Thursday, 20 December 2012

Julius Caesar: Video Summaries

The videos were completed by a third year English class.
Looking for some quick and entertaining summaries on Shakespeare's Julius Caesar? Then look no more. The good pupils at 3B Films have produced two video summaries on the play. The pupils have just finished studying the play as part of their preparations for the 2013 Junior Certificate.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

College Press: Christmas Edition

No more sleeps until this year's edition of the College Press, as it's finally here. Jammed packed with all the latest news, reviews and articles that will have you reading so much it'll make you not want to open your Christmas presents! We hope you enjoy it and Happy Christmas from all the College Press team.

Julius Caesar PhotoStory

This is a Photo Story picture presentation of just some of the key moments from William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. The Photo Story was created by a group of Third Years from Newbridge College. We hope you enjoy.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Resource Pack: Julius Caesar

Often overlooked as a play at J.C. level, Julius Caesar is a play full of love, lies, politics and murder.The play has strong key moments such as the murder of Caesar and the climatic battle at the end. Strong themes such as friendship, loyalty and public vs private persona can be charted throughout. All of which makes Julius Caesar a great choice for your Studied Drama section in your J.C. exam. Listed below are some helpful links that may assist your study and/or revision of the play. We hope to add to the list in future so don't be afraid to get in touch if you find a good link online!

Mark Anthony's emotive eulogy to the Roman crowds, as performed here by the R.S.C., is just one fantastic moment you could discuss for your J.C. Studied Drama questions. (KEY WORDS: Rhetoric and Persuasion.)

1. Complete text.
2. Sparknotes Guide to Julius Caesar.
3. CliffsNotes Guide to Julius Caesar.
4. Link to MindConnex version of Julius Caesar. They are not free but come with helpful videos and notes.
5. Julius Caesar Paraphrase - '' This paraphrase of William Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar is intended as a supplement to the original work. Read it along with the original as an aid to comprehension, not as a replacement, since no paraphrase can ever match the richness of Shakespeare's original text.''

 6. Shmoop Guide to Julius Caesar.

7. Royal Shakespeare Company - Lots of helpful links and resources.

8. A Guide to Julius Caesar from The Literature Network .

9. Gradesaver Guide to Julius Caesar.

10. Web English Teacher Collection of resources and lesson plans on Julius Caesar. An amazing list that will be of benefit to both pupils and teachers alike.


Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Comparative Essay Sample Paragraph: Cultural Context

Characters are shaped by their cultural context. To what extent would you agree with this statement, with reference to the texts you have studied?

Macbeth:  Feudalism
The Road: Dystopian
 The society of a time indubitably dictates the personality that its inhabitants are expected to conform to; their behavior, their morality – even their appearance. The three texts I have studied – Children of Men (COM), Macbeth and The Road – each portrays a different facet of this idea, showing the effects of this influence on the characters existing within these diverse cultures. The Road depicts the world as it would be when all remnants of society have fallen apart. The cultural context of the Father and son forces them to lose some traits of humanity is central to their survival within their dystopia. The nightmare that is their reality leaves them no choice but to conform to the “Barren.Silent.Godless.” world, at least to an extent, if they have any hope of surviving. This idea recurs in (COM). - a culture on the brink of extinction, where the desperation pervading the world”since women stopped being able to have babies” is the driving force behind Theo’s and Kee’s mission. For them, it is the last chance to survive, and often it is the recklessness spurred on by this desperation that keeps them alive. Macbeth, while devoid of the anonymity created by the seeming irrelevance of existence in The Road, or the desperation to extend the lifespan of humanity in (COM), provides an extreme towards the other end of the spectrum. Macbeth’s tragic ambition is undoubtedly nurtured by his cultural context. Within it, it is the lack of anonymity that creates the pressure to ”dare do all that may become a man”, and the ambitiousness to climb to the top of the feudalistic ladder, to prove his worth. This helps shape Macbeth into the man that persists until his tragic end. These three texts show the profound effect societal structures, or lack there of, can have on a character both in terms of their actions and their personalities.
Children of Men: Dystopian

Friday, 30 November 2012

Writing Skills: Stephen King On Writing

King's On Writing (2000) is a must read for budding young writers.

One book I would strongly recommend for senior pupils, to improve their writing skills, is Stephen King's On Writing. Senior pupils should find it accessible and lively throughout. An ideal last twenty minutes before sleep kind of read! King tells the story of how he grew to love literature and how he first began to write. Along the way he gives specific advice that any Leaving Certificate pupil should find helpful if they were to attempt to write a short story in Section II of Paper I. 

