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 Post subject: Re: Lit Paper 2 - Poetry
PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2018 10:18 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:29 am
Posts: 1636
Pinecone wrote:
Hi Piggys

Thank you for placing your tips on here; they were very helpful.

I was just wondering if you could give me your thoughts on the AQA literature paper today (assuming you have seen it).

I understand that some did ‘conflict’ and some did ‘love and relationships’.

Apparently the poem that came up for the ‘conflict’ section was the poem in the specimen paper so everyone (I assume) is likely to have studied the specimen paper and therefore have a very good understanding of how to analyse that poem.

The poem that came up on the ‘love and relationships’ section was one that apparantly no-one thought would come up and so, I am told, some teachers didn’t spend any time on it (probably because it is such an awful poem to write about and compare to other poems and it doesn’t have any metaphors etc).

If the above is correct, it would seem that those doing ‘conflict’ were at an advantage to those doing ‘love and relationships’ yet the latter have to score as highly to get the same grade. I could understand if they were different exams being marked differently but when it is the same exam with the same marking scheme and grade boundary, it seems a little unfair to give one lot the poem from the specimen paper and the other lot get the worst poem to write about.

I just wondered what you thought.

Thanks in anticipation.


You wondered what I thought? Ok . Here goes:

1) Unless you are fully conversant with the poetry anthologies and know a lot about poetry then please do not describe 'Singh Song' as 'an awful poem'. I think it's marvellous, and I'm willing to bet that I know more about the poetry anthologies than you do. FYI it is bursting with imagery and vibrant language and ideas, so sorry - you are just plain wrong. The idea that it is 'impossible to compare because it doesn't have any metaphors' is , frankly, rubbish. If that is the impression your dc has got then take it up with the school. It sounds like someone didn't revise thoroughly.

2) 'Apparently no-one thought it would come up'. Oh yeah? like who? any teacher who advises their class that a certain poem 'won't come up' is in the wrong job. My dd's year revised it. Why didn't yours? Complain to the school. I revised it with my students.

3) So Ozymandias came up on a specimen paper? It doesn't really make any difference. This GCSE spec has only been running for three years now. Last year's Y11 was the first cohort. There are no established patterns, so playing a tactical game in trying to guess what will and won't come up is not intelligent. Specimen papers are exactly that.

4). I really must take issue with your description of 'Singh Song!' as 'the worst poem'. Explain to me why it's 'worse' than any of the others in the anthology. I love it. And I'm pretty clued up about these things. Have you even read it? I'm aghast at your dismissive, insulting comments. Worthy of a true philistine.

5) The 'level' of the poems in each section of the anthologies -and I am including the EDEXCEL and OCR anthologies in this - is similar. There isn't one which is 'easier' or 'harder' than another. If you are studying an anthology then you must assume that any of the poems could appear on the exam paper.

That's what I thought.


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 Post subject: Re: Lit Paper 2 - Poetry
PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2018 10:19 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:29 am
Posts: 1636
piggys wrote:
Pinecone wrote:
Hi Piggys

Thank you for placing your tips on here; they were very helpful.

I was just wondering if you could give me your thoughts on the AQA literature paper today (assuming you have seen it).

I understand that some did ‘conflict’ and some did ‘love and relationships’.

Apparently the poem that came up for the ‘conflict’ section was the poem in the specimen paper so everyone (I assume) is likely to have studied the specimen paper and therefore have a very good understanding of how to analyse that poem.

The poem that came up on the ‘love and relationships’ section was one that apparantly no-one thought would come up and so, I am told, some teachers didn’t spend any time on it (probably because it is such an awful poem to write about and compare to other poems and it doesn’t have any metaphors etc).

If the above is correct, it would seem that those doing ‘conflict’ were at an advantage to those doing ‘love and relationships’ yet the latter have to score as highly to get the same grade. I could understand if they were different exams being marked differently but when it is the same exam with the same marking scheme and grade boundary, it seems a little unfair to give one lot the poem from the specimen paper and the other lot get the worst poem to write about.

I just wondered what you thought.

Thanks in anticipation.


You wondered what I thought? Ok . Here goes:

1) Unless you are fully conversant with the poetry anthologies and know a lot about poetry then please do not describe 'Singh Song!' as 'an awful poem'. I think it's marvellous, and I'm willing to bet that I know more about the poetry anthologies than you do. FYI it is bursting with imagery and vibrant language and ideas, so sorry - you are just plain wrong. The idea that it is 'impossible to compare because it doesn't have any metaphors' is , frankly, rubbish. If that is the impression your dc has got then take it up with the school. It sounds like someone didn't revise thoroughly.

