Manchester Metropolitan University: PGCE Secondary English E – Subject Guide

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I was surprised and pleased to see a book of mine suggested as useful reading in the ‘Section 6: Literature’ part of the current MMU PGCE English Subject Guide.

Referenced as ‘Ferguson, M (2000) Poems in your Pocket: Imaginative Approaches to GCSE Poetry, Longman’, I am proud of the poetry I was able to have used as stimulus and illustration for teaching. There is more than in most similar texts [at a huge cost to the publisher] and I believe a true eclectic mix, though this was also necessarily linked to familiar poems used in examination. The focus then was on approaches to teaching in preparation for students having to tackle a significant amount of poetry in their English Language and Literature GCSEs.

This genuinely isn’t intended as a sales pitch, but in many ways what I was presenting then is going to be very relevant to the commitments students have under the new curriculum to respond to poetry in examinations that are closed-book and entirely terminal, no clever pun intended.

I was most pleased with the Teacher’s Guide that accompanied the student book, not least the creative writing ideas, though I am only too aware that there will be even less time now in a GCSE course to feel able to spend any on this – if there ever was.

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