The way the book is written is, in itself, a fantastic guide to how a book should be structured both physically and in terms of writing techniques used by King. He particularly leans on the use of his own anecdotes. They serve to bring the reader  to formative moments from throughout his life, before elucidating onto a more specific point on writing technique. I've picked this book up to read over and over again through the years and it still seems to have something new to say every time.

King's Introduction (Audio)

Audio Review

Writing Skills: Resources from

I was recently directed towards this website whilst doing an online education course. The site is full of great resources to help develop writing skills. The resources are particularly suited for Junior Certificate English classes. Posted below is just one PowerPoint resource available from the site. It looks at some the basic elements that are needed when creating a story. Enjoy.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Romeo and Juliet: Riverbank Review

Romeo and Juliet Review

On the 14th of November 3rd years from Newbridge College went to see Romeo and Juliet in the Riverbank Theatre in Newbridge.
Romeo and Juliet is a play of love and loss. The play is set in 'fair Verona' Italy. There were two families, the Montague’s and the Capulet’s, 'both alike in dignity' live. Both families have a strong hatred for each other because of an 'ancient grudge' and because of this Romeo and Juliet 'two star-crossed lovers take their life.'

The costumes in the play were very realistic and believable. Almost all characters had at least one knife and dressed in weird looking clothing from that time. Everyone wore tights, and long dress like garments. Juliet in the play was always in bare feet, she was in bare feet at the party, she was in bare feet on her wedding day and she was in bare feet when she died. This may have been to minimize noise but Juliet being from a very honorable family I would have thought the least they could do is provide shoes for her when she was out in public.

Acting: The acting in the play was also very well performed, especially the fight scenes and when Juliet kills herself the blood in particular was brilliant to watch. Lord Capulet and the Prince were played very well. There were certain parts of the play that were not acted out to the same standard where when Paris and Lord Capulet are discussing the marriage of Juliet. Certain characters in the play were also not portrayed, such as Paris or Lord Montague and other characters were played by actors of the opposite sex. For example Tybalt and his companions were all played by female actors. Overall the acting in the play was very well done and played excellently.

 The characters in this play were all played very well and all were believable. The nurse in the play wasn't exactly a joy to watch. Her accent was very annoying and she did not play the part very well. Her laugh in particular was quite aggravating, she had one of those uncontrollable brain-dead laughs that started and ended in a snort. Overall, the characters were very well portrayed and pleasant to watch.  

The set in the Riverbank was very small because the stage had very limited space. All the parts of the set were made from wood. On the left, there was an archway leading to backstage. In the middle, a clock with roman numerals partly painted on the floor and the centre of the clock was raised about a foot. On the right, there are two more archways. One, with a ladder in front of it leading up to Juliet's chamber, and a second for characters to enter from off stage. Overall it was not a great set due the lack of space on the stage.

I would recommend this play to everyone age thirteen and up due to the adult humor. It is a great way to see the play in action instead of just reading it from a book. This play is funny, gory and romantic. I found it a great experience and helped me a lot in trying to put the play into action in my mind. Overall this is a great play and fun for people who are studying it for exams.   

(Michael O'Brien)

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Sherbet Lemons

Please find below a collection of descriptive writing pieces completed by second year students here in the College. The pupils were asked to describe Sherbet Lemons....mmmm Sherbet Lemons...! Enjoy.
             Sherbet Lemons

It sat there. On my desk. A delicate glass marble so cold and fragile that I was almost afraid to touch it. It was a golden drop trapped in a plastic film. It waited to be unwrapped like a present on my birthday, begging. And so I obliged. I picked it up; it felt like a hard plastic stone. The wrapper glistened in the light, as it crunched gently in my fingers. I slowly removed the wrapper. It felt as sticky as toffee; it was smooth along the edges like glass but rough on the top like sand paper. A lemony invasion overtook my nose, a tangy explosion. Then, I put it in my mouth.
                   The taste was extraordinary. It was a magnificent juice that filled my entire mouth, a refreshing burst of sugar. It was a sweet bomb on my unprepared tongue. I bit down through it, it split into tiny fragments, like debris floating around my mouth, and when I swallowed, my mouth was a cave, hollow and empty, still echoing with that old bang of flavour.

Celine Dignam
Newbridge College

Friday, 16 November 2012

EduBlog Awards 2012

Please find below nominations for this year's EduBlog awards from NewEnglishBlog.

Best individual blog - Seomra Ranga

Best ed tech / resource sharing blog -The Frog Blog

Best teacher blog - Evelyn O'Connor

Best individual tweeter - @levdavidovic

Best twitter hashtag - #edchatie

Best free web tool - @poppletny

Best educational use of audio / video / visual / podcast - SCC Series of ShowMes
Best mobile app - Skitch