No minister, it's boring...

13th June 2003 at 01:00
A FEW weeks ago, The TES featured children's laureate Michael Morpurgo's brave attempt at the key stage 2 writing task. He was not the only one who thought the chore dull. Many teachers complained about it. Now, several Year 6 pupils at St Andrew's CE primary in Shifnal, Shropshire, have written to standards minister David Miliband to protest.

Here is one pupil's letter: Dear Sir, I am writing to express my concern about the longer writing task called "The Queue" which all Year 6 pupils had to write for their Sats. The title of the story is boring and the planning arrangements we were given gave insufficient time and were appalling.

Firstly, nobody likes being in queues. Therefore, nobody would want to read a story which is titled "The Queue". Furthermore, it is hard to write an exciting story from such a bad title. It would be hard to get a good mark as it is difficult to think of an imaginative plot.

For the longer task, you are expected to write two sides of A4. It is hard to write that much when the storyboard is so boring. It might have been better to use "The Queue" as the shorter task, so you do not have to write as much.

Also, you have to write "The Queue" even if that title does not appeal to you. It is hard to write a good story without a choice of title and many people could lose marks because of it.

The planning arrangement is appalling. You have to write the ideas given to you in three boxes, and you only have one box to write your own ideas in.

Finally, if there were a list of books and you had to choose one to read, would you choose "The Queue" or a book with a much better title?

I believe that it was a very inadequate test and it should have been done differently to make it better.

Yours faithfully, Rachel Redman St Andrew's CE primary

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