English Drama Media

Professional journal for secondary teachers and everyone involved in the teaching of English, drama and media. Promotes dynamic approaches to curriculum and pedagogy, and keeps the profession in touch with national debates and developments.

Articles from No. 14, June

A Functional Farce: Antics, Semantics and Functional Skills: Ofqual to the Rescue? Keith Davidson Examines the Implications of the De-Coupling of Functional Skills Tests and GCSE English
Ofqual intervenes Ofqual would support an approach that allowed candidates to be awarded appropriately both for their achievements in their GCSEs and for their evidence of functional skills. That cannot be accomplished when GCSE grades are dependant...
...And a 'Functional' Fiasco
"I couldn't afford to learn it," said the Mock Turtle, with a sigh. "I only took the regular course." "What was that?" inquired Alice. "Reeling and Writhing, of course, to begin with," the Mock Turtle replied; "and then the different branches...
BERA Literacy and Language Conference, Reading, April 2009
Over eighty delegates from many different sectors of the UK English education research community attended the first one day Literacy and Language conference held by the BERA SIG (Special Interest Group) at the University of Reading in April. Organised...
Building 'The Wall': Analysing Narrative in Film and Literature to Improve Writing: Lance Hanson Explains How His Department Has Used Analysis of Both Literature and Film to Heighten Students' Awareness of Narrative Tension and Inspire Their Own Creative Writing
The moving image occupies a troubled place in the English curriculum--always the bridegroom to the blushing bride of language--Andrew Burn (2003) Muliti-modal texts combine two or more modes of communication (eg written, aural and visual) to create...
Changing Ads: Envisaging Media Study in the Post-Digital Age: Reflecting on Her Experiences of Preparing Cutting Edge Resources for Teaching Advertising in Both 1991 and 2009, Jenny Grahame Explores the Huge Changes in Media Consumption in the Intervening Years Which Have Shaped New Approaches to Media Study
A year or so ago, the English and Media Centre took a new look at a much-loved old topic with a new resource on Advertising. It was not our first attempt. Back in the early 90s, we published what felt like a step into the unknown with a compendium...
English in the News
When the Sun declared: 'SATs yer lot' back in October, it sacrificed accuracy for a catchy headline. Nothing wrong with that, of course we writers often need to emphasise style over substance--but although the SATs may have taken a beating, they refused...
GCSE News
In April, revised new criteria for GCSE English were published, along with the news that, contrary to all previous advice, the requirement for students to pass Level 2 Functional Skills tests in order to achieve a C grade in English had been dropped....
IFTE Briefing
NATE is a member of IFTE, the International Federation for the Teaching of English, whose international conference takes place every four years. This year, half way between IFTE 2007 in Canada and IFTE 2011 in New Zealand, members of NATE attended...
Let's Talk: Dialogic Teaching: Extended Teacher-Student Dialogues in the Secondary English Classroom
A long answer is not enough: it's what happens to the answer that makes it worth uttering ... There's little point in framing a well-conceived question and giving children ample 'wait time' to answer it, if we fail to engage with the answer they give....
Making Sense of Pictures: A Beginner's Guide to Teaching Visual Images: Trevor Millum Gets to Grips with Visual Literacy, Explaining Some of the Background to the Study of the Visual Image, and Exploring How We as English Teachers Might Help Our Students to Read Visual Images
Why is the study of the image important? Why is it part of the English/Literacy curriculum? How can we best go about it? The first question is relatively easily answered. Visual images have always been hugely important, especially in pre-literate...
Media and English
If you haven't yet seen it, do get hold of a DVD of the recent French film, The Class (Entre les Murs)--which features on the cover of this edition of EDM. It's interesting for English teachers for a number of reasons. It reminds us, for instance,...
NATE Briefing
NATE Conference The editor reports on this year's NATE gathering NATE's 2009 Annual Conference was held at the Hinckley Island Hotel near Leicester from April 4th to 6th, with the theme Creativities: Setting Free the Spirit of English. Attended...
On the Page or off the Wall? Books, Films, Choice, Pleasure: Sabrina Broadbent Argues That It's Time We Recognised the Potential of Film in Schools
If you asked several hundred Elizabethans whether they preferred their stories as words on the page or as light and sound coming out of the wall, I think we know what the answer would be. No one knew better than Shakespeare that Elizabethans loved...
Poetry and Childhood Conference, London, April 2009
The recent 'Poetry and Childhood' conference at the British Library in London brought together participants from many different branches of the poetry world including poets, educators, researchers in poetry pedagogy and children's literature, librarians,...
Primary Strategy News
"We know that schools which have robust tracking systems in place achieve the best rates of progress and are well placed to help pupils when they fall off trajectory." (Getting to Grips with assessing Pupils' Progress. DCSF 2009) Cor blimey, guys!...
Reframing Literacy: A Film Pitch for the 21st Century: Different Media-The Book, the Radio, the Tv, the Computer, the Cinema Screen, Etc.-Do Not in Themselves Require Different Literacies, Argues Mark Reid. It Is Time, He Suggests, That Our Definition of Literacy Embraced Them All
To get a film made in Hollywood there's a practice of 'pitching' an idea for a film as succinctly as possible to a busy studio executive. Succinct, for Hollywood, means '24 words or less.' (1) In trying to influence educational change, it's a practice...
The Good Teacher: Images of Teachers in Popular Culture: Ann Harris Examines Representations of Teachers (Three of Them English Teachers) in Popular Films and Argues That, However Unrealistic They Might Be, They Can Help to Open Up Debate about What Happens in School Classrooms
Let such teach others who themselves excel (Pope: 'Essay on criticism' (1711) 1.15) What is our view of a good teacher? Do we find him or her in classrooms, in lesson plans, in government documentation or Ofsted reports? Could a good teacher be...
The New GCSEs
The final feature article in this edition looks at the new criteria for GCSE English, published recently, which will underpin the new specifications that will be taught from September 2010 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Somewhat controversially,...
The New GCSEs: A Guide to Forthcoming Changes in GCSE English
Following an editorial overview of the shape of English GCSE to come, Simon Gibbons and Keith Davidson explain the issues which have been at stake in the drafting and publication of new criteria for GCSE English specifications. The New English GCSEs:...
They Have Listened ... a Bit: The Revised Criteria for the English GCSEs: Simon Gibbons Comments on the Draft and Revised Criteria for the New GCSEs, and Suggests Which Concerns Have Been Met, and Which Are Still at Large
Following the consultation process in the Autumn of 2008, the revised (and apparently final) criteria for the new suite of English GCSEs have at last been published by QCA. 1. Issues in the draft new GCSE criteria On their original publication,...