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What the teachers say

Roy Hepplestone, head of Longroyde junior, Brighouse, West Yorkshire, said: "We mustn't generalise but I believe boys prefer non-fiction - our boys are more tuned in to it.This year the test had quite a lot of non-fiction and we're hoping that our boys will shine. Girls find writing and reading easier than boys but our results are starting to even out."

Sue McNicholl, Year 6 teacher at Holy Trinity Catholic primary, Liverpool, said:"The reading test was most particularly boy-friendly, almost to theexclusion of being girl-friendly. All the children and staff were unprepared. In past papers there has always been some form of fiction.

"There has been a move away from the emphasis on fiction but I just felt the test was too extreme in the other direction. It was designed to be boy-friendly, but was it children-friendly?" Yvonne Law, Year 6 teacher, Langwith Bassett primary, Mansfield, said: "The reading material was quite good. All children are interested in whales." Eleanor Levenson

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