Monday, 19 December 2016

Holidays are coming... and so are the prelims

Have a brilliant break everyone. You truly deserve it after all of your hard work this term.

To my S4, S5 and S6 pupils, make sure that you take at least a little time for relaxation in amongst your study for the prelims. A small reminder that the English exam is at the start of the prelim diet, so you will have to do the bulk of your revision ahead of your study leave.

Take care and I'll see you in the New Year!

Mr McP

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Team 2016

By now you should be well settled into your new classes and are hopefully enjoying your studies in English.

Please make use of the support materials on this blog to help with your home study and preparation for class work.

As ever, if there are any aspects of the course you require support with, please see me outside of normal class times (break/lunch) and I'll be happy to help field queries on a 1-to-1 basis.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

The Final Push

And so we come to the end of the academic year.

You've hopefully being studying regularly throughout the year but, if you've not, hope is not yet lost.

A reminder that the Final Exam Study tab has links to course notes, study packs and revision guides.

Also, past papers can be found under the National 5 and Higher Past Paper tabs respectively.
 
Use the resources provided. Practice past paper questions. Review your responses in line with the marking schemes. Come to me with questions.

I will be available to help during the periods you are normally with me, up until the end of the day on Wednesday 4th May.

I'd prefer to see you in person if possible. That said, if you have concerns about your study then please, don't hesitate to get in touch.You have my e-mail address in the event of emergency.

And finally, it would be remiss of me not to say how much I have enjoyed working with this year's senior cohort - it's you guys that make teaching such an interesting and exciting profession. Thanks for all of your hard work and I wish you all the very best in your future studies.

Mr McPhail

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Study Focus: 19th April to 29th April

By now you will have completed the peer assessment of your Critical Essay writing you were asked to complete over the April holidays and will have a focus for improvement moving forwards.

This week, you will be given a timed (exam conditions) assessment. Be prepared. My aim is to discuss your response with you one-to-one and identify any aspects that still need work.

At home, you should utilise the blog resources and the handy notes/knowledge tests over on the BBC Bitesize page:

Duffy resources

Morgan resources

It is expected that you study each poem and take the test for each poem - resitting questions as necessary - until you feel comfortable going into the exam.

***IMPORTANT REMINDER***
Please bring your timed final poetry question (the 8/10 mark question) responses to class on the following dates:

4A - Thursday 21st April
5A - Thursday 21st April
5B - Wednesday 20th April
5D - Friday 22nd April

This was set as homework over the break. Non-completion = letters home etc. Please, make best use of the time and come prepared.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Study Focus: 28th March to 11th April

Utilsing the resources in the FINAL EXAM STUDY tab, aim to have completed the following before returning to school:

2 x Timed Critical Essays - 45 minutes per essay, unless you have provision for extra time organised with SfL.

2 x Final Poetry Question responses - aim to take 15-20 minutes on this per question.

2 x "Unpackings" of opinion articles from the links provided - this should be quite comprehensively done. Aim for around 45 minutes per article.

At least one UAE paper from the past papers link approriate to your level of study - do this to timed conditions (stated on the front page of the past paper).

We will utilise the work you have completed over the break to carry out peer assessment activities, so please bring everything in with you on the first day back.

All the very best with your study.

Mr McPhail

Friday, 18 March 2016

Study Focus: Week Beginning 21/03/16

A massive thanks and congratulations to all National 5 students who have completed and submitted their final writing folios. That's 30% of your final grade decided - time for the hard work to begin as we prepare for the final examination itself!

As ever, please use the resources in the FINAL EXAM STUDY and Reading for UAE tabs to support your personal revision work.

Higher pupils requiring access to the SQA Folio Template can find it here.

S4A - Work on preparing your group presentations on the Morgan poetry, to be delivered to class on Thursday 24th. Remember, you will have to pull your work on your poem together with the other members of your group ahead of time in order to present your 15 minute presentations to class. Your focus is primarily on how to attain full marks in the final 8 mark question but it is expected that you will summarise and give an overview of effective technique use across all 6 of Morgan's poems in your presentations. Remember, have fun with it - be creative!

In addition, please review your notes on UAE response strategies. We will be giving particular focus in class to analysis and evaluation questions between now and the end of term.

S4B - Please review your notes on UAE response strategies. We will be sitting the internal UAE assessment next week and those looking to progress on to sit the final exam must pass this assessment in order to continue. Our main focus will be on analysis and evaluation questions between now and the April break. Can I also urge you to bring in any notes you have for the text you intend to write your critical essay on.

To both S4 classes: I will set the your expected home study focus over the break at the end of next week.


S5A/B/D - Resits of the UAE internal assessment will take place from Monday (21/03/16). Attendance is critical if you failed the UAE section of the prelim exam as without a pass in this element you cannot be presented for the final exam.

You should also have a full 'Final Poetry Question' (the 8/10 mark one) completed in order to peer evaluate your responses and get feedback from myself for the last period you see me next week:
5A = Thursday, periods 3 and 4
5B = Wednesday, period 5
5D = Friday, period 1

You may also wish to get a head start on your home study over the April break, as it is expected that you should do the following:

  • 2 x "Final Poetry Question" - use the resources in the "FINAL EXAM STUDY" tab to choose questions and support the creation of your responses on two poems you feel less confident discussing.
  • 2 x Critical Essay Response - you should attempt to write these responses (again, example questions are in the "FINAL EXAM STUDY" tab) after creating an essay plan and choosing the quotations you want to use to evidence your points. At this stage, you should be able to write up your response without needing notes - if you are not at this stage, you must put in the time to practise this skill before the final exam.
  • 2 x UAE Article Unpacking - Read through and answer the following questions on any two articles from either of these sources (The Guardian or The Herald ).
Imagine that the article you have chosen has been picked as the text for the UAE exam. Consider the following questions:
  1. What words/images/sentence structure techniques might you be asked about?
  2. How would you explain their use?
  3. What is the tone of the piece?
  4. How does the tone change?
  5. What is the writer's purpose with the article?
  6. What is their attitude to the information presented?
  7. Do they meet their purpose with the piece? 


Monday, 14 March 2016

Study Focus: Week Beginning 14/03/16

Please use the resources in the FINAL EXAM STUDY tab to support your personal revision work.

S4A - work on your group presentation preparation work for the Morgan poetry. Remember, you will have to pull your work on your poem together with the other members of your group in order to present your 15 minute presentations to class. Your focus is primarily on how to attain full marks in the final 8 mark question but it is expected that you will summarise and give an overview of effective technique use across all 6 of Morgan's poems in your presentations.

S4B - finalise your folios for submission and begin review of your notes on UAE skills ahead of the internal assessment next week.

S5A/B/D - Using the guide handed out in class, it is expected that you complete all 6 of the final poetry question prompts (8 or 10 marks depending on level) ahead of leaving for your study leave. I would recommend trying to complete one per week between now and then. Please note, we will be reviewing your responses to your first attempt during your last lesson with me of the week beginning 21/03/16. Also, please note that that resits of the UAE internal assessment will take place from Monday of the same week. Attendance is mandatory if you failed the UAE section of the prelim exam.