Six Mark Book Marks


Awaiting tassels.

The continuing quest for full marks gets book marks…

Once the kids were up to speed with the the techniques and tips I wanted them to use when answering the QWC, I hit a bit of a stumbling block – a bit of a vacuum when it came to questions to answer! Scouring round the past papers I physically had, plus hitting the AQA website yielded the expected results. I also mange to score a really useful selection of questions from Bob Ayres (@MrBAyres – worth a follow), but it was never long before the cries of “we’ve done this one before” started. It was time to bring all my disparate sources together. I also didn’t want to keep having to photocopy stuff which was handed back too tatty/graffitied to use again. 

I wanted a resource that would also include the mark scheme, but not be too cumbersome, so I settled on a bookmark format. Most of the questions used, along with mark schemes, were adapted from the Nelson Thorne AQA Physics textbook, so the main job was just fiddling with fonts and layout – and copying out the questions (I use Keynote on iPad for the job). 

Collect ’em all! Example of six mark bookmark.

It was a labour of love to get them all finished over the Easter holidays, but they seem to go down very well on twitter, with the task being taken up by others (@hthompson1982 and @DaK_74 in particular) to complete similar sets for biology and chemistry. 

The next big job – cutting them out! I’m lucky enough to have a 1:1 000 000 technician at school however, who loves a bit of cutting and sticking, and they were soon laminated up, ready for action. They are still awaiting the little tassels to complete the picture, but that’s a job for next week!

Although the mark schemes aren’t totally comprehensive, the kids are now familiar with what is meant by “mostly faultless SPaG” etc. I’ll be breaking them out next week, and I do intend to make a final bookmark where the kids can record their mark for each question along with details on BUSKing for six marks. I’ll let you know how they get on!

If you fancy checking them out, download them here AQA_QWC_6_mark_bookmarks.pdf



Your wish is my command (word)


Science literacy placemats

Whilst focussing on literacy in science this year, one of the big problems the kids seemed to have was knowing what the question was actually asking for. They may have had a really good understanding of the science, but just didn’t understand the command words. One of my constants in class is the development of independent learners, so I needed a resource that they could turn to that would guide them whilst still requiring them to do the work. Enter the literacy placemat. 

It’s not an original idea I know, there are plenty of similar resources about, but I wanted to bring all the elements I find useful together in one place. 

Laminated and ready to rock

The central focus was the command words, with the obvious addition of connectives and punctuation prompts. I also took the chance to include the Point, Evidence, Explain structure we use for writing conclusions, along with the SOLO taxonomy to get pupils thinking about how they improve their answers. The mats were printed up on A3, laminated and added to my resource table at the front of the class. 

Breaking out the mats in class

The first time the mats were used was during some QWC work. After discussing a couple of questions, I suggested the kids used a mat to help construct their answers. The command word section saw the most interest, but the group were high ability types so didn’t need as much help connective wise. 
The next time I used the mats was with a lower ability group during coursework. After talking about the marks that came from the quality of their writing for a bit, they got stuck in. I was made up to hear the conversations about their work. They were actively trying to use different connectives to each other and avoid repetition in their writing. Good job kids!
The mats are still getting a lot of use and best of all it’s usually a case of “sir, can I get one of those writing things?” rather than me suggesting it in the first place. 
Get a copy of the mat here Science literacy placemat.pdf