Yr 9’s

Remember to keep reading The Hunger Games.  It is important that you have a go for yourself at home.

Practise your spelling lists and extending your sorts.


Year 8’s

Greetings Year 8’s.  Please be sure to keep up with your spelling lists.  You should be bringing them home every night and sorting them, adding to your lists, or searching for the etymology of prefixes.  Practise, practise, practise!!

Their are still a few of you who have not delivered your Oracy piece and I expect you have your Reading Log and chosen piece ready to go by the end of this week.

And speaking of Oracy, I have heard nothing but praise from the drama department about our fabulous Year 8’s.  Congratulations to all of you- what a marvellous, talented bunch you all are!  As if I didn’t already know it 🙂

Randolph Stow Recipients

Last night was the annual Randolph Stow Awards night, held this year at Geraldton Grammar School.  It was my absolute delight and privilege to see so many of our  secondary students receive commendations and awards.

Last night I had requested all recipients to bring in their awards to the college today so that we could take a photo of you, however, some students were not able to make it and I would ask if you could again bring in your treasured certificates tomorrow?

Many thanks 🙂

Exciting Writing for Stage Workshop

Calling all budding playwrights!  As part of the Big Sky Writers’ Festival we have had a terrific opportunity presented to our college to participate in a Writing for Stage Workshop facilitated by Hillary Bell.  Numbers are very limited (around 15) so be quick to let me know if you are keen and we will get you in.
$10 a head, Friday 14 Sep, 11 to 12 noon at Geraldton Secondary College Arts building.
Check out Hillary Bell’s bio on the following link 🙂
See myself or Mr. Hanrahan for more details /registration.


I have recently had a couple of competitions come across my desk that some of you may be interested in.  Please have a go if you feel your inner muse urging you…

1.  ABC HEYWIRE-  CALLING FOR STORIES BY YEAR 10,11 AND 12 STUDENTS FROM RURAL AND REGIONAL AUSTRALIA.  You are encouraged to submit text (400 words), audio, photos or video about life in your area of Australia.  For full details please see me.  closing date September 17th 2012.

2.  Write4fun.  Win $1000.  Great prizes for you and our college.  See me if you are interested.


Yr 10 “Merchant of Venice” Questions

Here, as promised, are the questions to consider and respond to while reading Acts3-5. Due this Thursday 30th. These questions are taken directly from the Signet Classics Teacher’s Guide.

I have given you permission to look online for critics’ opinions about the themes/ideas posed in the questions, but this does not absolve you from the obligation you have to read the rest of the play.

Remember Friday’s quiz will soon be upon us.

Act III, ii:

1. Portia gives the ring to Bassanio with a warning. What is the warning? Does this exchange empower or disempower Portia? Why/why not? Consider the weighted/symbolic language she uses.

2. Look at the “welcome” given to Jessica. How does she try to fit in to Belmont society?

3. What does Antonio’s letter indicate about his feelings for Bassanio?

Act III,iii:

1. Why does Shylock insist on the punishment for forfeiting the bond?

2. Much of this play has to do with Chrisitian vs Jewish standards of morality. What takes precedence in Venetian law, where commerce is king?

Act III, iv

1. Why would Portia even consider helping Antonio?

2. What does she tell Lorenzo that she and Nerissa will do? What is their actual plan?

3. How is she equipped to portray a man?

Act III, v

1. Antonio quips that the devil can cite scripture for his own purpose (I, iii, l.95).

How does the scriptural debate between Launcelot and Jessica serve each

character’s purpose? This debate has the potential to explode the harmony of

Belmont. How does Shakespeare diffuse this?


1. What is Antonio’s mood going into the trial? How does this compare with his

mood in I, i? Why do you think this is?

2. What comparisons does Antonio make concerning Bassanio’s arguing with


3. How is others’ treatment of their slaves comparable to Shylock’s treatment of his

‘pound of flesh,’ according to Shylock? How does this argument test Venetian law?

4. If the courts do not uphold Shylock’s claim, what does that mean for the laws

of Venice?

5. How do those in the courtroom react to Shylock? How would you describe their

behavior? How is their behavior similar to and different from behavior towards

him in the streets of Venice? Find evidence from the text for your comparison.

6. What appeals does Portia make in petitioning Shylock to have mercy? What

effect do these appeals have on Shylock?

7. Why is Shylock so adamant about the law and in his refusal to grant mercy,

despite the offer of double and triple repayment? What is greater than his

religion and his love of money?

8. Does it surprise you that Portia upholds the law instead of bending it in this case?

Why or why not?

9. What does it mean for Shylock to call Portia a “Daniel”?

10. Why does Shylock refuse to get a doctor to attend to Antonio?

11. What effect do Bassanio’s pleas have?

12. What is Antonio’s reaction to the trial?

13. How does Gratiano respond to the proceedings?

14. How does Portia save Antonio’s life?

15. What is the legal punishment for conspiring against a Venetian’s life?

16. What mercy does the Duke show? Before he gives his punishment, the Duke

tells Shylock that he will “see the difference of our spirit” (l.367). What is the

spirit of the Venetians, and by extension, Christians?

17. What about Antonio’s mercy? What are his conditions?

18. How does Shylock feel about the outcome of the trial? How do you feel about it?

19. Was this a fair trial? Explain.

20. What do the Venetians gain from Shylock’s conversion to Christianity? Why

would this punishment be viewed as a virtuous one?

21. What new insights do Portia and Nerissa have into their husbands’ natures as

a result?

22. Shakespeare calls this play a comedy. How does the outcome of this trial help

the play qualify?

23. Why would Portia ask Bassanio for the ring he had promised not to give away?

What does this say about her character?

24. What excuse does Bassanio give the disguised Portia for not initially giving her

his wedding ring?

25. How easy is it for Antonio to change Bassanio’s mind? What does Antonio say

Bassanio should value more than the ring?


ACT IV, ii

1. What is Shakespeare’s intent in bringing in the ring plotline here? What purpose

does it serve?


Yr 10 Homework

Ok, next Tuesday, you are to present a paragraph which argues that Shylock has been constructed as either villain/victim in act 3 scene i.

Use a topic sentence!  Make your points and back them up with quotes from the text. Remember to discuss how the audience is positioned. Here are the quick draft topic sentences we did  on the board:

Through the use of strong and emotional words and phrases, Shylock is constructed as a victim of Christian persecution, thus appealing to the audience’s humanity, common decency and compassion.  demonised/misjudged/misunderstood/persecuted

In 3 v 1  of TMV Shakesy positions the reader to feel that Shylock is a villian through the use of evocative language which conveys his blackened soul. malicious/demonic/vengeful/evil/malevolent.

Have a lovely weekend, I look forward to seeing you all next week 🙂

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