The dreaded question

29th June 2012 at 01:00

There are pupils all over the country dreading questions of every sort. As a secondary English teacher, there is only one question I fear and hate in equal measure. What is the effect of this presentational device? How can exam boards expect pupils to respond to this question with any sort of sophistication? One recent example asked pupils to gain eight marks discussing the effects of a plain headline and standard caption. It makes me want to cry, not just because I can't answer it myself, but because thousands of otherwise intelligent pupils lose important marks in this cul-de-sac of an intellectual exercise.

Jamie Clayton, English teacher, London.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today