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PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 10:37 am 
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Looking through my daughter's English workbooks last night, and her comprehension texts seem to be quite harshly marked, and I'd really like some thoughts on the following example..

She was asked to give a word or phrase that could replace the relevant words that were used in the text...

1) 'She retreated to the calm of her room' Daughter wrote, took refuge.. which was marked incorrect. I appreciate withdrew or go back or something more precise would be an exact synonym, but in this context, I'd have thought her answer was not completely incorrect?

2) Shrieks of joy....daughter put yells of joy. Marked incorrect, should have been shouts or screams. :?

3) What do you think the 'Bougainvillea' is in line 4... she answered a hanging flower pot. Marked incorrect as she should have said 'flowering plant'!

4) A question asked how a game was played; daughter described it accurately from what I can see. But teacher has marked it incorrect, and gave her no marks for a 3 mark question.

These are just a few examples of many. I don't usually look at her workbooks, but she's been coming home saying she doesn't like her teacher, as she is always critical of her, and even when she seems to have done well, she is marked down quite a lot.
If there are any English teachers on here, would really appreciate your thoughts on whether this kind of marking is too pedantic!
Thank you :)


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 11:31 am 
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Your dd was definitely correct for 1 and 2.

3. The teacher was right. It is an trailing outside plant (I have one) not an indoor flower pot.

What level is this? Does the Teacher have an English degree?

It may well be the teacher is reading answers from answer books and does not realise that there are more answers than the answer book covers.

I would have a word with her about it.

Your dd's answer are excellent and should not be discouraged. DG


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 12:11 pm 
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Thank you DG, that's reassuring.
The Bougainvillia reference was in the context of an outdoor veranda, and the lines 'The Bougainvillea hung about it, purple and magenta, in livid balloons', so she correctly assumed they were flowers, but assumed they were in hanging baskets. The giant X through her answer, just seemed a little harsh!

In the previous piece, the author writes about a 'small brook, rushing and sparkling..and murmuring in a voice very grateful', why did the author choose the word 'murmuring'? DD answered 'because the author wanted to make it seem like the book is talking to her'. Yet this was crossed out and she got no marks out of 2, as she should have said; 'The author uses personification to make it seem like the book is alive'.

She has just turned 10 in the summer so is now in year 6, so I assumed they were just getting pickier! I'm not sure what the teacher's background is English wise. I suspect you are right with regards to her referencing the answers provided in the book, rather than accepting any lateral variations! Thanks so much for your help.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 12:24 pm 
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Was the first one "The Pink villa" The Durrells from My Family and other animals?

Her second answer is much better than the one quoted.

Her answer explains why murmuring is used. Their answer just defines personification

I would have given her answer a higher mark as it is more accurate.

All the GCSE English mark schemes make it really clear that all answers should be considered on their own merits.

I would guess that the teacher does not find English easy but is forced to teach it as a Y6 teacher.

The fact that she cannot see that her answers are actually superior to the ones she is using is really quite sad.

She should not be teaching this level of English if she cannot understand it. DG


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 12:33 pm 
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If you look at previous SAT papers (available online) for comprehension, there are quite a variety of answers allowed that can be awarded full marks. There are also answers that can be awarded some of the marks (for questions with more than one mark).


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 12:46 pm 
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That is concerning DG. I only studied English to O level, 35+ years ago now, which is why I didn't want to question the merits of her marking scheme. Our daughter had made huge leaps in English last year, having had a terrible teaching experience the year before, and now she is simply losing interest, as she feels she is so critical towards her. An amazing piece of creative writing, which I honestly could not believe she had written herself. The story was engaging and very descriptive, used great vocabulary; adjectives and adverbs. Used similes and some clever metaphors, and even had some dialogue too..but was scored a miserly 12/25. Only 2/5 for Language, with a single comment to use more fronted adverbials, and nothing else!
I will definitely have a word now, thank you so much for your help.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 12:47 pm 
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Was the first one "The Pink villa" The Durrells from My Family and other animals? - It was an extract from Games at Twilight by Anita Desai


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 12:48 pm 
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If they are old Sats papers, the marking scheme is very specific about what can and can’t be accepted.

DG, just because a Y6 teacher doesn’t have an English degree doesn't mean they they shouldn't be teaching English at Y6 level. A rather sweeping statement with little evidence.

I have a Chemistry degree but am perfectly capable of understanding English and teaching it.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 1:00 pm 
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That is not what I said.

I asked if she had an English degree.

I did not say that only those with English degrees can teach and understand English. DG


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 1:29 pm 
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yoyo123 wrote:
If they are old Sats papers, the marking scheme is very specific about what can and can’t be accepted.


I hope 11+ marking isn't so prescriptive.

I'd be delighted if my DD gave the same answers as OP's DD to Q's 1 and 2.


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