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'Not good enough - please mark them again'

Diana Cleaver, head of Great Bentley primary, Essex, is not happy with her 11-year-olds' test results: 90 per cent of them reached level 4 in English, but Mrs Cleaver will be sending back around 12 of the 29 writing papers.

"We send some back every year, but I have never sent back so many," she said. "One of my brightest boys this year got a level 3 in writing. There was no way that piece of writing was a level 3. I would say it was a level 5."

The 185-pupil school uses DVDs such as The Incredibles and The Iron Giant in English. The pupils watch a five-minute clip of a film and are asked to describe the atmosphere being evoked. They look at the colours used and comment on background music.

Mrs Cleaver said: "Our children have good vocabularies. Boys in particular totally relate to it and the quality of writing has gone up immensely."

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