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It was a busy week at St Dominic’s last week. The deadline for all of the coursework was looming: GCSE English Language and Literature, AS and A2 Media, AS and A2 English Literature. It was a hectic week! However, I am pleased to report that it was all successfully completed and sent to the relevant moderators on time….sigh of relief you might think?!?! However, coupled with the coursework deadlines were the final lessons prior to the examinations in all of the above subjects. The GCSE and A Level examinations began in earnest today therefore the Year 11 and 12 girls left for study leave on Friday. The Media AS examination is tomorrow and the English Literature the day after that. I have had some one-to-one sessions with certain girls today to support their final preparations for the examinations. This has lead me to reflect on the nature of their learning. Some pupils naturally learn superficial details of the texts they are studying. This type of candidate tends to know the specification well and tend to be informed about grade boundaries and past paper questions. In contrast, other types of learners probe and delve deeply into the subject/topic/text and try to plan/ practice all of the types of questions that may come up in the examination. They need reassurance that they will be able to answer the questions whereas the others may need prompting to work productively.

 The deep learners who strive for knowledge are often concerned about the nature of the examination and whether they will be able to answer a question. I thought these pictures from our honeymoon boat trip in El Gouna captured both types perfectly. I wonder how many dolphins I will have tomorrow? More to the point am I a dolphin skimming the surface?


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