Teacher Diaries – Ms. Nicola

This student has come a long way since they first joined my L4 Critical Reading and Writing class. They had lots of wonderful ideas, but sometimes struggled to get everything down in clearly, sometimes jumping from one idea to another, from character to character without detailed introduction or explanation. You can see this in the first piece of writing attached; there are many characters (Voldemort, Sherlock Holmes… even I have a starring role!) but there is little description of them and the action is somewhat frantic. However I saw great potential in the student’s ideas, and I knew that that they would have the chance to expand and develop their writing on our course this term, the focus of which was story writing.

Over the 8 weeks we learnt to plan a story arc, to describe the setting of a story and how to create believable characters. We also learnt how to show the personality of characters through actions and speech, and we learned to turn a series of exciting events into a more defined beginning, middle and end. This student has benefited greatly from learning new ways of deepening narratives.

At the end of every critical reading and writing course there is an extended writing task. This is a chance for the student to put all the skills they have learnt in the unit to the test. Looking at the second story, it is evident that the student has taken on board many of these new skills. Instead of jumping straight into the action, the main character (Green Ninja!) is properly introduced, and there is dialogue between the characters and a more in-depth description of the action. The difference between this story and his first is very noticeable.

Well done for making such great progress over the course of this term!

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