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introTextWe wish our Leavers luck as they head off to begin new adventures!
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Robert Frost and The Road Not Taken

One of the privileges of being an English teacher is that the ‘syllabus’ is….well…..there isn’t one really! Rather selfishly, I get to choose the books and poems that we are going to read in class, with there being no literary canon or list of set texts at this age group. My job has to be to expose the children to a varied diet of literature, as well as covering and reinforcing the necessary but far less interesting aspects of grammar and punctuation!

Someone asked me not too long ago, what my favourite poem was……Hmm, now that is a difficult decision, it really is! This week, it could be the book by Dr Seuss ‘Oh, the places you’ll go’, a wonderful narrative poem if ever there was one, but next week it could be something else. In a world full of wonderful literature, sharing these nuggets by Keats, Hughes, Heaney with young and impressionable children, and exploring the words within them, is one of the real highlights of my job here and one which excites me every day I step in to my classroom.

And so, at this tail end of the academic year, with a number of children having spent ten years in some cases at Cargilfield, now about to head off for exciting adventures at their new schools, many of them dotted around the UK but bound together with that bond of having been together for so long, perhaps my favourite poem today is Robert Frost’s ‘The Road not Taken’, an ambiguous poem about choices, whether to go it alone or to follow everyone else. But just how easy is it to take ‘the road less travelled by’? It is an easy thing for us to say to our Leavers, to be individuals, make your own choices in life and stand out from the crowd; yet as a nervous 13 year old, starting life again in a new and very different environment, this is often easier said than done. There have always been times when difficult choices have to be made, and I remember pondering these when I was a boy at Shrewsbury many years ago; but in today’s fast paced and hi tech world which our children live in today, the choices seem to never stop, just like the pinging of their mobile phone!

Robert Frost wrote the poem to poke fun at Edward Thomas, the English/Welsh poet, who when out walking with Frost would often regret not having taken a different path in his life. Thomas would talk to Frost about the regrets he has, and what other things he might have done had he had the chance to go back and do them again. In other words, Thomas regretted not taking the road that might have offered the best opportunities, despite it being an unknown. Of course, as humans, we always wish we had taken a different road, being naturally curious and never satisfied with our lot. We are always asking ‘What if…?’

The Road Not Taken is all about what did not happen – this unnamed person, faced with an important conscious decision, chose the least popular, the path of most resistance, if you like. He was destined to go down one, regretted not being able to take both, so he sacrificed one for the other.

Ultimately, we are left to make up our own minds about how the speaker is feeling at the end of the poem and about the decision they have taken. Was the choice of the road less travelled a positive one? It certainly made all the difference but Frost does not make it clear just what this difference is.

rightColBody

The Road not Taken by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.

The poem presents the speaker and the reader with a dilemma. There are two roads in an autumnal wood at a fork, and there’s nothing else for it but to choose one of the roads and continue life’s journey…..but perhaps always wondering what might have happened had he taken the other road.

A metaphor for life, and one which has passed in to cliché almost, especially when talking to children and the decisions they will face, which is perhaps even more pertinent as our Leavers take a deep breath and step out in to the unknown, each of them sad to be leaving the safe and familiar world of Cargilfield which has been a home for so long, but also wanting to break free from the shackles, explore new worlds and find new friends, and perhaps to take that ‘Road less travelled by’.

Life offers two choices, both are valid but the outcomes could be vastly different. Which road to take, and who knows which road will be best? But who knows what the future holds down the road? The speaker implies that, perhaps when he’s older he might look back at this turning point in his life, the morning he took the road less travelled, because taking that particular route completely altered his life….but when choosing that path, the sense of excitement, of wonder, and even of fear exists….what will the ‘Road less travelled by’ bring?

That is the question our Leavers are wondering as their time at Cargilfield slowly draws to a close with exciting new adventures about to start. Who knows which road is the right road? Be brave, be bold but be yourself.

We wish them all luck wherever their road takes them and haste ye back!

