For many, coursework is a dirty word. Whilst I am well aware that it can be seen as both a pointless exercise in which someone assists a student to produce “their” essay and also as “free marks” for some students as they approach an examination series which worries them, I believe in coursework as a vital tool for developing students’ critical faculties prior to entering the VIth form and thence to University. It is not the same as the abomination called “Controlled Assessment” which was an aberration now thankfully consigned to the refuse bin of paedagogical pointlessness.
In this Powerpoint I am trying to present to my current IGCSE sets how I might approach a task such as theirs: Explore the presentation of love in 3 poems with reference to 3 more” – catchy and typically circuitous, still that’s the nature of the task for Edexcel IGCSE LITERATURE. We have been working on a range of poets from Shakespeare to Thomas via Rossetti and Achebe. They will not be plagiarising my ideas, quite apart form anything else, I tend to recognise my own writing!
I have been formalising my approach in my mind over the years and have been focused this year an engaging yr 10 with the nature of drafting and improving. We have a little spare time in the calendar and I have been encouraging them to take the time to develop and mature prior to actually writing. All this is quite alien to a group of boys who often wish to dive into a task with little heed of where they might emerge, but it has to be done. Funnily enough, I have just begun to read John Tomsett’s This Much I Know About Love Over Fear … Creating A Culture For Truly Great Teaching http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1845909828/ref=s9_simh_gw_p14_d0_i1?pf_rd_m=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&pf_rd_s=desktop-1&pf_rd_r=01DWBSVFB3AP3RE1WCZ4&pf_rd_t=36701&pf_rd_p=577048787&pf_rd_i=desktop a wonderful book by one of the most humane writers on education currently writing and blogging in the UK. In the book, he outlines a similar course of action – I have also stolen his Janus sentences here: janus sentences – they make so much sense that they will appear in any discussion I have with the students – I urge anyone reading this to read his book and read his many wise ideas about great teaching and leadership.
So, here’s the Powerpoint – feel free to use it or abuse it!