2) 'Apparently no-one thought it would come up'. Oh yeah? like who? any teacher who advises their class that a certain poem 'won't come up' is in the wrong job. My dd's year revised it. Why didn't yours? Complain to the school. I revised it with my students.

3) So Ozymandias came up on a specimen paper? It doesn't really make any difference. This GCSE spec has only been running for three years now. Last year's Y11 was the first cohort. There are no established patterns, so playing a tactical game in trying to guess what will and won't come up is not intelligent. Specimen papers are exactly that.

4). I really must take issue with your description of 'Singh Song!' as 'the worst poem'. Explain to me why it's 'worse' than any of the others in the anthology. I love it. And I'm pretty clued up about these things. Have you even read it? I'm aghast at your dismissive, insulting comments. Worthy of a true philistine.

5) The 'level' of the poems in each section of the anthologies -and I am including the EDEXCEL and OCR anthologies in this - is similar. There isn't one which is 'easier' or 'harder' than another. If you are studying an anthology then you must assume that any of the poems could appear on the exam paper.

That's what I thought.


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 Post subject: Re: Lit Paper 2 - Poetry
PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2018 11:26 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 19, 2015 7:42 pm
Posts: 25
Piggys - I'm sorry to see your reply is so unnecessarily aggressive and you chose to put words in my mouth - I never said it was 'impossible to compare'. Obviously I'm not an English Literature teacher like you and so clearly my knowledge is inferior to yours in this area but I am entitled to my opinion about the poem and don't expect to be called names for it. I hope you're not as rude to your students.


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 Post subject: Re: Lit Paper 2 - Poetry
PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2018 1:57 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:28 am
Posts: 468
Pinecone - You said you assumed that everyone will have studied the specimen paper - unfortunately this is incorrect. My DD's class, doing "conflict", absolutely didn't have sight of the specimen paper before today's exam. She and many other like her, therefore had no advantage over those who had to do the "love and relationships" and to suggest so, is a little unfair. The anthology poems were there to be studied - anyone choosing to do so selectively, was playing a dangerous game.

piggys - Whilst there may be many people reading your post who find themselves agreeing with the points you make, I think I'm really disappointed that someone could post in such a way on this forum. I'm rarely , if ever moved to put my head above the parapet to say things like this but I'm shocked.


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 Post subject: Re: Lit Paper 2 - Poetry
PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2018 7:17 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:29 am
Posts: 1636
Pinecone wrote:
Piggys - I'm sorry to see your reply is so unnecessarily aggressive and you chose to put words in my mouth - I never said it was 'impossible to compare'. Obviously I'm not an English Literature teacher like you and so clearly my knowledge is inferior to yours in this area but I am entitled to my opinion about the poem and don't expect to be called names for it. I hope you're not as rude to your students.


Frankly I think describing a poem as 'awful' and 'the worst' is unnecessarily aggressive but there you go. I am also entitled to my view, and one thing I always encourage in students is not to dismiss a text/genre/author out of hand until they know something about it. You could benefit from this too. You clearly feel annoyed because for some reason your dc's school discouraged their Y11s from revising the complete anthology which is foolish and puts them at a disadvantage. You are blaming it on the poem.

Bravado; sorry. It's my Achilles heel - people describing a writer/reading/poems as 'rubbish' or 'awful' when they know nothing. I feel duty bound to intervene. It's one thing to hear a child saying 'I hate books' or 'poetry is boring' but another thing entirely to hear a grown adult describe something they likely know nothing about as 'awful' and 'the worst'. So many people are dismissive about literature these days, adults included. I try to stand up for it. Poetry is a vast and varied genre. It's not all Keats and Wordsworth . I'm doing Poems of the Decade in 6th form at the moment which illustrates how diverse and forward thinking the genre is. Maybe I'll send Pinecone a copy.

Anyway there it is.


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 Post subject: Re: Lit Paper 2 - Poetry
PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2018 7:48 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2009 9:19 pm
Posts: 8141
Piggys you have been incredibly helpful and my DS has been very grateful for your notes and tips. However, I did find your "I know best, I'm right and you are wrong" stance unnecessary.

The thing I love about literature (and I only did it to A level) is that you can have an opinion that differs from somebody else's and both are valid. I remember my year 5 DS telling his English teacher that he didn't like Michael Morpurgo's books (a heinous crime in her eyes) and she roundly told him he couldn't say that! I was very proud when he said "I've read some of them and that's my opinion"! In my view she would have been better challenging him to write half a page on why he held that opinion and not just dismiss his because it was different from hers.

