Today my Year 11s wrote tips for their past selves in response to their performance on the presentational devices question for  English language. Like I have seen a chap from Nottingham High School, I have made a table rating their comments.

Outstanding comment – pertinent to the answer and annotated Useful comment   -Generic point related to point on the paper Token comment –Generic points showing recognition of structuring an exam response
80% 10% 10%

There were only three students who I believed have not understood how to improve their previous answers. The best students were able to comment on what they did well, and how to develop their analysis on evaluative lines; not just adding ideas.

Cross referencing these top tips, I was most pleased with how many students are now using more specific lines of analysis when considering presentational devices. In fact, no-one gave generic comment. At times where students were vague in their connection (‘icy water’ implies hurt and pain) there is at least a way for them to re-evaluate their connections (that the ‘icy water’ suggests an environment inhospitable to man, and therefore of a world almost beyond  ours.)

Some students were able to analyse with an impressive level of detail. Those who took their revision today were able to rapidly analyse the article on Sue the T-Rex, especially in regards to analysing the headline.

So, when we return to paper 1, I think it will be in regards to analysing the language devices of texts.  However, I think that this kind of purpose/audience specificity will aid their essays on Of Mice and Men, which will be focussing on the themes of loneliness and isolation.