Example Essay – Education and Social Class (Poems of the Decade)

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Here is another Poems of the Decade essay, this time on the question:

Explore the ways in which poets present the theme of education and social class in ‘Out of the Bag’ by Seamus Heaney and ‘Poetry’ by Tom Leonard

Click here to download the file (PDF)

‘Poetry’ was an unseen poem – it isn’t currently available online (that I can find), but you can read other poems by Tom Leonard on his website.



9 thoughts on “Example Essay – Education and Social Class (Poems of the Decade)

    • year12englishblog says:

      These 8 poems:
      Eavan Boland – ‘Inheritance’
      Sue Boyle – ‘A Leisure Centre is also a Temple of Learning’
      Ciaran Carson – ‘The War Correspondent’
      Carol Ann Duffy – ‘The Map Woman’
      Robert Minhinnick – ‘The Fox in the National Museum of Wales’
      Sean O’Brien – ‘Fantasia on a Theme of James Wright’
      Ruth Padel – ‘You, Shiva, and my Mum’
      George Szirtes -‘Song’

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Nichola says:

    Hi Beth,

    Do you have any other possible exam questions for the Poems of the Decade? Don’t need exemplars but questions to practice with! Thank you for uploading the two you already have 🙂


    • year12englishblog says:

      Hi! Have you looked at the specimen papers on the Edexcel website? There are two different ones with two questions each on them, so that should be a good starting point. Unfortunately there’s not a great deal of A2 practice questions due to the unseen element.


      • Nichola says:

        Yes, I have done them all already! I know, that’s why I’m struggling to find questions too and these two are great!


    • year12englishblog says:

      Hey! Unfortunately, the old team has moved on and we no longer have access to that information. I reckon pretty high though! 🙂
      – Oliver


  2. Scarlet says:

    I have a small question; will the seen poetry that is given to compare the unseen one with always be from Poems of the Decade or can be from one of the poetry books in Unit4?


    • year12englishblog says:

      As far as I know, it will always be a modern poem — I don’t think they’re ever from the Poems of the Decade anthology though, as they’re printed on the paper itself. 🙂


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