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PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2014 11:10 am 

Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2014 7:50 am
Posts: 1
My DS is good at Maths but English writing is not his cup of tea. His reading is 5C and writing is 4B and maths is 5A. I am little concerned about English exam.

Please can someone guide me. What sort of writing tasks do the kids get in their exams. Any examples of essay topics. What were the topics in the last few years?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. :idea:

PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2014 6:46 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2014 1:30 pm
Posts: 1
Hi bournemouthmum,

My son took BS test in 2011 (for 2012 entry) so I'm not sure how much this reply will help, but as it's your only one so far...!

He had a choice of two essay titles, one descriptive and one involving presenting facts and opinion. The titles were along the lines of (but not exactly):

1) describing your journey from when you got up this morning to sitting in the exam room
2) write a speech on whether children's lunches should contain more fruit and vegetables

He has always been good at creative writing, but was thrown initially as the descriptive essay was not fiction and whilst he had practised fact and opinion writing he hadn't written any speeches before. That year BSG had a descriptive essay about waking up one day and something strange happening - which would have been much more his thing! They had a second choice (factual) but I don't know what it was on.

This website has some example essays under 11+ advice/english/essay writing which I found helpful. We concentrated on structure - intro, middle and end for descriptive fiction writing and setting out a balanced argument and linking back to the title for fact and opinion writing. 30 mins is not that long to plan, write and proof read an essay, so getting a complete essay structure that was achievable in this time frame seemed to be the most difficult part for my son. Sometimes it felt I was restricting his creative writing rather than nurturing it! Practising timed essays really helped him see what could be achieved within the time limit and he was then able to adjust his writing, creating shorter stories that were still interesting.
We also worked on e.g. sentence starters, using similies and metaphors for description, different connectives - often we did this verbally, making a game out of everyday talk. For example, when walking back from school we would jazz up our description of our day, or describe passing cars, or trees, buildings, weather etc. He liked this as he didn't have to write anything!

Hope this helps.

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