Blog posts

The Language Criterion 10 November 2018

A question recently posted on this website asked for some guidance on the distinction between the level 4 and 5 descriptors for Language, picking out the difficulty of distinguishing between language... more

The Results are in... 9 August 2018

I was talking recently to a Head of English who was scratching his head having received a huge spreadsheet of data on this year’s IB results from his school, including graphs showing results from the... more

'Taking Ownership...' 20 April 2018

'Taking Ownership' is a phrase that I find myself using a lot in lessons and it relates to a central idea that can be applied in various ways through the course’s different modes of assessment. I... more

Luddites, Laputans and Literature teachers 30 March 2018

Five recommendations, after a preamble about technology, teachers and Literature...If there is a stereotype of a Literature teacher (and I am sure there are several), one of the defining characteristics... more

Happy New Year 7 January 2018

Are you one for new year’s resolutions? Browsing around for inspirational quotations, I come across this from G K Chesterton: "The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year. It is... more

A Christmas Present 19 December 2017

Here's a Christmas present for you: Dylan Thomas reading his story, A Child’s Christmas in Wales. Find below this virtual Christmas tree, a link to a recording of the poet reading this at Steinway Hall,... more

Remember, remember, the Fifth of November... 5 November 2017

Several, somewhat unconnected things...Interesting article in the UK’s Guardian newspaper today: famous writers/artists making recommendations of their favourite graphic novels. If anyone knows some... more

The New Course (2019): the story so far… 23 September 2017

Change is coming. Writing those three simple words, it is hard not to think of the motto of House Stark - “Winter is coming” - and the armies of White Walkers marching (very slowly as it turns out)... more

"Read, my child. Read." 29 April 2017

Watch the short video below of civil-rights campaigner and congressman John Lewis accepting America's National Book Award for young people's literature last year. He won the award for the third volume... more

Why choose Richie Cunningham over the Fonz? 16 April 2017

Or, to clarify the analogy which I am now going to stretch well beyond breaking point, why study Literature rather than Language and Literature? This is the choice we present to our students each year... more