Sunday, 29 December 2013

Blog Closed

This blog is no longer in use.

Thank you to all those students and members of the public that were a part of the journey.

Monday, 20 May 2013

English Literature - Edexcel - Understanding Poetry - Poem Overviews

Good evening Year 11.  Below are overviews of all the poems covered in the exam.  I hope they are helpful to your revision.  If therein one poem you would like me to analyse in-depth, please post the request in the comments box below this post and I will do my best to get one up for you.

Happy revising!

Half Caste - John Agard:

Parades's End - Daljit Nagra:

Belfast Confetti - Ciran Carson:

Our Sharpeville - Ingrid De Kok:

Exposure - Wilfred Owen:

Catrin - Gillian Clarke:

Your Dad Did What? - Sophie Hannah:

Class Game - Mary Casey:

Cousin Kate - Christina Rossetti:

The Drum - John Scott:

Invasion - Choman Hardi:

Hitcher - Simon Armitage:

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Edexcel Exam Details- Writers Voice and Understanding Poetry


English Language Exam - Writer's Voice Exam:

Exam Date - 4th June

Section A (Of Mice and Men Question 5 a and b) - 16 marks (a) and 24 marks (b)
Section B (Writing Task Question 9 or 10) - 24 marks

English Literature Exam - Understanding Poetry:
Exam Date - 23rd May
Section A - (Unseen Poem Question 1) 20 marks
Section B - (Anthology Poems Question 2(a) and either 2(b)(i) or 2(b)(ii) - 15marks (2(a)) and 15 marks (2(b))

Literary Devices - Flash Cards

Good morning Y11,

today I am asking you to ensure that you have revised all the key features you need to in order to analyse in poetry and Writers Voice exam.

Below are a number of literary terms.  Create flash cards for all the key terms you see here.  One side of the revision card has the key term on  it and the other has the definition.  You can do this on simple card or there is an online tool where you can create these electronically, it also has an app you can download on your phone so you can access the flash cards anywhere.

Below are some key terms top get you started but there are many more you could include.  You can also look here to get some more.  These terms also apply your analysis of the poems, the Of Mice and Men extracts and you can employ them in your own writing in section B of the Writers Voice exam.  Three birds with one stone!

Poetry Key terms:

The repetition of the same consonant sounds at any place, but often at the beginning of words. Some famous examples of alliteration are tongue twisters such as ‘She sells seashells by the seashore’ and ‘Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers’.

The repetition or a pattern of (the same) vowel sounds, usually in the middle of a word, such as
suppose and roses.

In a poem, a pair of lines that are the same length and (usually) rhyme and form a complete thought. Shakespearean sonnets usually end in a couplet as does the Poem ‘Anne Hathaway’:
‘I hold him in the casket of my widow’s head
as he held me upon that next best bed.’

A line ending in which the sense continues, with no punctuation, into the following line or stanza.
”But in contentment I still feel
The need of some imperishable bliss.”

A figure of speech in which deliberate exaggeration is used for emphasis. Many everyday expressions are examples of hyperbole: tons of money, a flood of tears, dying of hunger (when you really just need a sandwich!) etc.

The use of pictures, figures of speech and description to evoke ideas feelings, objects actions, states of mind etc. Similes, metaphors and personification all create imagery.

A figure of speech in which a positive is stated by negating its opposite. Some examples of litotes:
no small victory, not a bad idea, not unhappy.

A figure of speech in which two things are compared, usually by saying one thing is another ‘the room was an oven’, or by substituting a more descriptive word for the more common or usual word that would be expected. Some examples of metaphors: the world’s a stage, he was a lion in battle, drowning in debt, and a sea of troubles.
It is probably the most important figure of speech to comment on in an essay.

A figure of speech in which two things are compared using the word “like” or “as.” ‘The room was as hot as an oven’

A figure of speech in which non-human things or abstract ideas are given human attributes:
the car coughed and spluttered, dead leaves danced in the wind, blind justice.
Nostalgia – A feeling of loss or longing for the past.

