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Ms W's English Shop

I am an English specialist and Head of English, Drama and Media. I am passionate about supporting all students to access the English curriculum, to achieve at the highest possible levels in their exams and to love the subject. I currently teach AQA and have created lots of full schemes of work which develop exam skills and independence. All my resources have been tried and refined in the classroom; I hope that you will find them useful and welcome all constructive feedback and dialogue.

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I am an English specialist and Head of English, Drama and Media. I am passionate about supporting all students to access the English curriculum, to achieve at the highest possible levels in their exams and to love the subject. I currently teach AQA and have created lots of full schemes of work which develop exam skills and independence. All my resources have been tried and refined in the classroom; I hope that you will find them useful and welcome all constructive feedback and dialogue.
Jekyll & Hyde GCSE Revision Guide & Workbook
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Jekyll & Hyde GCSE Revision Guide & Workbook

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A twenty-two page revision guide on The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Contains a combination of information and activities for students to work through, taking them back to the text and asking them to think deeply and independently about characters, language, themes and context. Once completed, the activities then act as a further revision resource for students. This was written with the new AQA GCSE specification in mind and has information on the AQA assessment objectives, but beyond that would be useful for revising the text for any exam board. The booklet includes sections on: The AQA paper and assessment objectives Author Biography Plot Themes & Context Character function, traits and quotations Form and Narrative Structure Language and Structure Nineteenth Century Art and the unconscious mind Setting Practice extract question I have found this very useful as a homework pack for a half term/term, which can be reflected on and further discussed and developed in lessons. Differentiation is inbuilt - for example, a range of quotations is provided for the character activities. Students can analyse and learn a selection of these, or all of them, depending on skill level. A straightforward author biography is provided which will contain sufficient context for some students, but context is returned to in much greater depth in the 'themes and context' section of the booklet to provide stretch and challenge. The section on 19th century art could be used as an optional extension for targeted students or be used to challenge a whole class to develop their contextual knowledge even further. Any questions, please just ask. Thanks.
Chaucer Merchant's Tale Context Revision Resource
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Chaucer Merchant's Tale Context Revision Resource

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An A3 double-sided revision resource for Chaucer and The Merchant's Tale context. Includes information on Chaucer's life, The Canterbury Tales, the marriage tales, use of irony, conventions of medieval poetry, the medieval Church, contemporary beliefs about poverty and death, Chaucer's earlier great poem Troilus & Criseyde and specific symbolism, imagery and references in The Merchant's Tale. My students found this a really useful go-to for context revision as the information can seem overwhelming, but here it's brought together in one place.
A Passage to Africa Detailed Notes - For Teachers or Students
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A Passage to Africa Detailed Notes - For Teachers or Students

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Detailed 2-page resource of analytical notes on 'A Passage to Africa' by George Alagiah - for use with Section B of the Edexcel IGCSE in English Language. I prepared these notes for first-teaching of the extract but also ultimately gave them to students who found them very useful for revision purposes. The notes begin by focusing on purpose, audience and form and then focus in close detail on key linguistic and structural choices made by the writer. This helped my students to gain the in-depth and high level knowledge and skills required to score well on this section.
Intro to The Bloody Chamber Booklet - A Level
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Intro to The Bloody Chamber Booklet - A Level

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A thorough introduction to Angela Carter designed for A Level students beginning study of The Bloody Chamber. The booklet covers key biographical information on Carter, including the experiences in Japan which shaped her as a writer. There are accessible introductions to essentialism, feminism, including the virgin-whore dichotomy, and post-modernism. Charles Perrault's version of 'Bluebeard' is also included to kick off study of the title story of the collection, as well as an exploration of artistic influences on Carter's version of this tale, including Impressionism and Symbolism. There is an analysis of each of the Marquis' wives and a collaborative research task. The booklet includes a number of questions and wider reading tasks. Designed for the OCR spec as part of the 'Gothic' module which heavily weights context and requires knowledge of the author's biography and wider works as well as critical traditions and alternative readings. Includes occasional reference to Dracula, as this was the partner text, however could be used with any other Gothic partner text or on its own. I studied Carter for my undergraduate dissertation and Master's degree and draw on that knowledge here, in a format that aims to be compact and accessible for students.
The Penelopiad - Power, Sexuality and Weaving e-Book for iBooks
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The Penelopiad - Power, Sexuality and Weaving e-Book for iBooks

