Writing on the ‘Scottish play’: key scenes for key characters; themes of ambition, the supernatural, nobility, darkness and death; iambic pentameter, and why the Porter matters; essay structures for passage-based and whole-text questions.
Romeo and Juliet
Writing on the ‘star-cross’d lovers’: themes of civil war and uncivil blood, tragedy vs comedy, and romantic love; Juliet and Romeo’s death scenes; iambic pentameter, and why the Prologue foreshadows all; essay structures for passage-based and whole-text questions.
On poems we’ve never seen: “The Unseen could be anything!” – common poetry styles in unseen poems for AQA and CIE; “There’s nothing to write about!” – foolproof language techniques for any poem; essay structures for responding to unseen poems.
The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
Writing on this classic tale of the Alter-Ego: the narrative voice and Mr Utterson’s role; “my insensate readiness to evil” – Hyde as Darwinian or Satanic character; themes of human nature, reputation and the perilous modern city; “starting with the extract” – how to balance the exam passage with the novel as a whole.
Of Mice and Men
Getting Steinbeck’s ‘Vision of America’ sorted: 'A guy needs somebody – to be near him' – the importance of friendship; key contexts including The Great Depression and migrant work; 'starting with the extract' – how to balance the exam passage with the novel as a whole.
Detailed feedback: An end of course report is sent on completion detailing the student’s achievements and areas for further work.