No more essays on Cristiano Ronaldo’s ice bathing, please

‘It’s disheartening to see screeds of students plumping for topics that appear to neither interest nor engage them‘

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Of all the components contributing to national qualifications in English, surely the writing portfolio offers the most genuine and authentic snapshot of a pupil’s ability in the real world.

Here, there is no value in rote-learning quotations or producing formulaically structured answers. The portfolio mimics the writing process, as experienced by – you know – adult humans, with planning, drafting, editing and redrafting being prominent. It also offers students perhaps the best opportunity in any subject to showcase personality and individual voice.

In the broadly discursive element, it’s ...

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