Theory and Reflection
You will soon be receiving a writing MOT from me.
This is not just based on your Controlled Assessment results but also on the work you are able to carry out spontaneously in class.
I'm really pleased with the results of your Controlled Assessments but now we need to focus on replicating these great results in your exam writing.
The exam is a separate beast. You don't know what you are going to be asked to write about, you don't have a note sheet to help you plan and you are writing in a more pressured environment against the clock.
Before we move on to the next steps, we need to reflect on how we got to your excellent Controlled Assessment results.
I knew the end point of the task (though I wasn't allowed to fully share it with you until closer to the assessment).
I set a number of lessons which enabled you to do two things:
1) Look at examples of expert writing and work out why they were considered 'expert'.
2) Practise writing in a number of distorted situations moving towards the real assessment.
As I've said in class, your revision starts now. We've covered all the writing and reading skills you need to develop: you need to practise using these skills in exam conditions. Like everything in life, you will get better with practice and the more you practice the better you will get.
I will be basing my projected grades on how much I feel you have been practising and are prepared to practise.
I wrote a blog posting in March last year after the previous Year 11 got their examination results - this talked about 'Visible Revision'. You can read it here. The short principle of 'Visible Revision' is that if you keep your revision between yourself and your bedroom walls, how do you know what you are doing is right? Make your revision visible to your teacher and you get consistent feedback and can know what you are doing is right.
In class this was straightforward - we were all working on the same topic, you showed me your work and I gave you feedback. In revision the onus is on you. You work on your strengths and weaknesses and present them to me.
Before you say 'Sir - this sounds like an awful lot of work without immediate rewards', I present to you two case studies:
Student A -
Finished Year 10 with a Literature B grade and a Year 10 mock of a C grade.
Carried out weekly visible revision from November and gained an A* grade by the end of Year 11. 2 to 3 grades improvement.
Student B -
Was strong at varying her five key areas of writing but her ability to use appropriate written expression meant that she was consistently getting D grades in her writing. She read two articles from the list of writers below and wrote one article a week on a topic of her choice trying to mimic the writer's styles. In 6 weeks her writing had progressed from a D grade to a B grade. 2 Grades improvement in 6 weeks.
The importance here is the pathos. Try to move seamlessly between serious and humorous points.
The Writing MOT
You will receive a feedback sheet with skills that are key for your writing graded to give you a complete picture of your strengths and weaknesses.
Theses are your five key areas to vary:
You will be graded A*, A , B, C, Below C for each of these skills.
You will be also rated on a scale showing your ability to use English flexibly. This will fall on a scale of:
Only being able to write using informal everyday language.
Some of your work being informal everyday with parts of it also showing expert academic use of language but not always in the correct context.
Having a mastery of expert academic language and informal everyday language and always using it in the correct context.
We will then review this as the term goes on.
Now if you are serious about your revision you should rate yourself objectively and work out what you think you need to work on.
If you set yourself a target I will tell you what you need to do to meet it. Then we can see if it matches my impression of your writing next week.
Post your own rating in the comments box.