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LESSON 1: English KS4 AIM

To explore how language is used to communicate ideas.


To identify examples of subjective and objective language. To understand the effect of bias in written communication. To explore different modes of communicating one idea. To write persuasively.


QCA GCSE Criteria: 3.1 - Focus on extended individual contributions, group discussion and interaction, and drama-focussed activities GSCE Specifications (across all boards) Speaking and Listening: - Explain, describe - Explore, analyse, imagine - Discuss, argue, persuade Writing: - Inform, explain, describe - Argue, persuade, advise - Analyse, review, comment


Looking at language

Article 1: An unhealthy invasion of privacy Article 2 : Researchers are not a threat to NHS patient privacy



Read aloud the following speech from Breathing Country. Richard stands as the screen behind changes and music indicates that he’s making a presentation. On the screen, a picture of the UK, and above it, a large NHS logo. And some calming classical music – Debussy, or something, Richard

So just imagine, on a huge screen, in a calm room, an image of Britain breathing. Sunrise – And somewhere in Staffordshire a baby is born. And somewhere in Cardiff a woman needs a new heart And somewhere in Bristol a donor has just died. And across the country, 10,000 people are trialling a new drug for Parkinson’s disease for the first time. We can see all this – unfold – right in front of us. All this information is coming in. All in one place – Almost as soon as it happens. And so we can connect the donor to the patient. And we can see how the new drug is boosting activity in the brains of those Parkinson’s sufferers, and upload fmri scans of blood flow in their brains. And share them with the specialists who need them at the push of a button. And with incredible accuracy – on a scale we’ve never managed before – we’ll chart in real-time the changes to the health of the nation. The NHS deals with 1 million patients every 36 hours. That’s eight people a second. As we record these encounters, the most astonishing picture will begin to emerge – of vital importance to the way we research and treat diseases. Ladies and Gentleman, the Electronic Patient Record will harness the incredible power of our greatest untapped resource – information. The largest IT project in the world, the Electronic Patient Record provides us with the most fascinatingly detailed picture of a country anyone has every seen…. Just think what we can learn about ourselves!


How does the character, Richard, use language and rhetorical devices to communicate to his audience? Consider the dramatic structure of the speech. How does it make you feel? Does it cause you to feel enthusiastic about the project? Look at the use of repetition, hyperbole, statistics etc.


Read Article 1: An unhealthy invasion of privacy and Article 2: Medical researchers are not a threat to NHS patient privacy.


Consider the following questions: • Identify the aims of each of the writers. Are the articles biased or unbiased? • Consider the use of language by each of the writers. How do they use language to communicate their views? • How do the writers back up their opinions? • Which article do you feel is most persuasive and why?

Compare and contrast Article 2 and Richard's speech from the play. Think about the different styles of writing (one is a speech the other a blog posting for a national newspaper). WRITE

Now use the information from the articles and what you have learned from the play to write copy for an NHS leaflet The leaflet should aim to: • Provide information about the Electronic Patient Record (EPR) and its use in medical research including defining any complicated terminology • Allay public fears about the use of personal data Think about: • The target audience • The purpose of the leaflet

EXTENSION Think about Richard's speech from the play. Using the information from Article 1 write a short speech that argues persuasively against the use of Patient Records in medical research. Ask students to perform their speeches in front of the class. Pay close attention to the delivery of the speech. Emphasise the importance of clear, controlled delivery.

Breathing Country: LESSON 1: English  

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