I was going to start with ‘it’s that time of year again’, but nowadays, it always seems like ‘that time of year’. Year 11 are preparing for yet another controlled assessment, and I am running out of inspirational ways to help them get ready.
I went through all the usual stuff again – “once I give you this task, I can’t help you with anything else”; “you have until next Monday to prepare”; “no, you can’t use those verbs in your 40 words” – usually followed by “a verb is an action word”!
And then there’s the issue that always makes me wonder if I’m doing it correctly- “you can’t take home your draft or your planning sheet”. “But Miss, isn’t most of this in our exercise books anyway…?”
And of course, it is, because that’s the vocabulary and grammar they have been learning in lessons for the past few weeks. Otherwise I wouldn’t have been doing my job properly. I feel like I’ve missed something somewhere, but I am assured that I haven’t.
So therefore I started to ask myself – Are these assessments just hoops to jump through, or are they really giving our pupils the opportunity to respond spontaneously to the target language? For me, until we see how the examination results turn out, it’s still in the balance …