"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, April 25, 2011

Exams in the summer? Whose great idea was that?

Well, here we are at the start of week two of an unseasonally hot Easter break. Just prior to breaking up my Yr 10 students took their mock exam using a past GCSE paper. They will be doing the real thing on June 9th. I started to mark a couple of days ago and, in time honoured style, I started with my weakest group.

I don't know why I do this. There is some residual sense that the weakest ones will be the easiest to mark and shouldn't take too long. This is not true and every year I make the same mistake. The weaker ones are the hardest to mark because of the scrambled handwriting, the poor spelling and the dodgy thought-processes. Oh, and the lack of revision: don't let's forget the lack of revision.

Oh we never revise Sir.

I can't revise, me.

And, thus, cheerfully, they give themselves permission not to bother. However, not knowing the core material has never been a reason not to write pages and pages of misinformed personal philosophising.

Example 1) The design of the world shows that God created it. Do you agree? Give reasons for your answer.

I think god did create the world because thier wasnt noone else what could of. (sic)

Example 2) There will always be evil. Do you agree? Give reasons for your answer.

I don't think we could last very long without evil. If there was no evil all the policemen would have to lose their jobs.

Example 3) God cannot be loving if he lets people suffer. What do you think? Explain your opinion.

I think God can be loving if he lets you suffer. For example, your Mum loves you even though she might make you tidy your bedroom.

Example 4) At the moment of death, the soul returns to God. What do you think? Explain your opinion.

Where does God keep all the souls?

The ones I have marked so far are all well below their target grades and if they perform as badly on June 9th a senior manager will come to me wanting to know why. But so-and-so's target grade was C and yet she got an E. How do you account for that?

She's lazy and wouldn't revise.

But you're the Head of Department.

Yes, but she's lazy and she wouldn't revise.

But it's your job to ensure she does.

Would you like me to move in with them all and sit over them every evening in the holidays?

There's no need to be facetious.

On the second day of the Easter holidays, I invited my Yr 10s to attend a revision morning and my Yr 11s to attend in the afternoon. It was a sunny day. Three came in the morning and nine in the afternoon. In theory they are all revising now. The sun continues to beat down. What are the chances?


  1. But the last answer is worth being an Oxbridge entrance exam question!
    I know it's not what the syllabus says but it's definitely a creative reply.

    Both my daughters (year 12 and year 10) have the same revision tutor. He's an inspiring man and he told me firmly right from the beginning that he refuses to work with children who are not motivated, because to motivate a switched off child is the one thing he cannot do for them.

    I get the idea that an inspiring teacher inspires his students, but there are limits!

  2. What is meant by the term 'revision' as you use it. You have written of it before and and I didn't get it; this time I really want an explanation.

  3. I quite like all the answers you have listed, actually.

  4. Barbara: The process of revising would be going back over your work in a structured way to ensure that you remember it well enough to get the marks you are capable of in a public examination. Key words and phrases, definitions, the teaching on each given topic (including quotes) from our two religions, Christianity and Buddhism and the views of Atheists in contrast.

  5. Yes, I dutifully agreed to workshops during last week for the hard of motivation to catch up. Attendance was at least regular, 1 on Monday, 1 on Tuesday, 1 on Wednesday and then 6 on Thursday. whether this was weather related or pre-pentitential conscience, I don't know.

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  7. hi can you delete the comment before mine