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AQA English Lit HELP!

Discussion in 'English' started by mrvonnegut, Jan 16, 2011.

  1. Are you doing Duffy/Armitage or Heaney/Clarke? Make sure you have the appropriate key poems from the pre-1914 bank and don't try and teach too many of the rest! There's a lot. I'm guessing they're all foundation tier? That'll make it easier, as you can stick to the same key poems for each kid.
    Key poems are here: http://store.aqa.org.uk/qual/pdf/AQA-3702-3712-W-REV-POEMS-08.PDF
    The AQA site is pretty good in terms of resources, but it's like trying to navigate a brick. All the Lit A spec stuff is here:
    Good luck! It's actually a really nice spec and I miss it now that I teach at a school that uses WJEC. Their English spec is much better though.
  2. Thanks for all your help! I have been told to do Heaney/ Clarke with them and they have left it up to me whether to do higher or foundation tier! Which has made me even more confused over things! So just to break it down they will need to do:
    Of Mice and Men
    Pre-1914 Key poems
    Heaney and Clarke poems
    Have I got that right!? You're right about the AQA site, it's not user friendly or clear at all in my opinion!

    Thanks again for all your help I really appreciate it!
  3. I typed a response then the forum died briefly. I'll attempt to replicate:
    You are right, but you need to do a pre-1914 drama coursework piece too! Apologies if you knew about that/have done it already. If you haven't, then my play of choice is An Inspector Calls, for brevity and accesibility. My favourite essay question is "who is most responsible for the death of Eva Smith/Daisy Renton?" as it makes them analyse each character in turn and therefore focus on stuff like characterisation/social context etc. All the stuff that turns the examiner on. If the class is especially weak, I'd go for Our Day Out.
    You'll also need to "dual assess" your Shakey piece and your pre-1914 prose piece (which has to be off a list of approved authors, although you can't go far wrong unless the previous teacher was being deliberately obscure/unaware of the requirements of the lit spec).
    Re. the exam. Only put them in for higher tier if they're secure at a B or above for English. The lit exam is the gold standard of GCSE examinations, worth 70% and is hard!
    The key poems list is a must. That way you can get away with teaching twelve poems per tier and a few others you like. I massively prefer Armitage/Duffy but the sex/death/more sex and death content is a bit much for a weaker/more disruptive class.
    If you have any more questions, keep asking them here and I'll keep an eye out!
  4. Yes they have done their coursework, so I will be solely concentrating on the exam which is nice!
    I'm worried that if I enter them for higher they will get nothing if they perform lower than a C. So I think it makes sense to enter them for Foundation.
    I'm thinking that I might start with poems that are on both F and H and see how they get on, then make a descision after they have done a practise paper.
  5. GloriaSunshine

    GloriaSunshine New commenter

    Definitely do Duffy/Armitage unless you really want to do the others.From what you say, Foundation is the way to go. Then do the Higher poems if there are any B candidates, rather than trying to cover both tiers from the start.
  6. gruoch

    gruoch Established commenter

    If you know their FFT D target grades, that will make the H/F decision for you. If you don't, get them toot sweet.
  7. regentsreject

    regentsreject Occasional commenter

    Students entered for H tier can get a D and there is also an allowed E grade for those who narrowly miss. However, F tier is probably safer if they are borderline. If they don't need a B for college etc, enter them for Foundation.
    As far as the poems go, your idea to start with those which are on both tiers is really sensible. It's worth remembering that they are not expected to write at equal length about all 3/4 poems and there is no requirement to compare across all the poems. It's fine to write about their strongest choice then move on to the next poem and link it back to the first one and so on. However, I always advise students to write an opening paragraph which compares in general terms - "all four poems are about death but iin this one it's a 7 year old boy and this one is 4. This one is written from the father's point of view but this from the brother's .... "This way, if they do run out of time, they have still done some comparison, albeit generalised, If they don't do any comparison, they lose a third of the marks. Let them abbreviate titles - "Sonne" or write them as an acronym of the title - OMFS etc - time saving and perfectly acceptable. Best of luck.
  8. Thanks again for all your help everyone. They are going in for foundation and have decided on Heaney/Clarke as I think they're much easier to understand.
    Does anyone have any lesson ideas? I'm going to be getting observed with them![​IMG]
  9. Really? Lesson ideas as well? Would you maybe like someone to come to your school and teach the lesson for you while we're at it?
    The syllabus has been around for ever, there's a milllion and one resources on the TES and Teachit to start with.

  10. amylong

    amylong New commenter

    I find the resources for teachit vague and uninspiring, with little objective to them.

    Mickey, I would maybe centre your lessons around comparison of the poems in relation to the main themes: memories, death, parent child relationships, conflict, nature...etc. This is what they will need to do in the exam, exploring how four poems' language and structural elements present the topic/focus.
  11. regentsreject

    regentsreject Occasional commenter

    Agree with Amy but please don't flog them to death with analysis and annotation. Let the students have some freedom with the poems too - dramatisations, dramatic readings, storyboarding etc.

  12. Thanks for your contribution, you have done great things here.
    I imagine you've probably been teaching it for that long too.
    Anyway, as stated, drama activities are always good - get them out of their seats and moving around. Maybe give them a situation from one (or more) of the poems before actually showing them the poem and ask them what they think. Give them images, and ask them to write something.
    "Crunch" some of the poems that have the same themes - sort the words into alphabetical order (removing the obvious ones) and see what they can write using them.

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