My most viewed blogs of 2016

In reverse order:

10. Comparing texts – next steps – GCSE English language – in which I offer practical strategies for comparing unseen texts in GCSE language exams

9. Boy Trouble: some questions to help close the gender gap in English – a reflection on ways I have tried to improve the performance of boys in English (although other subjects leaders apparently found this useful too)

8. How to be a Head of Faculty – my advice for all new and aspiring heads of faculty/department

7. How to compare texts – a general guide to comparison. I had about 17 followers before this was retweeted by some Twitter heavyweights, such as Geoff Barton, Tom Sherrington and Chris Curtis

6. Part 3: Some proper exemplars for the GCSE English Language Evaluation question – an initial rant inspired by a frustrating AQA training day that went on to offer my own take on what pupils will need to do to succeed with the new English GCSEs

5. Exam essay questions, and how to avoid answering them – as Andy Tharby noted wryly, this off the cuff blog wasn’t one for the purists. My cheeky take on how to manipulate exam questions to play to your strengths. It turned out Stephen Fry used the same approach at Cambridge

4. Teaching structure – a model answer – my guide to producing model answers, with a specific example for the infamous structure question

3. Etiquette, sexual repression and body snatching – A Guide to the context of Jekyll & Hyde – a bibliography of context resources for Stevenson’s classic novella. With a little help from Rob Ward and James Theobald

2. Teaching the Evaluation Question for GCSE English Language – in which I introduced the creaky mnemonic GRANDDAD to the unsuspecting world, as I way to try and slay this 20 mark beast

And by far the most popular blog:

1.  Teaching Structure for the new English GCSEs – English teachers around the country were apparently desperately searching for a way in to this topic. Like a snake oil salesman, I knocked out a structure elixir (hopefully without any dubious long-term side effects)

Thanks for all your feedback this year,




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