Moaning does not help pupils

4th July 2003 at 01:00
As a teacher familiar with Edexcel geography B, I am surprised that TheTES has been so influenced by a moaning teacher (TES, June 20).

The actions of Mr Symons have been a grave disservice to his students. He has focused on infinitesimally small detail in the 14 pages of excellent resources and failed to encourage them to take the synoptic view of the issue being examined. In so doing he probably increased their paranoia with the small detail rather than stimulating their comprehension of the broader picture being investigated.

Second, he has shown that he has yet to comprehend the nature of synoptic assessments that utilise published resources often in their original format. The dates appeared to me to be taken from the original sources and were not going to affect candidates' understanding of the issue of population growth.

The other points noted were also of no consequence to my students.

Therefore Edexcel's response was entirely measured.

If Mr Symons had any knowledge of the marking standards he would know that the markers would be instructed to assess the evidence used by candidates.

My students had no difficulty with the 14 pages of data which were a very useful stimulus for a relevant geographical exercise carried out under examination conditions. The resources will prove to be excellent teaching resources.

If Mr Symons is so concerned, perhaps he should try his hand at examining to see how rigorous the Edexcel system is for candidates.

Emily C Charles 42 Hellyer Road Southsea, Hampshire

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