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A detailed, 22-page e-Book on the background, key themes and characters of Margaret Atwood's The Penelopiad focusing on historical context, power, sexuality and weaving. Created to give A-Level students the necessary background on The Odyssey and the roles of Penelope and Odysseus in Homer's text, it looks at themes of power and sexuality in the original text, throughout history and the ways in which Atwood explores, challenges and expands on these. The e-Book is divided into the following sections: - Aristotle's philosophical conceptions of power. - Male power in The Odyssey, focusing on Odysseus, Telemachus and The Suitors, followed by a detailed analysis of how male power is represented in Homer's text, looking in particular at storytelling as a male prerogative. - Female power in The Odyssey, focusing on Penelope, the Maids, Circe and Calypso, and the threat of female power and sexuality. - Context on the Virgin-Whore Dichotomy and the Femme Fatale in 20th Century Culture. This is developed into a discussion on the cultural conception of two Penelopes; the virgin and the whore. - Detailed section on the Maids in both texts and their connection to Artemis and her 12 Moon Maidens. - Does Penelope sleep with the suitors? An exploration of this question in Homer and Atwood's texts. - What other forms does female power take?: A look at inaction and weaving as key forms of female power. - Penelope throughout History - An overview looking at Penelope in Ovid's Heroides, 16th and 17th Century poetry and 21st Century film and theatre. - How far does Atwood reject and rewrite the limiting portrayal of Penelope? - An exploration of what Atwood's Penelopiad achieves. Contains critical quotations from Cixous, Stein and Gregersdottir. Please note, the file will need to be opened and read in iBooks, which can be done on any iPad or iPhone, so works well for student revision on the go.
Chaucer Merchant's Tale - Pluto & Proserpina Interlude
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Chaucer Merchant's Tale - Pluto & Proserpina Interlude

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A detailed handout explaining the Pluto and Proserpina Interlude in The Merchant's Tale. Their unique presentation and nuanced relationship is explored in relation to the wider tale. Designed for the OCR specification, which weights context heavily.
Romeo & Juliet Detailed Character Profiles
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Romeo & Juliet Detailed Character Profiles

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A 32-page character revision resource for Romeo and Juliet covering twenty characters in depth. This booklet is designed to give students the thorough and highly detailed knowledge required by the new GCSE. The character profiles for major characters contain: - Key Facts - Character Function & Development (focusing in detail on how each character functions at a symbolic level and how they develop over the course of the play) - Characteristics - Key plot points in the play - Key Quotations - Summary of themes linked with the character Key summaries are also provided for minor characters, e.g. Peter, Potpan, Abram and Balthasar, the Chorus. Although the focus is on character, the resource also provides much detail on key events and themes, motifs and context. In addition, at the end of the resource, there is a summary section of character development over the course of the play - half of these are completed as examples and students can complete the second half themselves. I have used this resource to: - Provide staggered revision homework and followed up with tests on each character - As a support resource for essay-writing - As a way to introduce characters or explore them in more depth as a class. - As a research resource for jigsaw learning activities, dividing the class into groups and assigning a major character to each group. - To help students understand how to think about character function and development. Differentiation can be done in a number of ways - through the character assigned to a student, the sections they are asked to work on, and the number and length of quotations they are expected to revise. This is a particularly useful resource for a high-ability group with high target grades. It gives them the level of detail and breadth of knowledge that will allow their essays to stand out, and is designed to get them thinking at a functional and symbolic level considering the whole of the play. Any questions, please ask.
Chaucer Merchant's Tale Bundle
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Chaucer Merchant's Tale Bundle

6 Resources
A bundle of Chaucer/Merchant’s Tale resources designed for A Level Study. Includes: Introductory activities on the Canterbury Tales; a SOLO taxonomy context research activity; a selection of activities on marriage; a handout on the Pluto & Proserpina interlude; a context revision resource, drawing together lots of information; and a primary quotations revision resource.
Nineteenth Century Short Stories Resources
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Nineteenth Century Short Stories Resources

