Coursework Folio Deadlines

DeadlineAll 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.

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Exam Targets Set

targetAll senior pupils have now gone through a target-setting exercise where they have focused on their Prelim performance and identified key areas for revision and improvement in the final examination. Each pupil has taken home a sheet with these targets which can be shared with parents/carers.

Creative Writing Workshop – Kirsty Logan

kirsty loganKirsty 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

National Poetry Day – Pupil Poem!

British red post box, isolated on a white backgroundOn National Poetry Day this year, 2D undertook some activities in relation to the Scottish Poetry Library’s poem postcards.

Below is a poem written by Elena, in which she imagines what it would feel like to be a pillar-box, filling up with all sorts of different messages (this year’s NPD theme) only to be emptied at the end of the day.

Elena’s fantastic poem is a response to Meg Bateman’s poem ‘The Pillar-box’ which you can read by clicking here.

The Pillar Box – by Elena T

Softly, gently,

They drop one by one.

Letter by letter,

Word by word,

Day by day they come.

 

I hoard them all,

In my red painted frame.

I keep them dry,

I hold them safe,

Ready for reclaim.

 

First come the love letters,

Packed with words of love and longing.

They were written at dawn,

At the start of the day,

For then it can seem less daunting.

 

The business letters:

Bills and complaints and queries.

On bright white paper,

With stark black font,

The first, perhaps, of a long and tedious series.

 

Postcards of holidays,

From far away places.

They tell of fun,

And of games,

Of night time walks and sunny beach races.

 

And, of course,

For every happy there must come a sad.

The letters that didn’t make it,

The letters been sent back,

‘Return to Sender’ stamped by the young post lad.

 

Commiserations are the worst,

They make me want to groan.

It is hard,

It always is,

To say goodbye to one whom we have known.

 

Each letter that comes,

I will read and I will think.

Some are happy,

Some are sad,

But in each journey I am just a link.

 

The postman arrives,

At 4 O’clock each day.

He takes the letters,

In his bright red van,

To each destination, far away.

 

And thus I am left empty,

To wave goodbye to the sun’s last ray.

I will wait,

Until tomorrow,

Before I hold the letters of another day.

Book Group Cinema Trip

missperegrinecoverToday all the library Book Groups, encompassing pupils from S1 to S6, enjoyed a trip to the Empire cinema at Clydebank for an exclusive showing of the new film adaptation of ‘Miss Peregrine’s School for Peculiar Children’. The adaptation of the novel by Ransom Riggs is directed by Tim Burton, and stars some big names including Eva Green, Judi Dench and Samuel L Jackson.

There was unanimous enjoyment of having a whole cinema to ourselves! Many thanks to Mrs Gilchrist for organising the special showing. Reaction to the film itself was generally positive, though there was some spirited debate about the changes that have been made in adapting from the page to the screen. Here are a few vox pop pupil reactions…

“I really enjoyed reading the book, and the movie was good too.”

“We were surprised by the changes made to the plot, but overall it was an enjoyable experience”

“The film was very different from the book, but still great!”

“There were a lot of loop holes. It’s worth just waiting ’til it’s on Netflix instead – but still worth a watch!”

“The CGI was great!”

miss-peregrines-home-movie-752x440

Summer Reading

Here it is, then: the pile from this summer which, whilst higher than last year’s, was still not good enough to surpass that of an English teacher from a rival school. Curses. Anyway, I particularly enjoyed The Vegetarian (not just because I am one), Submission (which is shocking, at times, but hugely engaging if you have any interest in politics and Europe) and both The Past and Look at Me (novels which effortlessly make you care about the characters within them). Praise, too, for The Lie Tree, a fantastic historical adventure which should appeal to any young teen.

It’s a shame that work sometimes gets in the way of more reading for pleasure…

 

Mr C

Summer Reading 2016

By Heart!

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?!

MIT Open Courses

Higher and Advanced Higher pupils – especially those intending to continue their studies at University in the future – might be interested in the free courses and video lectures available from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology – one of America’s leading universities.

Media Studies students might find “The Film Experience” course a useful history of film and cinema.

A host of other courses and materials is available here.

The courses are largely aimed at undergraduate-level university students, but many will be accessible enough to senior pupils. The video lectures are a great opportunity to practise listening and note-taking skills, especially as transcripts are provided.