Thursday 28 May 2015

Having trouble letting go ?

This one's for you . For all of you would-be de-clutterers having trouble letting go ...

I want it.
I must have it.
I have to posses it.

I own it.
I don’t use it.
I have debt from it.

It owns me.
It has changed me.
It steals time from me.

It blinded me.
It has taught me.
It has helped guide me.

I desire little.
I keep a little.
I am happier with little.

I miss little.
I stress over little.
I was transformed with little.

Of course .... easier read than done.

Wednesday 27 May 2015

Weekend in the country

The photos say it all ... and as usual, there's always one with food in it ... well what would a weekend in the country be without a cream tea ?

Monday 18 May 2015

Hey Little Magpie

I've been putting the Minc gold foiling machine through its paces over on the Hey Little Magpie blog . If you're tempted  go take a peek.

In anticipation of all my wonderful students passing their exams, I'll be making a few more of these cards. The gold foiling looks beautiful on the bottom line although it never photographs well. I must rig up some proper lighting next time.

Thursday 14 May 2015

Figuratively speaking

If I never see another Eng Lit GCSE text again, it will be too soon. That's a shame because the chosen texts have a lot to offer until , that is, you've had to pick them apart with a fine tooth comb for the purposes of passing a GCSE exam.

I've just read and re-read ( and read aloud ) youngest son's texts - his English Literature  exams are next week. The poetry anthology has been given the same treatment. It's been unpicked to within an inch of its literary life and every linguistic device has been identified in microscopic detail as if under investigation by a Scene of the Crime Officer . It truly takes the joy out of every word, sentence and paragraph ( list of threes) like a dementor sucking the joy out of a scene in a Harry Potter film (simile) . We've been fumbling around the footnotes ( alliteration )  of every poem for clues as if our lives depended on the evidence ( hyperbole) ..... I could go on .

I'm wondering if there's a better way to teach English. I know we have to encourage tomorrow's writer's to know their onions ( idiom ... no this is getting silly now ) and that the best way to appreciate the writer's art is to study the mechanics of writing but do we have to strip it down like a greasy engine ( ooh exciting - an extended metaphor ) or could we not just read books and talk about the power of words ( a touch of personification ? ) and their influence on us ? Just imagine a class full of year 11s coming in to school , talking about what they felt, imagined and experienced from what they'd just read . Books can truly mesmerise us ( metaphor - no STOP this now ) , change our lives, enrich and empower us but not if it puts young readers off for life.

I'm off to pour a large glass of wine having spent the afternoon dissecting the works of the ever cheerful ( irony ) Thomas Hardy . Enough faffing around trying to finesse the finer points of figurative language ( a spot of alliteration )  -  a nice robust red Rioja awaits ( yes ... you know what that is  ) .

Sunday 10 May 2015

There are Thank You presents .....

... and then there are THANK YOU PRESENTS  and this falls into the latter category !

One of my most delightful pupils has just presented me with this chocolatey extravaganza which she made with her Mum. I am speechless with gratitude and looking for a hiding place from the boys who would devour this in one sitting. This amazing Mum has a company called Chocadoodle and she actually gets to do this for a living  as well as being a lovely Mum and having a full time job in education - I don't know how she does it .

For all those pupils sitting SATS exams next week - GOOD LUCK and just think of how wonderful next Friday will feel !

Tuesday 5 May 2015

Good Luck

.. to all those embarking on their first GCSE exam in one hours time - English Language.

Don't worry if you've got butterflies - that's a good thing . It comes from our hairy ancestors - the flight or fight adrenaline thing . It gears you up to do your best.

Visualise success - picture that results sheet with your name on it and that grade you've worked so hard to get.

I've been on an exam marking course for one of the major boards - believe me , the examiner is your friend - they're looking to give you marks - they want you to do well too.

Surround yourself with positive cheerful friends whilst waiting outside the exam from - don't listen to  the prophets of doom. "Be yourself , " as Oscar Wilde once said, "Everyone else is taken . "You CAN do this.

Think about when all of this is over - you're going to have one hell of a Summer ! Bring it on