"My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together." “When I hear people say politics and religion don't mix, I wonder what Bible they are reading.” (Archbishop Desmond Tutu)

"And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, and to love kindness and mercy, and to humble yourself and walk humbly with your God?" Micah 6.8

"Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things." Philippians 4.19

"Work out your salvation with fear and trembling." Philippians 2.12

Monday, January 3, 2011

Revision, (as if!) exam marking and tears.

Well, here at the Knowledge College, it's been exam time again. This is also known amongst the staff as the period which will destroy Christmas if you leave marking the papers until the last minute. I left marking the papers until the last minute but still had a good Christmas!

I hate marking at the best of times, but mock-exam marking is the worst. Given that our Yr 11s will be sitting their final exams in a little over five months, the results are usually quite disturbing: on top of the culture which sees revision as a sign of effeminacy I have the added problem of:

"But it's only R.S. Sir. Who needs an R.S. qualification?"

I have set them last year's GCSE paper as their mock. Ignoring the many who are unable to understand the meaning of IN SECTION A ONLY ANSWER 1 QUESTION and the choice indicators: EITHER Q3 OR Q4 and who go on to answer every question on the paper (badly), we still have the joys of specific answers. Here is an example:

Q10: Explain the rights of those involved when abortion is being considered. (6 marks)

I am expecting something which includes:
a) Under the law a woman has the right to choose providing she meets certain specific criteria as set out in the 1967 Abortion Act.
b) The father has no legal rights.
c) Some analysis of U.N. Declaration of the Rights of the Unborn Child.
d) Evidence of an understanding that medical staff have a right of opt-out through conscience.
e) Perhaps some understanding of the conflict between a legal right and a moral conviction.

Here is the answer from the first paper I mark:

Their are serten rights of law for abortion of the way of it been considered for people because some people in the world have laws of it not allowed for it to be took place.

Well, I'm glad we've cleared that up then.

It is my own fault. I always mark the weakest groups first in the hope that they will be the easier to mark. I never learn. They are the most fraught and the least legible. I have six exam groups and two are weak: they took longer than the others.

What amazes me is the absolute waffle and rubbish they write asserting it to be what "most religious people believe." (Or usually belive) I use powerpoint in the classroom and so I know exactly what I taught down to the very slide in each lesson. I did not teach "Christians believe animals and humans are equal because you wouldn't want to of (sic) been hunted now would you?"

We were in the same room at the same time but clearly in different dimensions.

Still my faith in human nature is restored. The very first paper I mark in the higher groups earns its owner a grade A.


  1. One wonders if the first papers marked had been the higher classes, would that first paper still have been an A?

  2. Oh yes. The marking criterea are very clear.

  3. We were in the same room at the same time but clearly in different dimensions.

    I know that feeling well....

    Thee only way I could force myself to grade when I was teaching was to park myself in a chair and refuse to allow myself to get up until they were all done. I'm so happy I don't have to do that anymore.

  4. The height of your accomplishments will equal the depth of your convictions. ~ William F. Scolavino