5 Resources
Resources for teaching The New Windmill Nineteenth Century Short Stories collection, including: 1. An in-depth, 30 page revision guide for the New Windmill Book of Nineteenth Century Short Stories on the Edexcel IGCSE English Literature Course. For each story, there is: - An overview, covering key points on characterisation, plot and themes. Links are made between the stories where relevant. - Key quotations - A list of key themes. 2. Country Living SOLO Taxonomy Questions - 14 questions on the short story 'Country Living' by Guy De Maupassant based on SOLO Taxonomy principles. The questions are designed to be done after a first reading of the story to check and develop students' understanding of the plot, context and characters in a phased way. They are divided into sections of 'Unistructural', 'Multistructural', 'Relational' and 'Extended Abstract' going from basic, building-block knowledge of the story to abstract connections to contemporary ideas and writing. Students choose a starting point appropriate to their current skill and knowledge level; equally, they could work in differentiated groups, with each group taking a set of questions to answer. 3. 14 questions on the short story 'Napoleon and the Spectre' by Charlotte Bronte based on SOLO Taxonomy principles, designed similarly to those above for Country Living. 4. Nine comprehension and analysis questions on the short story 'The Nightingale and the Rose' by Oscar Wilde requiring in-depth, critical responses. The questions are designed to be done after a first reading of the story to check and develop students' understanding of the plot, characters and themes. This is a useful classwork or homework resource. 5. Three sets of questions on the short stories 'News of the Engagement', 'The Unexpected' and 'Hop Frog' from the New Windmill collection. The questions are designed to be done after a first reading of the story to check and develop students' understanding of the plot, context and characters. There is a combination of comprehension and analysis questions. This would make an effective classwork, homework or flipped learning task if you asked students to read the story independently before completing the questions.
'Napoleon & the Spectre' SOLO Taxonomy Questions - 19th Century Short Stories
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'Napoleon & the Spectre' SOLO Taxonomy Questions - 19th Century Short Stories

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14 questions on the short story 'Napoleon and the Spectre' by Charlotte Bronte based on SOLO Taxonomy principles. The questions are designed to be done after a first reading of the story to check and develop students' understanding of the plot, context and characters in a phased way. They are divided into sections of 'Unistructural', 'Multistructural', 'Relational' and 'Extended Abstract' going from basic, building-block knowledge of the story to abstract connections to contemporary ideas and writing. Students choose a starting point appropriate to their current skill and knowledge level; equally, they could work in differentiated groups, with each group taking a set of questions to answer. Students might need to conduct some research in order to answer some of the questions. Designed for teaching of the New Windmill 19th Century Short Stories on the Edexcel IGCSE.
'The Nightingale and the Rose' Questions - 19th Century Short Stories
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'The Nightingale and the Rose' Questions - 19th Century Short Stories

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Nine comprehension and analysis questions on the short story 'The Nightingale and the Rose' by Oscar Wilde requiring in-depth, critical responses. The questions are designed to be done after a first reading of the story to check and develop students' understanding of the plot, characters and themes. This is a useful classwork or homework resource. Designed for teaching of the New Windmill 19th Century Short Stories on the Edexcel IGCSE.
19th Century Short Stories Questions
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19th Century Short Stories Questions

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Three sets of questions on the short stories 'News of the Engagement', 'The Unexpected' and 'Hop Frog' from the New Windmill collection. The questions are designed to be done after a first reading of the story to check and develop students' understanding of the plot, context and characters. There is a combination of comprehension and analysis questions. This would make an effective classwork, homework or flipped learning task if you asked students to read the story independently before completing the questions. Designed for teaching of the New Windmill 19th Century Short Stories on the Edexcel IGCSE.
'Country Living' Guy De Maupassant SOLO Taxonomy Questions
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'Country Living' Guy De Maupassant SOLO Taxonomy Questions

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14 questions on the short story 'Country Living' by Guy De Maupassant based on SOLO Taxonomy principles. The questions are designed to be done after a first reading of the story to check and develop students' understanding of the plot, context and characters in a phased way. They are divided into sections of 'Unistructural', 'Multistructural', 'Relational' and 'Extended Abstract' going from basic, building-block knowledge of the story to abstract connections to contemporary ideas and writing. Students choose a starting point appropriate to their current skill and knowledge level; equally, they could work in differentiated groups, with each group taking a set of questions to answer. Students might need to conduct some research in order to answer some of the questions. Designed for teaching of the New Windmill 19th Century Short Stories on the Edexcel IGCSE.
Romeo & Juliet Key Motifs Quotations Revision
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Romeo & Juliet Key Motifs Quotations Revision

