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

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now