Back Monday 16 Apr 2018 3:00 pm

A Group Work Activity to Teach GCSE Poetry

Barbara Bleiman, who has been leading EMC’s group work project, It’s Good to Talk, interviewed Lucy Hinchliffe about how she has applied some of the project’s approaches to her current work with Year 10s and Year 11s on AQA’s Power and Conflict collection of poems.
main image for blog post 'A Group Work Activity to Teach GCSE Poetry'

Lucy is a practising teacher at Mayfield School in Redbridge and an active member of the 'It's Good to Talk' project. She is currently on secondment two days a week at EMC. 

In the 18 minute interview, Lucy explores what she did and how the students responded, but also raises a number of key issues about group work and what it has to offer, including:

  • What the students were learning
  • What it offered in terms of preparing students for the demands of the GCSE exam, including the question of memorising poems
  • How the students responded to greater freedom and responsibility in the task
  • What Lucy’s role was in shaping the activity and pushing the students’ thinking forward
  • The significance of decisions about how to group pupils
  • Whether it matters if students don’t immediately ‘get’ what they need to do, and how one decides whether something is working or not
  • How Lucy has adapted the activities for her Year 11s, how she intends to build on them and how she’s already using them in other contexts.

If you want to try this out for yourself, you can download the lesson outlines, as well as the ‘snippets’ she refers to.  We would very much welcome feedback on how it went, using the survey monkey link here. This will make a strong contribution to our project and allow us to add to our evidence of how group work is enacted in a wide range of classrooms, by a wide range of teachers. For more about It's Good to Talk, click on the project page here.

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