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Teaching AQA AS English Lit A - HELP!!!

Discussion in 'English' started by Mexicola, Aug 30, 2015.

  1. Mexicola

    Mexicola New commenter

    From September we'll be teaching AQA's AS English Lit (Spec A) with a view to the students sitting the AS assessments then continuing to A-level. If anybody else is doing this, I'd really appreciate some help with a long term plan for the year ahead. I'd love to swap ideas as, at the moment, I feel as if I can't see the wood for the trees. Thanks. [​IMG]
  2. VeronicAmb

    VeronicAmb Occasional commenter

    Hi Mex, it really depends on how you will be teaching it.

    My dept will be splitting the course in two. One teacher will teach Shakespeare and poetry while the other teaches the prose paper.

    As my dept has 2 sets in each blocks, I'll be teaching the prose side with one and the drama/poetry with another set, I'll then be partnering up with the other teachers.

    For example; I'll be teaching 12-B-EL1 (Shake/poetry) and 12-E-EL1 (prose). I''ll be partnering up with the teacher from 12-E-EL1 to help me with Shake/Poetry and then the other teacher from 12-B-EL1 will help me with prose. This way not one teacher is left stuck to do all the resources. (I'm teaching both as I'm HoD and wanted to teach both sides before "specialising" in one or the other in the years to come.

    Do you know how you will be splitting it Mexicola?
  3. Mexicola

    Mexicola New commenter

    Hi VeronicAmb, thanks for the reply. I'm teaching at a new 14-19 college from September. As it's new, we're operating at half capacity for the first year with just Year 10 and Year 12 students so we can start courses at the beginning rather than picking up halfway through. I don't yet know how we'll be splitting the AS, this is something we'll be deciding during the department time we'll have as part of our training/induction. I'm sure it'll be much easier once we've got our heads together and have made the decisions that you've already worked out with your department. I'm just flapping because I'm impatient and want to have done everything five minutes ago.
  4. VeronicAmb

    VeronicAmb Occasional commenter

    Do you know what texts you'll be teaching and do you have any sort of SoW set in place for them?

    I've been working on 1 prose and 1 Shakespeare all summer for KS5. Don't even get me started on the lower school!
  5. Mexicola

    Mexicola New commenter

    Our AS texts are Othello, post-1900 poetry, Jane Eyre and The Great Gatsby - it's going to be a barrel of laughs figuring out how those prose texts can be compared!

    At A2 we're following the Modern Times option and doing Streetcar, Skirrid Hill and One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, although we might swap Cuckoo's Nest for Handmaid's Tale.

    I have a Streetcar SOW and some bits and pieces for Othello. Which texts are you doing?
  6. VeronicAmb

    VeronicAmb Occasional commenter

    Oh right, we taught Othello for A2 Love Through the Ages coursework, so we'll be mainly using some of those resources too, but changing the way we approach the text, by focusing on exam technique, rather than c/w technique. I feel you for JE and GG! I'm not sure how you can compare the two!

    Love both Cuckoo's Nest and Handmaid! I might swap back to Modern Times rather than WW1 as I can't stand WW1 Lit after teaching it for so long! I taught Nest for c/w this year and my set loved it! I also taught Tale too but the dept. and I are having conflicting attitudes towards which to teach next year. Grr!

    Set 1: Winter's Tales and pre-1900 poetry. The Mill on the Floss and The Go Between

    Set 2: Othello and pre-1900 poetry. Atonement and The Go Between.

    We'll be focusing on how social class can impact relationships. For example the examplar exam question is something like "how is isolation explored int he two novels" - we'd be focusing on how money and the absence of financial security leads to isolation from true love and etc.
  7. Mexicola

    Mexicola New commenter

    I think we'll be ditching Jane Eyre and Gatsby, or at least one of them. Do you know if we're required to teach these texts in their entirety or if our teaching can be extract-based? I've asked AQA for clarification but they're taking their time getting back to me.

    Modern Times is very similar to The Struggle for Identity unit from last year's spec so we decided to stick to what we knew best. Stick to your guns! It's so much better than WW1!

    Are you focusing on social class initially then bringing in other themes?
  8. VeronicAmb

    VeronicAmb Occasional commenter

    I think ditching those two novels is a good idea. Even I'm struggling to figure out how those two novel could be compared.

    I would definitely teach whole texts at A-level. I've never taught a set text at extract-level before and I don't intend to start now. Saying that, I won't be teaching the whole novel - for instance, I'd tell them to go over "parts" of Mill on the Floss over holidays as it's a heavy novel. I'd miss out a few chapters in class so they can do some reading at home etc.

    Yeah, I think it would be a good idea to stick with Modern Times, but we're not deciding just yet. We're going to wait until Jan 2016. I'm not a fan of WW1 - it's just so tedious.

    For the 3 novels. Maybe focus on something else in Atonement like the loss of innocence and how that relates to love and not understanding the implications of love in the adult world or something.

    With the Mill on the Floss and The Go-Between we'll be focusing on social class and how this impedes romantic relationships mainly. We'll be doing familial relationships too. We'll be heavily focusing on the restriction of marriage and compatibility in relationships and how it causes isolation, separation, deceit and lies, instability in the household, loss of childhood and innocence, deadly consequences, hopelessness and atonement. Those are the main themes we'll be comparing the 4 novels.

    For the 2nd year, we'll be using The Go Between with both sets, so we're really going to be focusing on that text and thinking of it as core whilst Floss and Atone will be considered as "partnered" texts.
  9. Mexicola

    Mexicola New commenter

    We're going to order copies of Kate Chopin's The Awakening as it can be paired well with either Gatsby or Jane Eyre. As we're a brand new college we're looking to order as many class sets of texts as we can so we reckon The Awakening will be a good investment. AQA finally got back to me and said "the whole texts are set for study. Should schools and college?s wish to focus on certain key elements, then this would be an individual choice." This suits me and it sounds like what you're doing anyway. I'd definitely get the kids to do some reading outside class then assess their understanding of what they've independently read.

    Streetcar and Handmaid's Tale were both too good to pass up. If you decide to teach Modern Times and go for Streetcar, get in touch as I've some good resources I'd be happy to share.
  10. Hi,

    I just wondered how you were all approaching the Love Poetry anthology? I'm teaching the post-1900 and there aren't many resources. I'm looking at starting with one poem as an unseen to help them explore how to analyse a poem and some A2 prep. We are doing the AS and A2 course. I wondered how much of the context of each poem/the author people are planning on exploring?

  11. VeronicAmb

    VeronicAmb Occasional commenter

    We are changing to OCR now which is a whole new game. We decided on INSET day! Very bad start to the year.

    I would teach all the poems via Assessment Objectives. author isn't that essential but context would be helpful!

    Start with a literary terminology sheet and perhaps go through the poems like that. For instance start by introduces metrics and rhythm for a particular one and etc etc. OCR is a a little bit different but, that's how I'll be teaching my poetry section.
  12. Thanks for that. I'm looking at the past year's Love through the Ages timeline as a way to cover context too. I feel okay with most of the AOs but some are a little unclear, such as comparison but the exam question only asks you to write about one text. I've emailed the board for some further guidance.

    OCR and Edexcel seem popular this year. We've been with WJEC for years and I feel like I knew the spec inside out. It's hard getting my head around all the changes this year!

    Hope all goes well with OCR. Thanks again.

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