Month: April 2016

I love grammar, but I don’t love the SATs

First up, a confession: I'm a total grammar nerd. I love semi colons; I get super-irritated when I see one misused. I revel in the difference between the past perfect and the past progressive. I know what a relative clause is, and I know how to punctuate one. So sue me. Grammar, as they say, is the difference between knowing your shit and knowing you're shit. You'd think a grammar nerd like me would be delighted by the additional emphasis on formal grammar in the new KS1 and KS2 SATs, wouldn't you? You'd think I'd be pleased that our nation's children are being taught to use apostrophes correctly. Believe me, I want everyone in the country to use apostrophes correctly. I really do. But this is not the way to achieve that particular utopia.   What's wrong with the new SATs? I hear you cry. Here's what's wrong:   1. There's no point learning…

Cold turkey – can I go a week without distractions?

I've recently joined Kamsin Kaneko's Artist's Way Facebook group, although I'm not doing planning on doing the whole course. I've done it a couple of times before, and although it was an amazing experience, I don't want to commit to the whole shebang again at the moment. My motivation for joining Kamsin was to make myself to commit to something quite specific - a media deprivation week. In week 4 of the Artist's Way, Julia Cameron prescribes for a week of 'reading deprivation'. Her theory is that for artists - in which she includes writers, film-makers, musicians, visual artists, makers - other people's words can function like 'tiny tranquilizers'. Without the distractions of telly, books, newspapers we are forced to be more fully in the world, and notice what's going on around us. We cannot hear our own inner voice, the voice of our artist's inspiration, above the static.... Reading deprivation can be a very powerful tool - and a…