All senior English classes are now working to finalise Folio pieces for submission to the SQA. Each pupil must have two pieces of the appropriate genre submitted to their English teacher by the following deadline:
National 5 – Friday 17th March
Higher – Friday 24th March
Advanced Higher – Friday 28th April
Folios will be despatched to the SQA shortly after each of these dates.
Kirsty Logan, an award-winning Scottish writer, recently visited Bearsden Academy to help develop our creative thoughts, especially in relation to magical-realism.
As pupils who have already studied her short story, ‘Una and Coll are Not Friends,’ her unique methods of creative writing brought a new perspective to most Advanced Higher English pupils. Her knowledge and history of magical-realism helped us develop ideas which we will later use for creative pieces. According to one pupil she, “brought new ideas to the challenging topic of creative writing.”
Her main technique was to take an object or abstract idea and picture a world where there was either an abundance of this said item, or a lack of it. From there, we wrote short stories or introductions about worlds where this happened, which resulted in obscure and interesting ideas.
Overall, it was an enjoyable experience which most pupils benefited from. Many thanks to Mr Corbett and the rest of the English Department for arranging this creative writing workshop.
Lara Loh, Advanced Higher English
Massive congratulations to Madeleine in 2D!
Over the last few months, the class have been learning poetry ‘by heart’ and reciting it from memory.
Madeleine has successfully memorised all 15 of the poems set….and recited them all, one after the other – a remarkable feat!
- Hope is the Thing with Feathers – Emily Dickinson
- The Trees – Philip Larkin
- Leisure – William Henry Davies
- Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening – Robert Frost
- Please Mrs Butler – Allan Ahlberg
- How Do I Love Thee – Elizabeth Barrett Browning
- A Red, Red Rose – Robert Burns
- Remember – Christina Rossetti
- No Second Troy – William Butler
- Ozymandias – Percy Bysshe Shelley
- The Witch – Mary Elizabeth Coleridge
- I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud – William Wordsworth
- Solitude – Ella Wheeler Wilcox
- Jabberwocky – Lewis Carroll
- The Seven Ages of Man – William Shakespeare (from As You Like It)
Poet, tree, by [a] heart….geddit?!
Have you ever tried a Graphic Novel?
Graphic novels are often compared to comics but are much more sophisticated in terms of their themes, artwork and plots: many are just as complex as a novel.
The school library has a rapidly expanding collection of both comics and graphic novels for all ages – including some specifically for seniors (S4-6).
Speak to the librarian, or pop in and have a look in the graphic novel section for yourself!
Junior titles include:
- Simpsons Comics
- Infernal Devices (manga)
- Silverfin (Young Bond)
- Percy Jackson
- Alex Rider: Eaglestrike
- The Dark Knight Rises
- Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Henry V, Romeo and Juliet
Senior titles include:
- V for Vendetta
- The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
- Fun Home
A new resource for National 5 and Higher pupils has been added to the ‘English Resources’ page: a Discursive Essay Guide.
The pdf guides you through the important steps one-by-one and provides tips, advice and ideas. A must for all pupils preparing persuasive folio pieces in the coming weeks!
N5 Media: Tuesday 12th May (09:00-10.30)
N5 English: Thursday 14th May (09:00-10:00; 10:20-11.50)
Higher English: Friday 15th May (09:00-10:45; 11.05-12:35)
Advanced Higher English: Friday 15th May (13:00-14.30)
Find the full SQA Exam Timetable 2015 here
Massive congratulations to Amy McCall and David Loh, who represented Bearsden Academy at the Glasgow regional heat for Poetry by Heart Scotland – a new national poetry recital competition!
They performed extraordinarily well, despite limited preparation time, nerve-shredding tension and some stiff competition! And although they did not make it through to the national final, both came away from the competition having greatly enjoyed the experience, and with their chosen poems etched indelibly on their hearts to carry with them forever!
David delivered Edwin Morgan’s love poem ‘Strawberries‘ and Helen Mackay’s heart-rending war poem ‘Train‘.
Amy chose to recite ‘How to Kill‘ – a powerful meditation on life, death and warfare by Keith Douglas – alongside the beautiful but unsettling ‘Picnic‘ by Rose Macauley.
Our warmest congratulations and thanks to them both for representing the English department, and the school, so wonderfully!
National 5 and Higher pupils:
Now that the dust has settled following the busy prelim period, it is time to think about the final exam and upcoming folio deadlines, and put in place an action plan to ensure you achieve your target grade.
All Nat 5 and Higher pupils have conducted a self-assessment of their performance in the prelim. On this sheet you identified the question types you need to focus your revision on, and the ways you can improve your critical essay performance. Keep this sheet handy (at the front of your folder, perhaps) and refer to it when revising/creating your revision timetable.
Before your final exam, you will have to hand in your completed folio.
The final deadline for National 5 folios is Friday 13th March.
The final deadline for Higher folios is Friday 27th March.
Over the next few weeks, supported folio sessions will take place from 4-5pm in the library on Mondays for National 5 pupils, and on Wednesdays for Higher pupils. Sign up sheets will be posted outside the English base. Spaces are limited.
NB: While teachers will be available to offer some guidance, these sessions are a great opportunity for you to focus on redrafting and revising your folio pieces in a quiet environment, using the feedback from your class teacher. If you are someone who finds it hard to motivate yourself to work at home, sign up and get your folios sorted in plenty time!
Creative writing is a form of writing which goes beyond daily routines and opens up a new world of thinking; Kirsty Logan certainly taught the Advanced Higher class this. Kirsty Logan is an award-nominated fiction writer who has deep knowledge and understanding of how to teach students about creative writing. As Advanced Higher English pupils are exploring creative short stories, having Kirsty come in and do a Creative Writing Workshop was a real bonus to the class. Kirsty undertook many activities such as using day-to-day phrases as a springboard to come up with ideas for a story. She also spoke about magic realism which encouraged the pupils to think of everyday situations but with an added twist of magic or excitement. This led all the pupils to go on and create their own unique piece.
All in all, Kirsty was a lovely, bubbly person who hopes to inspire people into seeing the world from a different view in order to trigger our imaginations. She totally engaged the class and is a great role model for encouraging us to do well in creative writing.
Some pupils in the class have been reading her short story collection The Rental Heart and other fairytales, which they have relished sharing. We hope this won’t be the last time we see Kirsty and wish her all the best in her future books and writing.
Molly Macdonald S6