_________________
Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit, wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad !


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 Post subject: Re: Lit Paper 2 - Poetry
PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2018 9:31 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:28 am
Posts: 468
piggys wrote:

Bravado; sorry. It's my Achilles heel - people describing a writer/reading/poems as 'rubbish' or 'awful' when they know nothing. I feel duty bound to intervene. It's one thing to hear a child saying 'I hate books' or 'poetry is boring' but another thing entirely to hear a grown adult describe something they likely know nothing about as 'awful' and 'the worst'. So many people are dismissive about literature these days, adults included. I try to stand up for it. Poetry is a vast and varied genre. It's not all Keats and Wordsworth . I'm doing Poems of the Decade in 6th form at the moment which illustrates how diverse and forward thinking the genre is. Maybe I'll send Pinecone a copy.

Anyway there it is.


I do know how you feel on some levels.

We're all different though and we might not see what others see. Even those who share your love of literature won't find every genre to their taste and furthermore, within those genres, may well be something they don't like. For example, I adore Shakespeare, from sonnets through to plays but even I don't like everything and moreover, I much prefer to see plays performed in period costume. My children are chalk and cheese - DD1 (the "artsy" one) thinks Shakespeare is boring, DD2 (the science-one) sees the beauty in the language and the relevance today and yet both had the benefit of my "evangelizing" with passion and compassion for their viewpoints and pre-conceptions. DD2 comes along to RSC performances with me - live and live-televised - she loves it but I seem unable to get DD1 to join us. Despite my frustrations that she won't even try it, I keep using persuasive language to encourage her to watch a play with us because I want her to share those feelings that DD2 and I have with Shakespeare. However, there may come a point where I have to accept that despite this little "failing" (joking :lol:) she does still love poetry, plays, books and the art of Vermeer and Jan Steen but will never "get" Shakespeare. I continue to celebrate the fact that both DD's have a love of literature but accept they don't have to like or "get" all the stuff I do, in the same way that I don't like all forms or works of literature. I'll keep using my well-tested, useful mantra of "I'll catch more flies with honey than vinegar" :)

Thanks for the help you give us all on here.


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 Post subject: Re: Lit Paper 2 - Poetry
PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2018 10:10 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 9:51 am
Posts: 10037
May I remind posters:

Forum Etiquette

1. Be polite. Even though you are looking at a computer screen and cannot see other members, they are real people who have feelings.

2. “Think first, post second.” A post may not always read the same to others as it does to you. Review your post before submitting it and consider how it will be received by others. If your post is misinterpreted and causes offence, explain and apologise.


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 Post subject: Re: Lit Paper 2 - Poetry
PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2018 10:28 am 
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Joined: Wed May 09, 2007 3:09 pm
Posts: 1206
Location: Solihull, West Midlands
I was reading/scribing for a pupil (SEN, severe dyslexia etc) in the poetry yesterday so I got to read out the whole of Singh Song - I quite liked it as a poem but my pupil found it hard to analyse, especially with the unconventional spelling to denote the accent (but probably no more so than the others in the anthology which would be hard for other reasons). We spent far more time on Animal Farm and the unseen poetry.

Does the emphasis on analysis "kill" the enjoyment of poetry/ literature / painting / music maybe? I suspect it does for many, when it becomes a matter of PEA to get marks in a formulaic way. Maybe only the keenest should need to do this in detail, whereas everyone should have the chance to experience a wide range of "the best" (dangerous! who decides? ) especially if they are not exposed to it outside school. It's such a shame if the only opportunity so many children have to learn about our shared cultural heritage is driven by narrowing down to those few texts for exam purposes.

Interestingly in our household DH (scientific, logical, doesn't "get" poetry or read much fiction apart from those historical CS Sansom or the odd thriller) also likes his Shakespeare in period dress (we are fortunate to be close enough to get to the RSC regularly, although never quite book early enough). He likes his classical music with "loud bits" and finds any deeper analysis akin to witchcraft ("what is sonata form anyway?") whereas to me understanding more about the tonality, orchestration and thematic structure of a piece of music enhances my appreciation immensely

Each to their own - but sad that many never get the chance to find out what their "own" might be


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 Post subject: Re: Lit Paper 2 - Poetry
PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2018 11:20 am 
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Posts: 2499
I loved the analysis part at school. It was the only way I could appreciate a book if it wasn’t my thing, Lord of the Flies for instance.


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