Simplified mark schemes based on the on-screen drag and drop comments on the AQA Examiner marking software. These much reduced mark schemes help teachers to understand exactly what the examiner is look for, can streamline marking and planning and can be modified to give feedback to students by simply highlighting their areas of competence. A valuable resource.
A series of lessons covering all the reading questions on both AQA Language papers, with writing frames, good examples and texts. I have explained what we are looking for as examiners and what we award marks for. I used this as an intervention unit, but could also be used as revision or for Years 7-10 when preparing for a GCSE style reading test.
A sound understanding of social and historical context is essential for a Grade 4 and above in the current English Literature specifications. It is imperative that students learn the intended message of the playwright or author of the text and the influences upon them at the time of writing. Being able to explain these features in relation to the text will place students within the higher bands of the GCSE mark scheme.
This lesson directs children to consider the influences upon J B Priestley and the messages he intends to convey to his audience in An Inspector Calls. It can be taught at any point of the unit and is ideally repeated after reading the novel, as students will be able to link the images more readily to events and quotes in the play. The Powerpoint of statements are conclusions that the students will be coming to at the end of the lesson and can be displayed as starters in later lessons, asking students to brainstorm quotes and events which support the given point. The Powerpoint of images can also be used in a similar way, or as a display where students add quotes as they read the play.
1. Arrange the tables in the classroom as six workstations (six groups of tables). Print out the resources and place each set on a different table with the relevant heading. You might want to add a laptop that is set up to one of the websites on the links provided.
2. Arrange students in six groups of four or five and give each student an overview sheet. Point out that if they have not yet read the play they will not be able to fill in the quotes and events thought bubble, but can add to this later.
3. Allow students 5-6 minutes per workstation with the aim of completing the overview sheet.
4. At the end, ask each table to feedback about the subject covered at the table they are seated at.
5. Ask each student to write a message that Priestley was trying to convey on a Post-It and stick onto the wall. This will form the 'Student Comments' for later use.
I have used this resource to develop my own understanding of the mark scheme (even though I have been an examiner for over ten years), support my colleagues in understanding the mark scheme, and also to diagnose weaknesses within classes, enabling targeted intervention, differentiation within the classroom and targeted support. Once completed, it gives the teacher a full and clear understanding of what needs to be done to succeed in the exam.
Essentially, it is an audit of skills within a class, looking at either a whole mock paper, or full practice questions in books. Assess the work for each of elements for each question, writing the student initial in each box. This is a little clunky to begin with, but gets much easier after the first few pieces and is very valuable in both focusing your understanding of what is required for each question and knowing where students need attention. The statements have been taken from the mark scheme and also developed from the on-screen software used by examiners.
Your end result will clearly show where the average class strengths and weaknesses lie, which students need more help and in which areas and how you should direct your teachers. This would result in outstanding differentiation. I have completed a sample of three students (whereas usually it would be for a whole class), which shows that this very small group struggle with methods on Q4.
Whole cohorts could be analysed via cutting and pasting several sheets onto one, allowing HODs to oversee weaknesses across the department. These audits could also be used as a basis for conversations in progress meetings and as a monitoring tool.
This bundle includes eight fully differentiated lessons (with support and challenge worksheets) that covers DADWAVERS, similes, anaphora, onomatopoeia, plosives and sibilance. A lengthy Powerpoint (suitable for starters or discreet lessons/intervention) is also included. A great pack for teaching some new terminology and encouraging students to incorporate a variety of devices into their writing. Save over 75% on the cost of buying these separately.
Here is a lesson I created to explain the subjunctive form. The lesson requires students to make a poster at the end of the lesson, or you could have them creating a short drama using the subjunctive sentence starters displayed on the Powerpoint.
A lesson that identifies and explores foreshadowing, followed by an opportunity to read a class text and look for examples of foreshadowing. The final task is differentiated and links closely to the demands of the new GCSE spec, so would be useful for both KS3 and KS4. The lesson is concluded with a reflection activity.
This lesson is part of a 12 lesson bundle for sale on TES at https://www.tes.com/teaching-resource/class-reader-generic-lessons-x-12-bundle-set-1-analysing-the-author-s-craft-11347361
The current TES system won't allow thumbnails of the Powerpoints, but all of the lessons are of this standard.
