Posted by: madiganda | June 13, 2012

Extension 1 Creative Writing Day

Tomorrow we are having a creative writing day at Grafton High School. The creative composition is 50% of the final mark in the exam but it can get lost, or be seen as an add on, when studying the texts prescribed for study. How can you write an effective creative response in an hour? How can you make your response stand out? How can you not rely on a prepared response but still be fully prepared?

One of the key aspects of the response for markers is that you show the context and related values in the response. How can your writing be a reflection of, and a commentary on, what is happening in the society of your story? It is this exploration of the society and its values that is a major aspect of any successful text as it makes it provocative and thought provoking and this is what stays with us once the tale is finished.

This is the focus of my presentation on the day. Here are the resources:

Values & Ext 1 – Powerpoint and Stimulus

Romanticism Handout


After Bomb

Look at the images – how could one or more of these concerns be used in your narrative?

Writing Crime – Yager – lots of great ideas for the essay and creative response

Posted by: madiganda | January 30, 2012

Related texts for Belonging

Many students have a lot of trouble finding their own “Belonging” texts and have even more trouble knowing how to write on them and link them to their prescribed text.

The main things to think about when looking for a related text are:

  1. Choose a text that they should be complex enough that you can show your perceptiveness and analysis skills
  2. Choose a texts that you can effectively analyse and explain in a couple of paragraphs – novels often prove difficult
  3. Choose texts that explore more than one aspect/concept of Belonging
  4. While you will probably only have to explore one related text in your essay you should have 2 or 3 texts ready that explore different aspects of Belonging or not. That way you will be ready for what ever the exam throws you.
  5. If you study art or music think about choosing a text that can utilise your knowledge and skills in that subject. Choose a painting and talk about composition etc. Choose a song and talk about its musicality.

There are lots of wonderful sites on the internet covering all aspect of the Area of Study that will complement and support what you are doing in the class room. Here some of the ones I have found and used with my own students:

Ideas for Related Texts:

Save My HSC

Into English – No Man’s Land

Into English – Metamorphosis

Into English – A Real Hero

Inside Break

Hawkesbury Library List

So, you have found a text that fits the Area of Study and your particular focus but now what? How do you analyse it?

Into English – Analysing Prose Fiction Texts

Into English – Analysing Visual Texts

Six Step Analysis

Mrs Maguire’s English Space

Webquest Direct – Representations of Belonging

The School For Excellence – Belonging


Do you have any other sites, texts and/or resources that you can share? 




Posted by: madiganda | October 24, 2011

Creative Writing Day, October 24

Thanks to Teresa Welsh (Coffs Harbour Senior College), Paula Madigan (Coffs Harbour HS), Jo Bellette (Dorrigo HS) and Jonathan Hart (Coffs Harbour Senior College) for presenting at our first Creative Writing Day. Thanks also to all the students, and their teachers, who attended and embraced the day so warmly. All the presentations from the day are here but, unfortunately, Teresa’s video files were too big to include here. If you wish the have them, please ask your teacher to contact myself or Teresa.

The aim of the day was to start you thinking about how you can and should be writing narratives, especially narratives on Belonging. We hope that we achieved this through the 4 sessions – stimulus ideas, setting and symbolism, non-generic writing and writing structures. Over the day, you started some pieces of creative writing and we would love you to finish these in the coming weeks, share them with you teacher and class AND share them here for others to see.

I look forward to reading your feedback on the day, and more especially, reading some of your creative pieces!

Paper One, Sect Two – No vids

Setting and Symbolism

Avoiding the generic

Creative Writing sample 1

Creative Writing sample 2

Creative Writing sample 4

creative writing

Posted by: madiganda | October 24, 2011

Hello Year 12!

Welcome to the Mid North Coast Advanced English Blog!

The aim of this site is to allow Advanced (and Extension) English students from across the Mid North Coast the opportunity to:

  • Challenge and extend your skills and knowledge
  •  Share your work
  • Ask for feedback from other students and teachers
  • Ask for advice on your modules and texts
  • Support one another in what will be a busy and stressful year.

For the many wonderful English teachers across the Mid North Coast this blog will also be a place where you can:

  • Gain resources and ideas to use in the classroom
  • Support teachers and students in the pursuit of excellence
If you have any concerns or questions, please see you teacher in the first instance, post a comment or contact me at