Tom Vines

Why I got my students to write their own GCSE exams


Struggling to engage some of his GCSE resit students in English, Tom Vines hit upon an idea – asking them what was wrong with the exam. Encouraging learners to deconstruct past questions and write their own practice papers has, he says, fired up their interest in the subject and helped to develop their skills

Dress form mannequins - tailor-made exams mocks resits

Jade finally agrees to put her phone away the third time I ask her – although I suspect that it is actually only on her lap.

"I might have to come to your lesson, but you can’t make me learn if I don’t want to,” she says.

Of course, she is right. Jade has enrolled on a hair and beauty course. She didn’t want to do English again – why would she? She’s already failed the subject twice and has no interest at all in reading.

Yet somehow I have to figure out a way to get Jade, and other reluctant readers like her, to want to learn in my lessons. If I can’t do that, then they are well on ...

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