Society

‘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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Should state schools not have charitable status?

wester hailes

The state sector in education is undergoing a massive belt tightening that is leading to larger classes and, consequently, an impoverishment of the service it is able to deliver. The UK national debt will reach £1.5 trillion in 2015, requiring … Continue reading

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Twelve Years A Slave – Slavery as Video Art

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The political intentions of Twelve Years A Slave are so intertwined with a delayed justice that it is with a great deal of hesitancy that I would criticise the film, but although the film portrays the abuses of slavery in … Continue reading

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Chip on my shoulder about Scottish classics? Probably! – James Hogg and The Three Perils of Man

Perils of man

It was once said about Linford Christie, the sprinter who ran for Great Britain, that he was perfectly balanced with ‘a chip on each shoulder’. I don’t know if I have developed a chip on each shoulder yet, but I … Continue reading

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It’s time James Hogg was given his rightful place at the peak of Scottish Literature

The Three Perils of Man

I’m reading James Hogg’s The Three Perils of Man. Unlike Hogg’s The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner, it is not very well known. Thanks to Andre Gide’s introduction to the 1945 publication Hogg’s portrayal of a man … Continue reading

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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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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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How high up is the school in the cloud?

It’s the start of May already, the sun (I think it’s the sun, its been a while!) is shining and exam leave is upon us. The fourths years left for exam leave a week ago and have already completed their … Continue reading

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Would abolishing private schools make education better?

Would the abolishment of private schools really make a difference to education or to our perception of ourselves as being one nation? Alan Bennet believes it would. In a recent article, the celebrated playwright argues that fusing the private and … Continue reading

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The power of continued focus

This is part of a series of blogs that focuses on the attitudes of mind, behaviours and actions that a person can use to be successful at an English course. It’s practical stuff that, if applied, will have a practical … Continue reading

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