DSW

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perch_introTextWe wish our Leavers luck as they head off to begin new adventures!
perch_image/cms/resources/lollipop.jpg
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Robert Frost and The Road Not Taken

One of the privileges of being an English teacher is that the ‘syllabus’ is….well…..there isn’t one really! Rather selfishly, I get to choose the books and poems that we are going to read in class, with there being no literary canon or list of set texts at this age group. My job has to be to expose the children to a varied diet of literature, as well as covering and reinforcing the necessary but far less interesting aspects of grammar and punctuation!

Someone asked me not too long ago, what my favourite poem was……Hmm, now that is a difficult decision, it really is! This week, it could be the book by Dr Seuss ‘Oh, the places you’ll go’, a wonderful narrative poem if ever there was one, but next week it could be something else. In a world full of wonderful literature, sharing these nuggets by Keats, Hughes, Heaney with young and impressionable children, and exploring the words within them, is one of the real highlights of my job here and one which excites me every day I step in to my classroom.

And so, at this tail end of the academic year, with a number of children having spent ten years in some cases at Cargilfield, now about to head off for exciting adventures at their new schools, many of them dotted around the UK but bound together with that bond of having been together for so long, perhaps my favourite poem today is Robert Frost’s ‘The Road not Taken’, an ambiguous poem about choices, whether to go it alone or to follow everyone else. But just how easy is it to take ‘the road less travelled by’? It is an easy thing for us to say to our Leavers, to be individuals, make your own choices in life and stand out from the crowd; yet as a nervous 13 year old, starting life again in a new and very different environment, this is often easier said than done. There have always been times when difficult choices have to be made, and I remember pondering these when I was a boy at Shrewsbury many years ago; but in today’s fast paced and hi tech world which our children live in today, the choices seem to never stop, just like the pinging of their mobile phone!

Robert Frost wrote the poem to poke fun at Edward Thomas, the English/Welsh poet, who when out walking with Frost would often regret not having taken a different path in his life. Thomas would talk to Frost about the regrets he has, and what other things he might have done had he had the chance to go back and do them again. In other words, Thomas regretted not taking the road that might have offered the best opportunities, despite it being an unknown. Of course, as humans, we always wish we had taken a different road, being naturally curious and never satisfied with our lot. We are always asking ‘What if…?’

The Road Not Taken is all about what did not happen – this unnamed person, faced with an important conscious decision, chose the least popular, the path of most resistance, if you like. He was destined to go down one, regretted not being able to take both, so he sacrificed one for the other.

Ultimately, we are left to make up our own minds about how the speaker is feeling at the end of the poem and about the decision they have taken. Was the choice of the road less travelled a positive one? It certainly made all the difference but Frost does not make it clear just what this difference is.

perch_rightColBody

The Road not Taken by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.

The poem presents the speaker and the reader with a dilemma. There are two roads in an autumnal wood at a fork, and there’s nothing else for it but to choose one of the roads and continue life’s journey…..but perhaps always wondering what might have happened had he taken the other road.

A metaphor for life, and one which has passed in to cliché almost, especially when talking to children and the decisions they will face, which is perhaps even more pertinent as our Leavers take a deep breath and step out in to the unknown, each of them sad to be leaving the safe and familiar world of Cargilfield which has been a home for so long, but also wanting to break free from the shackles, explore new worlds and find new friends, and perhaps to take that ‘Road less travelled by’.

Life offers two choices, both are valid but the outcomes could be vastly different. Which road to take, and who knows which road will be best? But who knows what the future holds down the road? The speaker implies that, perhaps when he’s older he might look back at this turning point in his life, the morning he took the road less travelled, because taking that particular route completely altered his life….but when choosing that path, the sense of excitement, of wonder, and even of fear exists….what will the ‘Road less travelled by’ bring?

That is the question our Leavers are wondering as their time at Cargilfield slowly draws to a close with exciting new adventures about to start. Who knows which road is the right road? Be brave, be bold but be yourself.

We wish them all luck wherever their road takes them and haste ye back!

DSW

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Road not Taken

The Road not Taken....will it make all the difference?

We wish our Leavers luck as they head off to begin new adventures!

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