Tag Archives: English

Why English is not a ‘skills based’ subject

The idea that English is a skills based subject has become axiomatic. Most English teachers of my acquaintance accept it unquestioningly, as did I until a few years ago. How do we

Are ‘closed book’ examinations a bad idea?

Changes to the GCSE English Literature specifications are, apparently, starting to bite. As well as abandoning the modular approach to assessment in which students sat 2 separate modular exams and completed an

What are they learning?

Learning is never neutral. Although I have no empirical evidence, I’m pretty sure that it’s rare indeed for children – or indeed anyone – to learn nothing in a given situation. My contention

researchED English & Literacy Conference

A few months ago I asked Tom Bennett if he’d be up for rubberstamping some sort of rEDx project (like TEDx but with brains) devoted to exploring the intersection between education research

Is teaching cheating?

Today I was sent this: It purports to be a briefing sheet used by an AQA advisor to justify the movement of controlled assessment grade boundaries in this summer’s GCSE English exam

The GCSE English “fiasco” – Why shouldn’t all have prizes?

Lots of folk have had lots to say about what went on behind the scenes at the various exam boards this summer and throughout it all I’ve largely kept my peace. Having

What makes a perfect English lesson?

Is there such a thing as the perfect English lesson? Well, no, probably not. At least, not that I’m aware of. There is, you may be disappointed to discover, no single lesson

Formative assessment and the mark scheme

I’ve been consciously and actively using exam board mark schemes as an essential component of formative assessment with my classes for some time now and thought it was time to share what

Zooming in and out

For some years now I have been using what I call The Grade Ladder with students to help them understand the skills required to perform at different grades. This isn’t particularly original