Teaching the Writing Questions in a GCSE English exam

Another excellent how to blog by Mark Roberts… (Note use of elipsis at the end of my short paragraph there :))

Mark Roberts Teach

I love teaching writing skills. I love sharing the work of my favourite writers and inspiring – or trying to at least – my pupils to mimic elements of their style. I love the finicky stuff, like ensuring paragraphs are cohesive. I love teaching how to create islands of words, using bracketing commas for example, to make sentences more complex and easier to read. I even love teaching spelling rules and how to write out the alphabet properly (yes those ‘f’s do need to slip below the line please). But I’ve never been a big fan of teaching the writing sections of GCSE English exams. Why? Well, there’s the tedious writing triplets (inform, explain, describe etc.), beautifully skewered by @Xris32 in a recent post. Then there’s the whole writing by numbers approach, which everyone, including me, must have been guilty of teaching:

  1. Start with a language feature. Usually a rhetorical…

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