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To think it's a shame that To Kill a Mockingbird is no longer taught at GCSE

(133 Posts)
liberia03 Fri 27-Jan-17 08:31:55

At a time when the words of Atticus Finch might help: “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view … until you climb into his skin and walk around in it”, it seems a shame that this book's not taught any more, alongside any non British writers. Non British writers aren't banned, they're just not part of the exam syllabuses anymore replaced by a 'work of fiction or drama from the British Isles from 1914 onwards'.

Wondering what other books we would like the next generation to learn about or even read before they leave school?

Coffeeflavouredbiscuit Fri 27-Jan-17 08:35:46

I never read it at school and I left 2008.

WatchingFromTheWings Fri 27-Jan-17 08:37:49

My daughter did it last year just prior to starting her GCSE's so it's still getting studied in places.

fruityb Fri 27-Jan-17 08:38:33

I never read it or Of Mice and Men - which I have since taught as an English teacher which has also gone. As well as Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry. Apparently non British authors now a no no. I teach A Christmas Carol now. The new list is very dry and I really missed teaching Mice and men.

YANBU - lots to learn from these books and it's a shame they've been whipped away now.

LiviaDrusillaAugusta Fri 27-Jan-17 08:38:37

I did it at school and loved it, but they didn't go into too much depth about the important stuff confused

HollySykes Fri 27-Jan-17 08:39:01

My dd is doing it this year

Pluto30 Fri 27-Jan-17 08:40:44

They do it in Year 10 here.

dowhatnow Fri 27-Jan-17 08:41:06

My dd did it last year too.

WhoisthisHans Fri 27-Jan-17 08:45:30

Oh my gosh that's such a shame! I left school in 2012 and we studied TKAMB. It's still one of my favourite books of all time, even now.

PurpleDaisies Fri 27-Jan-17 08:47:21

I didn't do it in school-I did my GCSEs in 1998. Schools have always had a bit of choice in which books they study.

SleepOhHowIMissYou Fri 27-Jan-17 08:56:26

I must admit that I do agree with the syllabus moving on to modern works. From a historical view point, retrospective works have their place, for example I love Jane Austen and am always fascinated that her views predated the first wave of feminism by a century. However, as wonderful as these works are, we do not live in the past and in order to inspire the next generation of writers, we need to be forward thinking.

For example, if I were to produce a novel written in Shakespeare's English, it would bear no relevance to the current vernacular and would be a waste of my time. However, there is an insistance that children study Shakespeare's work when they could be better employed reading contemporary works that will hone their own creative talent in a useable way.

I'm not sure which books are on the syllabus currently, but if they are 21st Century then I think we're moving in the right direction.

fruityb Fri 27-Jan-17 09:18:55

Never let me go, animal farm, an inspector calls, the history boys, playscript of curious incident to name a couple.

I think Shakespeare definitely has a place and would be gutted if they removed it as I have never taught a class yet that didn't enjoy it. It didn't become modern so much as focus on British authors. I'd much rather teach Steinbeck than Austen - I hate Austen!! It made the curriculum quite difficult for lower sets to access I think.

bluesbaby Fri 27-Jan-17 09:28:00

I love TKAMB, but I'm glad that different books are being given a chance to be studied - it should be varied.
Books like The Wasp Factory, Cat's Cradle, and Frankenstein should be put on the syllabus.
Everyone should read Frankenstein - it's so, so relevant to what is happening today, Shelley's insight is just incredible.

Okumara Fri 27-Jan-17 09:31:39

I didn't read this book in school either and that was long, long ago

Eloi Fri 27-Jan-17 09:35:19

A real shame. To Kill a Mockingbird should be prescribed reading for all schoolchildren, as should Animal Farm. H G Wells, one of the great British authors, is currently persona non grata in British schools. However, The Time Machine remains important reading, not least because its themes have entered popular culture.

sum1killthepawpatrollers Fri 27-Jan-17 09:38:08

i left in 1995, all i can remember doing is the crucible (arthur miller?) none of the others

LlamaBananas Fri 27-Jan-17 09:39:24

2 of my dc have done To Kill A Mocking Bird and Mice of Men. Perhaps different exam boards studt different books.

NewtScamandersNaughtyNiffler Fri 27-Jan-17 09:40:00

I didn't study it either. Did my GCSEs in 2000. I think my friend did. She was in a lower 'set' than me but I could be misremembering. My friends who were at private school did too i think. Maybe it's them who did it.

We did An Inspector Calls and Animal Farm. Oh and erm... whats it called. The one about the boys on the island with no adults? Jack and Piggy and they have a conch shell that they pass around so you know who's turn it is to speak.

ShowMePotatoSalad Fri 27-Jan-17 09:40:24

I never read it at school. I've only got round to it in later life. I think the film is incredible, too.

tinytemper66 Fri 27-Jan-17 09:42:10

Still available to teach and study in Wales. I taught both last Tear TKAMB and OMAM and enjoy it.
A lot of it is down to personal choice and on times down to budgets. The cost of texts for 100+ children could near £1000 which is unaffordable hence why we stick to the old faithful!

PurpleDaisies Fri 27-Jan-17 09:43:34

We did An Inspector Calls and Animal Farm. Oh and erm... whats it called. The one about the boys on the island with no adults? Jack and Piggy and they have a conch shell that they pass around so you know who's turn it is to speak.
I did the same. The book's called lord of the flies by William Golding.

cordeliajackson Fri 27-Jan-17 10:01:53

Frankenstein,definitely be a good idea, blues baby now. Interested that WJEC has kept non British writers on their spec, impressed! It's great that the old books are being taught, but they are so difficult, I worry it might put kids off for life! I agree on Austen, fruityb no matter how brilliant a writer she is, it seems cruel to force that on them.

Just seems a shame to limit kids to books written by people who were born in British Isles, Of Mice and Men and The Crucible,not done for GCSE in England, then but is done in Wales.

Ian Banks could be on the syllabus but not Margaret Atwood now. No more Purple Hibiscus, which was a good one.

It might be a bit out of date now but Ordinary People by Judith Guest is a great portrayal of teenage crack up and recovery. When so many kids are on CAMHs lists, it might be a good one to do.

YakiUdonYumYum Fri 27-Jan-17 10:08:43

DC in year 9 currently, they've already read TKAMB, An Inspector Calls and Of Mice and Men - no changes here?!

GlacindaTheTroll Fri 27-Jan-17 10:11:21

It can still be taught in schools - I really hope there are no schools where the only literature they study (even in years 7-9) are the GCSE set texts.

So if teachers think it's good text to use (and assuming the schools already have copies) I'd expect it to be cropping up in maybe year 9.

sayatidaknama Fri 27-Jan-17 10:11:51

DS year 10 has just read TKAMB for history . He's doing Hear my Cry for English lit next year.

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