This is another lesson that helps students create an effective piece of writing using the DADWAVERS structure, but also incorporating different elements of sentence structures such as embedded clauses and fronted adverbials. The lesson includes a timer on the spinning wheel slides, encouraging students wo work quickly. Suitable for writing portfolio lessons at KS2 and all the way to exam preparation at GCSE level.
As an examiner, I have this system of marking in my head during the entire marking period so thought it would be useful to get it down on paper. Simply award one mark for each box of the table ensuring that you have given a mark for each AO. Th
e thresholds for 2017 are provided. If you are only marking one piece (e.g. Shakespeare), double the marks and add a SPaG mark out of four, then look at the threshold to see what grade your student would have attained in 2017. When the new thresholds come out in August, you will have even more up to date information and a secure indication of your students’ progress.
The table is a great way of streamlining your marking practice and is a precise method. The grid can also be used to offer student feedback, as you can simply tick or highlight the students’ areas of achievement, giving clear guidance on areas that need to improve.
This lesson is the most efficient way I’ve ever found to teach students how to answer the structure question. It teaches students exactly how to explain the effects of structure, useful subject terminology and what the examiner is looking for. It is delivered through experiential learning, where the class write a class text following my prompts and then analyse this piece of work for structural choices. It is a very easy but effective way to deliver the key messages.
You will need a big sheet of paper to display the class story, another whiteboard or you could use another Powerpoint or word slide and flip between the two (not the best option, but could be done).
It naturally leads on to students writing their own stories that have conscious structural choices, which they can then analyse. I have also included two texts that could be analysed are free extracts of stories on lovereading.com
Please leave me some feedback to let me know how you got on with it.
This unit asks students to exercise their Literacy skills and plan a festival. They are required to write a letter to apply for the job, write a report, design logos and band profiles, design posters and respond to a complaint. This is an engaging collection of resources that would be ideal for Summer 2 or in a situation where students benefit from working on a 'real' task.
GCSE Language style paper for the fight scene of Of Mice and Men. This assessment is designed for all abilities, though it also supports KS3 or lower ability students to understand how to answer the new GCSE style questions. It could also be used a support document or walk-through, with students answering the questions without a guide in their books. Threshold levels are included on the first page.
These feedback sheets clearly convey the need to address all features of the assessment objectives in a clear manner. Just print off a class set and use a highlighter to show the levels that students have reached. I developed this system after many years as an examiner and Head of English and would never go back to just using the regular mark scheme.
The sheets also make it absolutely clear to teachers what needs to be done to facilitate progress for their students. If you;re a real nerd (like me), you could plot all of this information onto a spreadsheet and have at an a glance understafnding of who needs extra attention, how your PP students are doing, how boys are measuring up against girls, and where their weaknesses lie - is it use of evidence, terminology or limited epxlanations? These sheets give you the information you need.
Useful posters with key quotes for each character in An Inspector Calls. Display around the classroom or school, print off pairs of copies and use as a memory matching game with all the quotes of one character face down - students can turn over two cards per turn, or just display on the Powerpoint and discuss or debate. It's always useful to have a set of key quotes.
Fun assembly for Y6, KS3 and KS4 that promotes reading through a nostalgic visit to the books students enjoyed when they were younger. Simply print off the final three slides to use as Phone a Friend, Ask the Audience and 50/50 prompts and set up the data projector and you're away!
I recommend surprising a fellow colleague by asking them to come up to the front during assembly and try to win a million pounds; the students will be itching to tell them the answers!
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This assessment effectively bridges the KS2 and KS4 styles of questions and averts the Year 7/8 dip. Did you know, for example, that KS2 students are not required to comment on the effect of language or structure in their SATs tests? Nor are they required to evaluate texts. It is therefore unsurprising that students often perform badly in KS3 tests that are based solely on GCSE papers. My assessment paper takes elements of the KS2 paper that students are familiar with and works in aspects of the KS4 paper at an appropriate level. The grade boundaries are on the front of the paper and have been based upon 2017 threshold levels (AQA).
This is one of the first of a set papers that aims to encourage students to become increasingly independent through their secondary school career and has been designed through a careful investigation into KS2 papers and an in-depth knowledge of GCSE papers. Please follow me if you find this useful and keep a look out for future bundles of assessment papers.
Copyright acknowledgement to the author of this extract, who has circulated this first chapter as a free resource. Please do bu her book if you enjoy it.