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A 2-page quotation revision resource on key motifs and symbolism in Romeo & Juliet. The quotations are grouped as follows: - Fire & Heat Imagery - Light & Dark Imagery - Stars Motif - Infection & Disease Motif - Religion & Pilgrimage Imagery - Graves, Death & Corruption Imagery Includes 27 quotations in total so is useful for focused revision; each quotation is briefly contextualised within the play. It is designed to engage students and make them feel that quotation-learning is achievable. This could be used as a homework or in-class resource as part of exam preparation or as an essay-writing prompt. It provides a realistic number of quotations for middle and lower ability students to focus on for these key motifs. For higher ability students, it can form part of a wider quotation revision programme. Revision can also be differentiated by the number of sections that students are given to learn.
Romeo & Juliet Quotations Revision Table
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Romeo & Juliet Quotations Revision Table

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A double-sided A3 quotations revision resource for Romeo and Juliet, organising key quotations by theme and character. Characters run down the side of the table and themes run across the top. Where a quotation is relevant to both a theme and a character, it is included in the relevant square. 44 of the 88 squares are filled with one or often numerous quotations. The other squares are blank for students to fill in their own additional quotations as part of the revision process. The characters covered are: Romeo, Juliet, Lady Capulet, Lord Capulet, The Nurse, Friar Lawrence, The Montagues, Mercutio, Benvolio, Tybalt and some quotations from minor characters and the Chorus. Themes covered are: Love & Sex, Fate, Death, Conflict & Reconciliation, Parent/Child Relationships, Friendship, Youth & Age, Marriage (linked to women's roles). My students said that they found this a useful and detailed overview of key quotations which helped them to make connections between themes and characters in their revision.
'Mockingbirds' Activity in To Kill A Mockingbird
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'Mockingbirds' Activity in To Kill A Mockingbird

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This activity is designed to get students thinking about all the different characters who are 'mockingbirds' in the novel, i.e. symbols of vulnerability and innocence. There are two versions of the handout included - the first has blank space for students to write in their own ideas about each character and the second is the 'teacher' version which is filled in with an explanation of how each character is a mockingbird. The characters covered are: Boo Radley, Tom Robinson, Dill, Walter Cunningham, Atticus, Scout, Jem, Helen Robinson, Tim Johnson (the dog) and Mayella Ewell. I found that the blank version was a useful activity to get students thinking independently first and the 'teacher' version then provided them with all the details they require for revision and essay-writing.
To Kill A Mockingbird Practice Exam Questions
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To Kill A Mockingbird Practice Exam Questions

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Sixteen practice exam questions for To Kill A Mockingbird GCSE, organised by character and theme. This has been done in preparation for new the Edexcel IGCSE Literature exam which is first examined in 2018 - the two sample questions provided by the board are in purple and the other questions that I generated for my students are in pink. This makes a useful schedule for practice essays, in class or for students to complete independently.
To Kill A Mockingbird Context Revision Sheet
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To Kill A Mockingbird Context Revision Sheet

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A context-on-a-page resource for To Kill A Mockingbird which is ideal for revision or introducing context when first teaching the novel. Designed for GCSE students studying for the Edexcel IGCSE but could be used with any classes studying the novel. The resource is broken down into the following sections: - Harper Lee (biographical facts) - Racism - The Great Depression
To Kill A Mockingbird Dramatic Foils Activity
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To Kill A Mockingbird Dramatic Foils Activity

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This worksheet explains the concept of dramatic foils and gives a model explanation of one pairs of foils in the novel - Calpurnia and Aunt Alexandra. The students then fill in an explanation for each of the other pairs of foils given - Atticus and Bob Ewell; Boo Radley and Nathan Radley; Maudie Atkinson and Stephanie Crawford. The aim is to encourage students to think about characters at a symbolic and functional level. This would make a good class activity or homework.
To Kill A Mockingbird Introductory Lesson - Fact-Finding Mission
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To Kill A Mockingbird Introductory Lesson - Fact-Finding Mission

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A carousel-based, independent learning lesson designed to introduce students to key facts and context for To Kill A Mockingbird. There are six stations on the carousel which focus on: the main character, Scout's Family, The Great Depression, Tom Robinson, Setting (including The Great Depression), Racism and Harper Lee. The slides provide the material for the carousel and should be printed. Students move around the carousels working in groups to answer the questions in the 3-page accompanying handout. This activity requires students to engage independently with key information about the novel and makes an effective introduction. Groups can be differentiated to support less-skilled students. You many choose to use a timer at each station.