Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Welcome Back Y12!


Welcome back! You worked really well today.
We looked at the the expectations for the A2 course and what is required of you. I am very excited about this unit and I hope that this is infectious! We will study a range of texts and some critical perspectives. These are in a critical anthology that you'll get next lesson. The specification for the course can be found here; we are doing Unit 4 LitB4 - Further and Independent Reading.
So, in the lesson today, we looked at Tony Harrison's National Trust. We first considered the meanings of National Trust. It first evokes images and thoughts of conservation, parks ans listed buildings. We then dug a little deeper and considered the security in trust; that we trust that this institution will look after the country, the nation's best interests, and preserve what should be preserved. Here then, we considered the polysemic meaning of 'national trust'. After thinking about the title, the poem seemed to undermine our expectations of a thoroughly British, patriotic vision. 
The poem is here
Tony Harrison's poems are written to be listened to. The need to be listened to in a Northern accent.

We discussed accents and the associations that we have of people with particular accents.

We did some analysis of the poem. We'll do more of this. 
We then looked at one of the extracts from the critical anthology that you have for Unit 4: Marxism.
We reduced the reading down to a sentence per paragraph, word per paragraph, sentence for the complete reading and then a word. 
The sentences that we discussed in class were:

  • Marxism continues to be relevant after the fall of communism as it allows an intellectual perspective that requires us to consider socio-economic circumstances.
  • Karl Marx outlined that a person's socio-economic circumstances has a significant impact upon their thought and consciousness.
  • Some people, including politicians, say that we are free and the right choices will allow social mobility.
  • Money is everything, we are never free from it.
  • Capitalism exploits workers by paying them less than they are worth and this creates alienation in a  society driven by profit. 
These aren't great sentences, but they reflect my understanding of the text. The object of the exercise was learning not sentence writing! If you haven't completed this exercise, you need to do it to understand it. 
We then returned to the poem and applied a Marxist critical perspective to it. 
Homework - there are two
I would like you to write a paragraph about the poem from a Marxist perspective. To do this you'll need to take a tiny aspect of the poem and comment on how it relates to the socio-economic circumstances. I want you to write this paragraph in the comment box below. (Probably best if you do this in Word, or similar, and paste.)
Even if you were in the Further Fun exam, I'd like you to still do this homework. (Those of you that missed the lesson will need to find me to get the reading.)
Finally, I would like you to watch this series. What a fabulous homework I hear you cry! You'll have to watch it in 10minute parts though.

If you would like to extend your learning further, have a look at historical materialism.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Good to see you back. You're going to love this Unit!

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

A Leadership Opportunity

Hello all
I expect you are missing English terribly. Poor you. Not long until we'll be back!
In the meantime, I am leading one of the Y12 Leadership opportunities and I was hoping some of you may be interested ...
It will focus on the development of The Cherwell Competencies. It would in involve leading some focus groups; using tutor times and making videos for use in tutor period, Y6 transfer and assemblies. This is your chance to leave a lasting legacy on the school even after you've left!
Best wishes,