The Burying Party: the definitive Wilfred Owen film

I’m sitting by myself in the Wetherspoons at Liverpool Lime Street station, in the pre-weekend hubbub of a humid Friday afternoon. There’s a poetry book on the table in front of me, a film script on my phone, and I’m waiting for a man I’ve never met to arrive on the London train. How did this happen? Continue reading

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On teaching Shakespeare

An interesting take on how to help young people get the most out of Shakespeare, from a fellow blogger and teacher of English Literature:

LIT.GAZ.

51QrP0QTnTL._AC_US160_A follower’s question about the teaching of Shakespeare has had me reflecting on my experiences in the classroom.

I was wary of teaching Shakespeare too early on in secondary school. I know there are people who think ‘the younger the better’, but the other side of that idea is dealing with the kind of questions students are likely to ask; I have never been one to censor anything in the classroom, and so waiting until students were – hopefully – of a suitable mature age to be given honest and truthful answers to their questions, felt more sensible to me. Inevitably questions about sex would arise: Shakespeare is full of allusions, references, and, more than anything, word-play. Explaining Romeo and Juliet even to Y9 students demanded a certain level of care… so my personal preference was to wait until Y9.

There is the idea of beginning earlier with something more…

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I took an 11YO to see Macbeth. Does that make me a bad parent?

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new copy of Macbeth, purchased to read in advance of the play. The copy I had at school didn’t have a movie star on the front cover.

11YO has been studying Macbeth in high school this term, and as there was a production of it at our local Leeds Arts Centre recently, I thought I’d give her the opportunity to experience it as it was intended – as a piece of live theatre.  (She’s also seen this episode of Blackadder and wanted to know what it was all about!) Continue reading