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Year 11s, practising for the exams, had been doing a formal, written comprehension exercise. I was convinced that they had more ideas in their heads than they were putting down on paper, and had written many comments to that effect on their work.

"You must put in more detail," I insisted.

Then I sat down. "I don't know," I sighed. "When I'm dead, it'll be written on my gravestone - 'all she ever wanted was more detail'."

Kristan looked up from his work. "Whatever anyone writes on your gravestone, Miss," he said, "you'll have written more underneath."

lesley smith We pay Pounds 30 for each Soundbite we publish. Send yours to Sarah Bayliss, The TES, Admiral House, 66-68 East Smithfield, London E1 9XY. Fax: 0171 782 3200

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