TIPS FOR BUSY PARENTS WHO WANT TO
HELP WITH REVISION
The best way to teach your child English Literature is to read the whole text together and use Saved By The Revision Guides to support your exploration of the text. Guides are unique because they are the only revision guides on the market that work through the entire text. This process can be a lot of fun and is the most beneficial revision exercise that you can undertake because all the answers to examination questions are to be found within the text.
Saved By The Revision Guides are based on the PEE code which is taught to pupils in preparation for GCSE English Literature examinations. All guides are designed to encourage pupils to work systematically through the full text and to map plot, characters, themes, context and use of language using a colour coded key for ease of reference.
It you have time, it is best to read the text aloud with your child to try and bring them plot and characters alive in the imagination of the reader. Plays and poetry were written to be performed and many novels also have dialogue which can be read aloud. Ensure your child has an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the plot, characters, themes, historical context and use of language in the text. All of the answers to exam questions are contained within the texts and so it is vital that pupils know their books well. One of the major reasons why pupils don’t do as well as expected in English Literature is purely because pupils only have scant knowledge of the the text.
Pupils should have read their texts in full several times during their GCSE English Literature course but sometimes time has elapsed and pupils need further support with the revision process. This is where parents come in and their help and support cannot be underestimated.
Guides are divided into a series of Units and Objectives to break texts down into manageable chunks for revision purposes leading to a greater understanding of the Super Objectives or themes. This a technique used by actors to help perform in lengthy plays.
If your child has an in-depth knowledge of the text then the guide will support them in their final preparation for the examination because they contain all the key quotations needed to achieve high grades. Guides were prepared to support both pupils and their parents during a very stressful time.
PEE GUIDES AND ASSESSMENT OBJECTIVES
One of the most important assessment objectives is to respond critically and imaginatively to texts. Most importantly pupils need to select and evaluate relevant textual detail and quote to support views.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
Pupils have to show in-depth knowledge and understanding of the text and then be able to use appropriate quotations to support ideas and points of view. They do this by using the PEE CODE.
WHAT IS THE PEE CODE:
The PEE code teaches pupils to make their POINT, support points with EVIDENCE from the text and then EXPLAIN points further if there is anything more to add. All points made should be relevant to the question pupils have chosen to answer.
ACT 1 AN INSPECTOR CALLS
Unit 3. Birling toasts the engagement between Sheila and Gerald.
POINT: Birling describes the dynamic between the Birlings and the Crofts when he reveals that the two families have been, ‘friendly rivals in business for some time now.’ It is obvious that Birling sees the engagement between Sheila and Gerald as positive to his business interests:
We may look forward to a time when Crofts and Birlings are no longer competing but are working together – lower costs and higher prices.
EXAMPLE: Birling promotes capitalist ideology by showing a desire to lower costs and charge higher prices for goods in his factory. Priestley, a committed socialist, was extremely concerned about social inequality in Britain and in 1942 set up a new political party named the Commonwealth Party. The party argued for a greater democratic voice in society, ownership of public land and an enhanced sense of morality in politics. Priestly also campaigned for the Welfare State after World War 2 showing that society called for a greater degree of social responsibility, kindness and benevolence.
SOCIALISM V CAPITALISM
Unit 4: Sheila and Eric enter the drama and both are seen to be dynamic characters, (Characters who undergo personal and moral development.)
POINT: The position of women in society is demonstrated when Sheila euphemistically accuses Eric of being drunk, ‘You’re squiffy,’ (euphemism) Mrs Birling is shocked by Sheila’s use of slang language and says, ‘Sheila! Really the things you girls pick up these days.’ Eric however, seems to be critical of the engagement between Sheila and Gerald and tells his parents:
If you think that’s the best she can do?
EXPLANATION: Mr and Mrs Birling seem to overlook the fact that Eric is drunk and fail to take personal responsibility for him, in the same way that that they refuse to accept responsibility for Eva Smith/Daisy Renton’s death. Eric clearly feels that Gerald is not a good match for Sheila and that she has the potential to do better for herself and achieve greater things. Edwardian women did not enjoy the same opportunities as women living in 1945 who were watching the play. During World War 2 women were required to work in jobs and careers that had previously been enjoyed solely by men.Therefore in post-war Britain, the position of women in society had changed and their influence in society grew exponentially as they demanded the same rights and opportunities as men.
POSITION OF WOMEN
POINT: Sheila is a dynamic character because she undergoes moral development during the course of the play. It is important that Sheila is seen to be frivolous and silly at the beginning of the drama so that the audience can see her journey of self-development into a socially responsible young woman by the end of Act 3. However, at this point in the play Sheila’s childish character is highlighted by Eric when he reveals that:
She’s got a nasty temper sometimes – but she’s not bad really.
EVIDENCE: Sheila exemplifies, the inherent selfishness that Priestly sees in Edwardian society. This is evident when she is given an engagement ring by Gerald and behaves excitedly. It seems that Sheila considers the ring, a symbol of materialism and wealth, as more important than trust and honesty in her relationship with Gerald. Sheila ‘(who has put on the ring admiringly) says, ‘Now I feel really engaged.’ This attitude shows that Sheila is a woman born out of a greedy capitalist society.
By using the PEE Code throughout the examination pupils demonstrate that they are able to closely analyse the text and support their views with appropriate reference to the text.
Provided pupils have a sound understanding of the text they should be able to totally rely on the Saved By The Teacher PEE Revision Guide as they prepare for the examination. They also hit all of the AOs or Assessment Objectives used by examiners to assess writing and award grades.
It is a really good idea to read current Examiners Reports because they outline exactly what the examiners are looking for and also the strengths and weaknesses of candidate responses in previous examinations. This is the first task I undertook with new cohorts of A Level and GCSE candidates. They need to know exactly how to pass the examination.
FUN TEACHING STRATEGIES
If your child is revising ‘An Inspector Calls,’ for example, divide the roles and perform the play, rather than just reading it without any attempt at characterisation. Novels can be divided in the same way by focusing on sharing dialogue and poetry was written to be read aloud and makes no sense if you just read it in your head.