A figure of speech in which words are used to imitate sounds. Examples of onomatopoeic words are: buzz, hiss, zing, clippety-clop, cock-a-doodle-do, pop, splat, thump, tick-tock.
Another example of onomatopoeia is found in this line from Tennyson’s Come Down, O Maid:
“The moan of doves in immemorial elms,/And murmuring of innumerable bees”. The repeated “m/n” sounds reinforce the idea of “murmuring” by imitating the hum of insects on a warm summer day.

A phrase, line, or group of lines that is repeated throughout a poem, usually after every stanza.

The occurrence of the same or similar sounds at the end of two or more words.

A better word to refer to a verse in a poem.

The prominence or emphasis given to particular syllables. Stressed syllables usually stand out because they have long, rather than short, vowels, or because they have a different pitch or are louder than other syllables. A stressed syllable is the one you can say forcefully; it usually sounds very odd if you put emphasis on an unstressed syllable, so you can say FOOTball, but footBALL sounds weird. ‘Foot’ is the stressed syllable, ‘ball’ is the unstressed one.

When a word, phrase or image ‘stands for’ an idea or theme. The sun could symbolize life and energy or a red rose could symbolize romantic love.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

English Language - Writers Voice - OMAM Exam Paper Explained


New You Tube Revision Clip - OMAM Exam Paper Explained:

Happy Revising!

English Literature - Anthology Poetry Questions - Mark Schemes


New You tube clip available - Anthology poetry exam sections explained.

Section B - Question a:
Section B - Question b:


Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Ms Findlater's You Tube Channel

First videos up and running on the youtube channel.  Enjoy and Happy revising!

Edexcel Literature Poetry Exam Paper Explained

Unseen Poetry Mark Scheme Explained


Thursday, 25 April 2013

Writing Revision - You Tube

While you watch these video clips today make revision nates as you go. There are revision cards available or you can also just take notes.

GCSE English Top 5 Writing Tips: Writing to Persuade 

Earning more marks for non-fiction WRITING

English - Writing Skills: Planning Your Writing 

English - Writing Skills: Writing Good Paragraphs 

Writing Cohesively 

GCSE English Top 5 Writing Tips: Varying Sentence Structure 

GCSE English Top 5 Writing Tips: Vocabulary Choice 

GCSE English Top 5 Writing Tips: Writing to Describe 

English Writing Revision: Expanding Sentences 

If you find any other please post them ion the comments below.

Revision Poetry - You Tube

While you watch these video clips today make revision nates as you go. There are revision cards available or you can also just take notes.

How to analyse a poem you have never seen before - ARTWARS

Half-Caste read by John Agard

Half Caste Revision

Daljit Nagra (Parades End) - Interview with the Poet

Ciaran Carson - Belfast Confetti - Revision 1

Ciaran Carson - Belfast Confetti - Revision 2

Our Sharpeville - Ingrid do Kok

Exposure - Wilfred Owen - Revision

Catrin - Gillian Clarke

Extension - search you tube for trevision and reads posts on the other poems and post them up in the comments below.

Happy revising!

Of Mice and Men Revision - You Tube

While you watch these video clips today make revision nates as you go.  There are revision cards available or you can also just take notes.

Exam Help Video:

Video SparkNotes: John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men summary

Of Mice and Men quotations revision with beatbox & guitarh

'Of Mice and Men' GCSE Podcast

'Of Mice and Men': Curley's Wife Character Analysis

'Of Mice and Men': The Importance of the Title

The Main Theme in 'Of Mice and Men'

Of Mice and Men: Steinbeck's Characterisation Part 1: Lennie and George

GCSE English "Of Mice and Men" Conflict

Revision: Of Mice & Men (Symbols)

Of Mice & Men 1 - Context

Of MIce & Men 2 - George & Lennie

Of Mice & Men 3 - Curley's Wife & Curley

But Miss, I can't revise for this exam!

