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 Post subject: Extended writing
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 1:19 pm 
Could someone please explain what the Medway 'Extended writing exercise' comprises of and provide some guidance on how to prepare for it.

Many thanks.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 7:36 pm 
Hi Charlottes dad, my son sat the Medway test this year. They were given the title of a story and he says 'a few pointers' setting the scene. They then had to write a story. This is my son's strongest subject. We were fairly well prepared for the maths and vr using practice papers. All I did for the extended writing was to give him a title and get him to write a story in the set time (50 mins I think). He had finished within 20 minutes, and I explained to him that if he did this on the day he probably would not have done enough. We worked out that he could spend 10-15 mins planning and 5-10 mins to check over at the end, and for the rest of the time he should be writing. On the day he used the whole time and said he wrote about 4 pages. This was the section he scored highest on (125) and he did pass. Hope this is some help.


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 Post subject: Extended writing
PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 12:27 pm 
Thanks for the quick reply. Thankfully, no need to spend any more time on comprehensions and the like! Charlotte is definitely better at creating her own stories than finding meanings in other texts.

Do you know if they are they given a guide as to how much they should write and if there is a choices of story title or just the one?

Thanks again.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 4:59 pm 
This year there was no choice, just the one title "Barney the rescue dog"!! My son says there was no indication of how much they needed to write.


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 Post subject: Extended writing
PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 6:36 pm 
Son number one sat the Medway tests in 2006 and son number two in 2007 (just about managed to hang onto my sanity). Agree with guest, there is no indication as to how much has to be written. Both of my sons wrote approx. two pages and both scored highly.
For the 2006 test my son does not remember there being any title, just a scenario about a cousin who has built a time machine and you have to decide whether it will take you into the future or back to the past.
Hope this helps.


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 Post subject: Extended writing
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2007 12:31 pm 
Thanks again for the quick replies. We certainly know much more than we did two days ago.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2007 9:53 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2007 7:21 pm
Posts: 217
Location: Kent & Medway
I have major problems with the Medway extended writing exercise. It carries double weight when compared with the verbal reasoning test and is very subjective - pet owners were able to empathise far better with Barney. As a result, the Medway tests can be won or lost on a subjective test and a good title for your child on the day.

Sorry, but I feel strongly that Medway ought not to persist with a form of test that measures neither achievement nor potential (NFER).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 8:17 am 
Peter, I do agree with your view and am surprised that the writing exercise carries double the score of the verbal reasoning. One question though, how important is the development of the title in the marking? Is the marking not predominantly based on the 'mechanics' of good writing rather than how well the child empathised with Barney?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 10:37 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2007 7:21 pm
Posts: 217
Location: Kent & Medway
Perhaps empathy is the wrong word. The marking scheme (in the possession of all Medway Primary headteachers) makes clear that there is a strong emphasis on creative skills - possibly at the expense of the technical skills you refer to.

I still believe that for creative writing there is too strong an emphasis on the subject matter which will inevitably favour one group of candidates against another. NFER does not regard such creative writing as predictive of performance, so why is it given such importance?


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