Tag: gcse

Year 10 & 11 Bucket List

Here are some practical and fun suggestions for things to do as you’re nearing the end of school!

What’s on your list? Tell us in the comments below!

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Symbolism – Lord of the Flies

Piggy’s Glasses

Piggy is intelligent. His glasses represent the power of science and intellectual endeavour in society. This symbolic significance is clear from the start of the novel. When Jack’s hunters raid Ralph’s camp and steal the glasses, we see that these characters have given up on the ideas of science and intellect.

The Beast

The beast stands for the primal instinct of savagery. The boys are afraid of the beast. As the boys grow more savage, their belief in the imaginary beast also grows. The boys leave it sacrifices and treat it as a totemic god. The boys’ behaviour is what brings the beast into existence.

The Island

Golding’s tropical island is essentially a symbolic Garden of Eden. While the uninhabited island represents paradise, the boys’ arrival soon changes this.

The Adults

Adults symbolise civilisation. However, the World War raging outside the island makes it clear that the adult “civilisation” is as savage as the boys’ “civilisation“.

Can you think of any other symbols from The Lord of the Flies? Let us know in the comments below!

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Macbeth Quiz

ONE. Who kills Macbeth?

a) Banquo

b) Lady Macbeth

c) Macduff

d) Malcolm

TWO. Whom does Lady Macbeth frame for the murder of Duncan?

a) The chamberlains

b) Macbeth

c) Malcolm

d) The porter

When you have your answers, take a look at the comments below to see how you did.

Let us know how many you got right!

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Macbeth – Key Quotes – English Literature GCSE

Here are some key quotes from Shakespeare’s Macbeth

Is this a dagger which I see before me,
The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee:
I have thee not, and yet I see thee still.

(Macbeth, Act 2 Scene 1)

Double, double toil and trouble:
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.

(Witches, Act 4 Scene 1)

Macbeth shall never vanquished be until
Great Birnam wood to high Dunsinane Hill
Shall come against him.

(Third apparition, Act 4 Scene 1)

What are your favourite quotes from Shakespeare’s Macbeth?

Tell us in the comments below!

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Storm on the Island by Seamus Heaney: Literary Techniques. Power & Conflict Poetry Anthology – GCSE English Literature


‘spits like a tame cat turned savage’ – the sea is described as an unpleasant and uncontrollable animal.

‘space as a salvo’ and ‘we are bombarded by the empty air’ – the situation is described as warlike, making it seem as though there is an attack going on by an unseen army.


‘the wizened earth’ – the earth is described as intelligent.

‘can raise a tragic chorus’ – this is when the leaves and branches are hit.

‘that it pummels’ – pummels means to hit something quickly, often used when describing a fight.

‘the sea is company’ – the sea is described as a cure for loneliness.


‘strafes invisibly’ – the storm is described as a fighter plane.


‘stacks’ – haystacks, formed piles of hay

‘stooks’ – groups of sheaves stood up to dry in a field

‘salvo’ – the firing of several guns or weapons

Can you find any other techniques in Storm on the Island?

Let us know in the comments below!

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A Christmas Carol – Key Quotes – GCSE English Literature

This is an important quote if you’re talking about Ebeneezer Scrooge. We get the idea that he’s not used to talking to people in this positive way. Although Scrooge is talking to another character, this quote illustrates the theme of isolation, as it reminds us that he used to be solitary and is only now trying to be sociable and positive.

“Spirit!” he cried, tight clutching at its robe, “hear me! I am not the man I was. I will not be the man I must have been but for this intercourse. Why show me this, if I am past all hope!”

This is the moment where Scrooge finally changes. It takes place in stave 4.

This is another good quote if you’re talking about Scrooge. He has woken from his experience and, although no traces of the ghosts remain, Scrooge remembers everything and that is enough for him to believe. This quote is from stave 5.

This quote is from stave 2. It relates to the theme of choice.

“I don’t know what day of the month it is!” said Scrooge. “I don’t know how long I’ve been among the Spirits. I don’t know anything. I’m quite a baby. Never mind. I don’t care. I’d rather be a baby. Hallo! Whoop! Hallo here!”