Yes you can!  Here is a plethora of ideas to dip into over the exam period.

Revision Timetable:
Create your own revision timetable so that you can divide out your time effectively before the mock exams. You can use the template below or create your own.

On Line Revision Guides:
There are so many high quality online revision guides available that we would be silly not to direct use this free resource.

Past Exam Papers:
Good old fashioned practice questions never hurt anyone! Take a look at past question papers from the exam boards website. They are available to all for free, so use them. Plan out your answer to the given question and look at the mark scheme (again available free on the site) to check your answer.

You Tube:
There are loads of really useful revision resources avaiable to you on You Tube. Have a go at searching for your topic and revising that way. There is so much out there, you are spoilt for choice! You could even make your own video on a revision topic of your choice and upload it so others can benefit.

Revision Cards:
Get some A5 cards and create revision cards for every key topic in the exam. Research as you go along. Use your subject text book, revision book, your class book and the internet to help you. Try mixing up using visuals and words to help you summarise the key information. Try sticking them up on your bedroom wall - they are all around you even when you are not purposefully revising.

The very best of us can lose the will to carry on when the pressure is on. Keep yourself motivated when the going gets tough. Get some motivation from the fix up team. Fix up look sharp - get revising! Here is one, but just search them on You tube -

This is essentially an online pin board where people pin up related items they find for you to peruse. Firstly, search the pin boards for your particular exam topic. Secondly, try and have a go at creating your own pin board on a topic you are covering in your exam.

Essay Plans:
Create an essay plan, a brief one, for every topic you foresee coming up in the exam. To fail to prepare is to prepare to fail.

Timed Writing:
Look at the exam papers you have seen on the web and write a response to every question in the set time you have for the exam. This is great practise for the real thing. You can use the mark scheme to mark yourself, get a friend to mark it or hand it in to your teacher.

A great tool for collecting revision notes, pictures, web links and whatever else you can think of and linking it all up in a Pearltree. Revision entails looking back over the work you have done and information you have gathered. This is a really easy, visual and clear way of gathering it all together. It is essential to your sanity that all the hard work you put in to your revision now is not all forgotten and can be used again in the summer. This is one great way of keeping it organised. You can use it on a computer, Ipad or Iphone. you can even work on Pearltrees together in groups over the web.

Happy revising and all the best for results day.

Thursday, 28 February 2013

CA Retake - Writing for Spoken Language


You will complete one task from those below:


Write a script that contains between 30 seconds and 2 minutes of spoken language for:
• a television documentary OR
• a television advertisement OR
• a sitcom.

Your script must be completely original BUT it can be for a television documentary, television advertisment or a sit com that already exists.


Write the script for a podcast of up to 1000 words in which you inform people about a topic of your choice.


Write a short story of up to 1000 words in which dialogue is a key feature.

To help you make sure you are looking at relevant learning links.

Exam Board Guidance:

CA Retake - Analysing Spoken Language


You will complete one task from the two below:


Using two examples of spoken language, comment on the way people use language for different purposes.

You should comment on:
• how the purpose of the spoken language affects the way it is used
• how the audience affects the language that is used
• how formal or informal the language is
• how the language used influences other speakers and listeners.
Using two examples of spoken language, comment on how language is used in different places.

You should comment on:
• how the purpose of the spoken language affects the way it is used
• how the audience affects the language that is used
• how formal or informal the language is
• how the language used influences other speakers and listeners
• the use of dialect, if appropriate.

To help you make sure you are looking at relevant learning links.

Exam Board Guidance:

CA Retake - Speaking and Listening

You will be planning and conducting a two or three minute speech to an audience. 

