’ allows students to consider the writers’ methods. ’ offers the opportunity to explore deeper layers of meaning, authorial intent and conceptual interpretations.However, it’s important to think of this approach as flexibly as possible.I usually print them out A5, so it isn't too wasteful!
which forms part of GCSE English Literature Paper Two.
In the English Department at Boroughbridge High School, where we teach the Power and Conflict cluster, we’ve been spending time over these past few weeks taking a closer look at what our students need to do in order to write a great poetry comparison.
But the examiners’ report suggests that ‘…the key message here is to enable and guide students to form a comparison relative to their level of ability.’ In engaging with the poems, a student aiming for a top grade should aim for a conceptualised response which is exploratory in nature.
A confident student might write an ambitious introduction which outlines their ‘angle’ on the question.
Using our current students’ work alongside papers we recalled from last summer – plus the ever helpful examiner’s report – we’re working to establish some maxims for how we teach this particular aspect of the examination, which we’d like to share with you in this blog post.
exts, in which a student is usually instructed to reconstruct or resequence a text.It wouldn’t be good, for example, to encourage students to think of the Key Question ‘why have the poems been written?’ as an opportunity to shoehorn context into their response.Addressing the task itself – and considering why the poems might have been written – will enable the student to naturally explore context – rather than including lots of biographical information.But the ‘persona’ of the constructed voice might also provide a very useful way of considering context.Some of the possible ways of structuring a poetry comparison can lead to answers which can constrain the level of the response.This can usually be evident when ‘essay plans’ are too simplistic (Poem A, then Poem B) or too artificial (Similarities and Differences) but also when they become too unwieldy.Ideas, exploration of the writers’ methods and apt integration of context should be evident throughout the response.‘Students who recognised where the voice was a construct were more successful than those who regurgitated biographical information about the poet that they then attempted to link to the poetic voice.’ AQA Examiners’ report, June 2017.I found these really helpful at the start of the year when I had no clue how to write a really good essay (they are also written about the poems we are studying so you’ll also be able to understand the poems better and get ideas for essay content whilst learning about the structure of an essay!) Level/English Literature/2015/teaching-and-learning-materials/AS_poetry_exemplar_You can find the mark scheme and a couple of practise questions on the Edexcel website which can be helpful for revision too.