Understanding analysis

18th May 2007 at 01:00
English was the first Higher paper and staff and pupils at Caldervale High in North Lanarkshire were happy with it, says Derek Hotchkiss, principal teacher - particularly with close reading.

This took stories from The Times and the Scotsman. Pupils are encouraged to read quality papers, he says, and it was a good topic, on the place of public libraries in the electronic age. "It was good to see them giving recognition to the role of librarians."

Questions were divided between understanding and analysis, and there were only two asking candidates to analyse imagery. "That's good, because pupils have difficulty answering these," he says. "Most of the analysis questions asked candidates to comment on the writer's choice of words, such as 'cheap', 'chatter' and 'gimmicks'."

Candidates found it hard to complete the close reading, but there were four one-mark questions which could be done quickly.

The critical essay paper had some excellent prose and drama questions, though on poetry there was a question on the literal and metaphorical journey. "I'd like to know what interpretation of 'journey' would be accepted by markers. In our school we teach Liz Lochhead's Revelation, about a girl going to collect a chicken and eggs - our pupils interpreted that as a literal journey."

The film and TV drama questions were demanding.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today