Possible Topics:
Lost for Words.
Family Traditions.
Alarm Clocks.
Hidden Talents.
Rich Man. Poor Man.
Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover.
The Catwalk.
An Education.
Fashion Victims.
Manners Matter.
Celebrity Culture.
Role Models.
Body Language.
Women’s Lives.
Beauty is Only Skin Deep.
The Journey.
New Technology.
Small Talk.
The Modern Man.
Man’s Best Friend.
 The Charts.
A Picture Paints a Thousand Words.
Money Talks.
Us Versus Them.
War Torn.
The Sound of Music.
Being Human.
The Hero.

To help you make sure you are looking at relevant learning links.

R & J - Key Scenes - Juliet’s Relationship with her Parents

Act 1 Scene 2
Lord Capulet refuses Paris permission to marry Juliet at first because Juliet is so young, but as Paris is such a good match he says he will agree if Juliet consents, but to look at the other ladies at the Capulet ball to make sure it is Juliet he wants. His great affection for Juliet is obvious & he wants her to be happy. “She is the hopeful lady of my earth” –his property (Fille de terre = heiress)

Act 1 Scene 3

Lady Capulet is very formal & she speaks only when necessary. Her lines are short, factual & to the point & she expects the same kind of response from her daughter asking her to “Speak briefly”. The only time she speaks at length is when she describes Paris because she is trying to present him as an ideal suitor for Juliet.

Juliet is seen as very dutiful & submissive to her parents

“Madam I am here, What is your will?” – Juliet is seen as quiet and obedient

She says that it is “ An honour I dream not of “ when asked how she feels about marriage to Paris. She will do as her parents wish

And:“..will I endart mine eye, Than your consent gives strength to make it fly” - she will look at Paris & be prepared to love him to do as her parents wish

 Act 3 Scene 5

Lord Capulet - At first the love & concern of Lord Capulet for his daughter is obvious. This is seen in the beauty of the language in his first speech: the alliteration of “doth drizzle dew” and the striking metaphor of Juliet’s body being a bark(ship) tossed about on a stormy sea. This is ironic in view of the storm that is to come later in this scene. Lord Capulet is very concerned to see her so upset about the death of Tybalt and believed the marriage with Paris will make her happy which is why he agrees to the marriage without consulting her. He tells Paris in the previous scene that he is confident that Juliet will be”ruled in all respects” by him ( Act 3 Scene 4)

Lady Capulet -her feelings are concentrated on vengeance for Tybalt’s death & is unsympathetic towards he supposed grief for him. Cold, hard–hearted, unsympathetic “Too much grief shows some want of wit”. She is shocked at her husband’s outburst, but does nothing to support Juliet, showing that she condones his behaviour and will not question his decision – wives were supposed to accede to their husbands in all things. She refuses to comfort her daughter in her distress.

Lady Capulet then tells Juliet she has some news & Juliet is very polite to her mother until she realises what the news is. The dutiful daughter now rebels & Juliet flatly refuses to marry Paris.

Lady Capulet is shocked and tells Juliet she will have to tell her father herself but she does not expect Juliet to disobey him . She agrees with the marriage -as wives were supposed to - and has already told Juliet what a good husband Paris will be“Verona’s summer hath not such a flower”. Though she is shocked at her husband’s violent outburst “you are too hot” she will not go against him and has no sympathy for Juliet at the end of this scene in spite of the fact Juliet is so distressed: “Talk not to me for I’ll not speak a word. Do as thou wilt for I have done with thee”

Juliet – Her mood changes from grief for Romeo to defiance & deception of her parents. At the beginning of the scene she is very polite, but once she hears what her father has arranged for her, she is furious and openly defies her parents – something that would have been shocking and with unheard of at that time. “ He shall not make me there a joyful bride”’.She is partly a young girl having a tantrum, but she is also one who knows her own mind and is horrified at her father’s outburst. At first she tries to answer his questions without offending him & says she is grateful for what he has done for her but she cannot be proud of what she hates – the idea of an arranged marriage

But: the Elizabethans would have sympathy with him as parents had absolute authority over their children at this time & arranged a very good marriage, as was usual at the time.

