I think therefore I can analyse?

By Wednesday, August 28, 2019 No tags 0

The top three most asked questions of your English teachers: How many quotations should I use per paragraph? What’s the best structure for a comparative essay? What are the markers looking for in a conclusion? Well, the bad news is there are no definitive answers (we are not talking Mathematics here). No magic number for quotations per paragraph, but interwoven snippets into your own sentences are best for scoring higher marks in organisation and development of ideas. Aim for three to four. Please no chunks ...

Heatwaves

By Monday, August 26, 2019 No tags 0

Many parts of the Northern Hemisphere have experienced heatwaves over the last month. Gallargues-le-Mountueux recorded France’s highest ever temperature of 45.9°C, beating the existing record by 1.8°C. Cambridge recorded the highest temperature ever in the UK. In June, the summit Mount Blanc recorded a temperature of 7°C, whereas normally it would have been below 0°C. Records were broken across Switzerland, Germany, Austria and Spain. The impacts of heatwaves are often underestimated. Images of hurricanes and floods may have a greater impact, ...

Migration in Myanmar

By Friday, August 23, 2019 No tags 0

Myanmar has experienced a surge in migration over the last decade. Many were forced to abandon their homes following Cyclone Nargis is 2008. However, the lifting of restrictions on internal migration, and the attraction of foreign investment has led to a rapid increase in the number of migrants to urban areas, and an increase in the economy of around 6% annually. The garment sector is one of Myanmar’s strongest parts of the economy, with exports of clothes and shows increasing ...

The new IB Diploma Maths syllabus

All IB Diploma students have to follow a maths course at either standard or higher level. Until now, there were three choices: Maths HL, a tough(ish) course for good mathematicians; Maths SL, better for those who didn't want the standard of maths required at the higher level, but still needed, or enjoyed, a course with a reasonable level of mathematical content; and Maths Studies SL, for those, frankly, who weren't mathematically orientated, and which contained topics such as financial maths ...

Five Years of the process portfolio

By Friday, August 16, 2019 No tags 0

We have now had FIVE full years of the ‘new’ visual arts course. It was started in 2014, with first examinations in 2016, so for those of us who have been riding this particular horse from the start, the annual hurdles (aka annual examination sessions) should be getting less daunting and more familiar. Even if the first time round your students’ results were not what you expected, hopefully by now it’s getting easier. I’ve devoted recent blogs to aspects of the ...

Cindy Sherman

By Monday, August 12, 2019 No tags 0

Wow! I have just seen the Cindy Sherman Retrospective at the National Portrait Gallery, London. Click the link for a quick video of the works from the exhibition. “This major new retrospective explores the development of Sherman’s work from the mid-1970s to the present day, and features around 150 works from international public and private collections as well as new work never before displayed in a public gallery. Focusing on the artist’s manipulation of her own appearance and her deployment of material derived ...

Gaston Bachelard. Poetic Philosopher

By Friday, August 9, 2019 No tags 0

Gaston Bachelard (1884-1962) is an unfairly neglected thinker who succeeded in carving himself a niche in the rich tradition of French philosophy of science. Trained as a physics and chemistry high school teacher, Bachelard took an early interest in epistemology at a time when Einstein was publicising both his theories of relativity and propounding a radically new conception of the interaction between space and time. Bachelard’s project was not to get rid of a philosophical approach of science but, on the ...

Oxbridge or not Oxbridge?

By Wednesday, August 7, 2019 No tags 0

Many schools will be expecting students to be thinking about university applications after this summer break, and most of those decisions need to be decided now, at least as a first step. This post considers the idea of a student possibly applying to Oxford or Cambridge (jointly referred to as ‘Oxbridge’). If you are thinking about applying to Oxbridge, you need to consider the following questions: What are your marks like for (I)GCSE / MYP and what are your average marks like ...

Oxbridge or not Oxbridge?

By Monday, August 5, 2019 No tags 0

A quick comment about students that might have Oxbridge aspirations. In many schools, there is a crazy idea that students should not be given homework in the holiday breaks. While it is obvious that students need a break, it is also obvious that they like success at anything they do. In fact this feeling is stronger than that… if you ask students what is their favourite subject, they will often choose the subject they get the best marks in. This is ...

Being human: how the drama genre means everything

"Meanwhile I want to go on talking to you as freely and intimately about what we live for and die for as if I knew you better than anyone else whom you know." English teachers want to open your eyes to what it means to be human and so do playwrights. Nowhere is the interaction between text, audience and purpose more immediate than the theatre. During your two years you may well be studying drama and, I recommend seeing any live theatre. The house lights down, ...