This very successful inquiry is about to run again for the third year. The joy of running something like this over a number of years is that it gets better every time AND the effort required to make it better becomes less. Last year’s adaptions proved very successful (as I am sure Joe will comment on later. I wasn’t involved in the delivery last year due to the COVID situation) so this year all we have needed to do is tweak the final task. The Orwell Youth Prize changes its focus every year. Last year it was “The future we want” and this year it is “A new direction: starting small”, which will work just as well as a vehicle for critiquing Pressure Groups of various kinds – I just needed to update the resources to reflect the new title and prize deadlines.
Joe asked me the challenging question “If you could improve one aspect of [the inquiry], what would it be?”. I think in one sense I am both too close to it (in terms of working on the resources) and too far removed from it (in terms of not having seen it in action last year) to make an informed comment at this stage. I am very happy with it as it is! However, in an ideal world (without the demands of the rest of the syllabus to contend with) I think the only change I would make is to move it slightly earlier in the year so that students who really wanted to would have enough time to work on a genuine entry for the Orwell Youth Prize before the ‘feedback deadline’ of April 26th (rather than just about being able to make the final deadline of June 4th). This is small criticism though of a tightly planned three week inquiry unit designed from scratch to guide students through an important unit of A level work – and one that worked just as successfully last year online as it had in the classroom and we are hoping will do so again this year in a potentially hybrid situation.