At first Lord Capulet doesn’t understand what Juliet is saying but when he realises Juliet is rejecting Paris he accuses her of being ungrateful.

He talks about her not to her, referring to her as “she” distancing himself from her.

His mood changes throughout this scene. At first he is seen as a caring, loving father but he is a father used to being obeyed “Have you delivered our decree? His mood changes to shock, anger, rage, potential violence - “my fingers itch” and gives very logical and acceptable reasons as to why Paris is a good match. Lord Capulet asserts his right to arrange the marriage “You be mine, I’ll give you to my friend” and her choice is simple – she marries Paris or she will have to live on the streets. His ultimatum threatening to throw Juliet out is a final show of force before he lives and he does not expect Juliet not to obey him after this.

Monday, 11 February 2013

R & J - Film Clip 6 - Mourning the Dead


Romeo and Juliet have just committed a double suicide and their families are brought to get her once more.  They are presented with the results of their family feud of years gone by and the Prince is there to compound the horror of the situation.

Watch the clip here.

R & J - Film Clip 5 - Disobedient Daughter


Juliet has just spent her wedding night with her love, Romeo.  Juliet's mother comes to tell her the news of her marriage to Paris. Her father enters and a huge row ensues.

View the clip here.

R & J - Quote analysis 5 - class analysis

R & J - Film Clip 3 and 4 - Arranging the Wedding

Clip 3 - Romeo shows up: Mercutio teases Romeo, angry that he left them for a woman. The nurse shows up and he tells her that they can marry that day.

Clip 4 - (on running for the previous clip) Nurse arrives home and is coaxed into telling Juliet that she is set to marry Romeo the very next day.

Click here for the clips.

R & J - Film Clip 2 - Motherly Competition

Capulet house: Lady Capulet is getting prepared for the ball. She is preparing Juliet to meet Paris, Prince Escalus’ cousin. Her mum wants her to marry him but Juliet doesn’t seem as excited as her mother.

The clip can be found here.


R & J - Film Clip 1 - Proposal

Capulet and Paris in lift at his company: Paris wants to marry her but her father thinks she is too young.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

8. R & J - Quote Analysis 4

Questions to consider:
1. Where does this quote appear in the play?
2. What has happened before and what happens after this quote?
3. Reword the quote in your own words.
4. Select a word at a time and analyse is in detail for deeper meaning and links with the essay topic.

Thank me no thankings, nor, proud me no prouds,
But fettle your fine joints 'gainst Thursday next,
To go with Paris to Saint Peter's Church,
Or I will drag thee on a hurdle thither.
Out, you green-sickness carrion! out, you baggage!
You tallow-face!


Fie, fie! what, are you mad?


Good father, I beseech you on my knees,
Hear me with patience but to speak a word.


Hang thee, young baggage! disobedient wretch!
I tell thee what: get thee to church o' Thursday,
Or never after look me in the face:

8. R & J - Quote Analysis 3

Questions to consider:
1. Where does this quote appear in the play?
2. What has happened before and what happens after this quote?
3. Reword the quote in your own words.
4. Select a word at a time and analyse is in detail for deeper meaning and links with the essay topic.


Marry, my child, early next Thursday morn,
The gallant, young and noble gentleman,
The County Paris, at Saint Peter's Church,
Shall happily make thee there a joyful bride.


Now, by Saint Peter's Church and Peter too,
He shall not make me there a joyful bride


8. R & J - Quote Analysis 2

Questions to consider:
1. Where does this quote appear in the play?
2. What has happened before and what happens after this quote?
3. Reword the quote in your own words.
4. Select a word at a time and analyse is in detail for deeper meaning and links with the essay topic.


What say you? can you love the gentleman?
This night you shall behold him at our feast;