Normally I loathe to work past 9pm, but this evening has been an exception. My Year 11s are moving into the last phase of their studies, and as a result we are focusing on evaluative analysis. It is at this stage that I teach the formulas for answering the Paper 1 Section A (media analysis) with the hope that, for some students at least, they become principles. Yet for many, I hope that they will at the very least be reassuring scaffolds for their meaningful endeavour (and exams.)

As part of life, I’ve been reading OFSTED reports from around Yorkshire. The focus at the moment seems to be on assessment informing activities. I feel that English teachers have the most ground to cover for assessment, just as I feel that (without any proof) science teachers have perhaps the most content to cover, and maths teachers have the issue of entirely requiring students to have a mastery of previous concepts before they can move on.

In some ways, many English teachers loathe marking. Some teachers write – almost to the point of trolling – about how they mark for 12 hours on a weekend (formative marking every week, every student.) If this includes planning for the week ahead, then this (while unsustainable) is worthwhile. But unless the student is given equal time to  respond, such marking is a busy exercise and little more.

With this in mind, my Year 11s have been completing plenary pyramids (1 thing knew before, 3 things learned today, and 2 questions.) I’ve compiled the questions onto a word document, and have split these questions into ten categories. This took me perhaps far too long (30 mins) but I intend to use this document between now and the exam. It lists the questions that they have devised. I will use Triptico (google it, fantastic resource) to allocate students into ten groups, and require them to think and  research these questions with the intention of providing a presentation to the class at a later date.

The presentation will involve some commentary on which questions encouraged the most effective thinking about the concept, as well as a summary of their analysis. I hope, too, that the presentation of several questions will offer evaluative analysis.  In addition, I will fill in any gaps for the class, too.

The questions, and their parent concepts, are listed below:

How to write a purpose and audience sentence
Can P&A be evaluated in one sentence?
Why does the audience and purpose have to be precise?
How do you identify a specific audience?
Why do we need purpose and audience to answer questions?
How can we link purpose and audience?
Why do we need to spend so much time finding out the purpose and audience?

Wider applications of analysis
How can we apply this knowledge to everyday things?
Why do we need to analyse in later life?
How important are the reading techniques used in the exam?
Could you apply the same presentational devices to a different form of media? E.g. film?
How can such a general format be used in something as ambiguous as English?
How can you find a purpose and audience that is more specific – isn’t it based on opinion?

Skim-reading techniques
How can I skim read properly?
Why is skim reading important?
Is skim reading essential?
Do you have to skim read?
How do you skim read?
How can I improve my skim reading technique?
Hwio can I improve my skim reading to identify a better purpose and audience?

Exam tips
What should I do if I am struggling to identify the purpose and audience?
How do you use the reading techniques of analysis effectively in an exam without exceeding the allocated time?
How long do we have roughly for a question like this?
How many marks overall?
What will happen if I can’t find the purpose and audience?
How much will a specific purpose and audience aid me in my writing?

Criteria for reading part of English Language exam

How do we distinguish between presentation and language techniques.
What is the cleverest way to gain marks?
What’s the specific criteria for answering the question?
How useful is an example of a good answer?
Is there a perfect answer?

Mr Anderson’s top tips
Will the booklet help us gain marks?
Why do we need to analyse specifically?
What are Mr Anderson’s top tips?
What are Mr A’s top tips?
Will we remember to use these skills in the exam?

What does ‘being specific’ mean for purpose audience?
How can you be more specific with P&A?
Why do you have to be more specific?
How does always being specific help me?
How can we have a fully analysed P&A?
How can we be further specific when analysing?
How can we be sure our purpose and audience is specific enough?


Structuring an exam answer
How can I start an analysis sentence?
How can I get easy marks on the exam?
How do you improve an exam answer?
What does an exam question look like?
What is the specific structure used to answer exam questions?
How can we structure our answer?
How can we improve our exam answers/make them specific?

What should I think about in regards to connotations/inference?
What makes certain connotations ‘good’?
What can I do to further develop my understanding of connotations?
Do articles ever not have a specific purpose and audience?
What are the tell-tale signs of a certain audience?

Mr Anderson’s Reading Method
Do you have to use the Anderson reading method?
How do we spot which devices are relevant?
How can we know what words to circle/underline?
What are the best things to pick out?
What am I supposed to look for in an article?