Today, we had our first Year 12 English Teachers meeting for the year. It was long (new course means lots to talk about), and mostly positive, although my brain felt completely fried by the end of it. The transition into the new course is going to be very interesting, I think. The increased emphasis given to multiple readings and textual construction in the new study design will be quite challenging for some teachers, who do not already make this an explicit part of their teaching. There is plenty that I really like about the new course- this being one of them- as well as Area of Study 2- Creating and Presenting. In spite of the set text list and the incredibly frustrating fact that this component of the course will be assessed on the external exam (the area of study that it has replaced- writing for different purposes and audiences- wasn't really), there is still so much scope and so many rich possibilities. Our context (there are four to choose from) is 'The Imaginative Landscape' and I am already looking at landscapes and textual landscapes differently- simply because I am thinking about how I will approach this part of the course. It will be a different experience again once I get into it with my students.
Luckily, I have another day of planning tomorrow before the students return (I really need it). My Year 10's are starting off with 'The Truman Show' which I haven't taught before, and which I am very keen to approach 'differently' if I can. I am tossing around using the film to look at how writers/creators shape human experience into a narrative- how even the stories that we tell our friends are constructed around familiar notions of narrative. I am thinking about trying to get a lot of raw material together, and then getting students to work on editing the material into a tight little narrative. I am keen to use the webcams that we brought last year, too. Just haven't quite figured out the 'how' yet. Any ideas?