He was checked in his transports by the churches ringing out the lustiest peals he had ever heard. Clash, clang, hammer; ding, dong, bell. Bell, dong, ding; hammer, clang, clash! Oh, glorious, glorious!

This is an important quote, as the image of a bell appears frequently throughout the story.

Here’s another good quote for Scrooge. He’s talking to Fred and being as stubborn as ever. Fred just sees Scrooge as a member of his family, and he wants to have some form of relationship with him, even if he’s not a pleasant man to spend time with. This quote is from stave 1 and it’s great if you’re discussing the theme of family.

What are your favourite quotes from A Christmas Carol?

Tell us in the comments below!

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Handy (free!) Apps and Websites to Help Make Maths a Habit

Most of us have habits. Some are good, some are bad! Maybe you bite your nails? Do you instinctively have a cup of tea in the morning, or a glass of water in the evening?

You can do the same with maths! Now that we have an app for anything and millions of websites, it’s never been easier. We can even allow the apps to send notifications to encourage us!

I have put together my own list of personal favourite apps and sites for you to try. I have tested them all, and I don’t pay for any of them. This is a completely honest list; I have not been asked to endorse any site or app.

I have been using Khan Academy for years and I always recommend it to my students. You can use it through the website, but there is also an app. I think the website is a lot better at this stage.

The great thing about Khan Academy is that it spans so many levels. It starts at “kindergarten” and goes up to university level. For each topic, you can work through unlimited practice questions, read through lessons, watch informative videos and read tips. You can do all or some of these, so it suits all learning styles.

I have used Khan Academy with students as young as six and they love it. Older students also find it very helpful. It’s easy to spend a few minutes or a few hours on the site and it’s all completely free.

Transum Mathematics is a big website designed for maths teachers, but the Starter of The Day page is great for students. They have a different maths puzzle for every day of the year. Many are what I would consider to be brain-teasers, which can be really fun to get stuck into as a family.

The difficulty varies from day to day, but I think most of the activities suit anyone from Key Stage 2 to adult learners. Of course, the fact that it’s a daily puzzle is something that can help you to build your maths habit! Every day might be a bit much, but perhaps you could try every other day, or every weekend.

Times Tables.me.uk

There are many websites and apps to help you improve the speed and accuracy of your times tables, but I particularly like this site. It’s very simple and allows you to choose which tables are included, how many questions are asked, and whether you have multiplication questions, division questions or a combination of the two.

It also records your speed and accuracy, so it’s really good for building that habit! Why not try ten questions a day? That’s probably only a minute or two. Record your score on a note on the fridge and get other family members involved. We learn our times tables at primary school, but I find that many older students need to brush up on these skills too.

Most people think of Memrise as a tool for learning languages, but it has loads of maths courses too! You can use Memrise through the website or by downloading the excellent app.

The content is made by other users and there is a premium (paid) option, but I’ve always found the free account to be more than helpful. You can allow the app to send you notifications, so it’s great for building our maths habit!

Courses range from multiplication to GCSE and each can take anywhere from 35 minutes to 81 hours to complete! I think the style of Memrise is very enjoyable and makes learning any subject into a game.

It’s great for other subjects too, so have a little explore and add the courses you want to try.

I’ve been using Elevate a lot recently and I love it. It’s described as a brain-training app for adults, but I think it’s great for KS2 & 3 students and adults. You can practise your maths and English skills through very quick and fun games.

It tracks your high scores and you can unlock new games by doing well in each subject. Again, you can allow the app to send you notifications to help build your maths habit!

The app does have a premium option, but the free version is great if you just want to do a little each each day. I did sign up for the free trial when I first started using the app, and this allows you to play all of the games as much as you want. I would recommend saving the free trial for a school holiday or just before an exam so that you can get the most out of it.


Tinycards is similar to Memrise, in that you can learn all sorts of things through this app and website. I prefer to use the app and it’s great if you only have a few minutes to spare.

Courses vary from multiplications and fractions to equations and trigonometry.

Have you tried any of these apps or websites? What did you think? Can you recommend any others?

Let us know in the comments below!

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