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Workshops turn fiction into reality

I read Professor Brian Cox's article, "Fiction can become reality" (TES, July 14), with great interest. At Brighton University we have been running writing workshops for our primary teacher-training students for five years.

Though we cannot reproduce the Arvon experience, our students' praise for the value of these sessions for their professional and personal development is testimony to their success. Indeed, we are about to introduce the writing workshop as an additional form of in-service training for local teachers.

The stress by Professor Cox on assessment by coursework for public examinations in English, rather neglects the need for Year 6 children also to be given the time to produce work for the national tests which has some chance of reflecting their ability as writers.

I am aware that already a number of primary teachers, disappointed by their pupils' results, are deciding that they need to train them to write stories in 45 minutes.

Perhaps the Government's national test-setters should also attend Arvon courses.

CAROLE KING

Senior lecturer Faculty of Education University of Brighton Falmer Brighton, Sussex

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