do you get the grade you want at Higher English? What grade do you want for Higher English?

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There is no magic wand. The grade you want will not appear just by wanting it. But it definitely will improve your chances of getting the grade you want if you know what grade you want. This is a big … Continue reading

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Preparing to write a Higher English (or National 5) Persuasive Essay for folio

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The Higher English persuasive essay and the National 5 English persuasive essay do not differ much in structure and hardly differ at all in the things you have to do as preparation. As you would expect, the Higher English persuasive … Continue reading

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Hamlet – a fascinating character and a great play for Higher English

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Hamlet is one of the greatest plays ever written. It’s not easy to explain why it is such a great play. Many people think that the plot is so flawed that it is amazing it works at all. It seems … Continue reading

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Eden Hazard doesn’t play unless he trains, neither will you in Higher English – a list of 10 KPIs for Higher English

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Eden Hazard, the Chelsea FC football player, does not play in the match unless he trains. Jose Mourinho made that quite clear this week. To miss a training session means you are dropped from the team, at least as far … Continue reading

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Increasing ‘Cultural Capacity’ for Higher English (and National 5 English)

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When we talk about ‘cultural capacity’ we mean the knowledge, ideas, experiences and reflection that an individual has. If, as a thinking person, you have thought about life, then you will probably have some insights into different aspects of life. … Continue reading

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National 5 English Scottish Texts – Selected Poems of Norman MacCaig and my new change of attitude

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I’ve had a difficult relationship with Norman MacCaig. To me as a high school student, reading MacCaig was to open the doors to a world of dreariness that I did not understand. His poetry lacked the tightness, metrical regularity and … 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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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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