Some authorities use English essays as a method of assessment. We suppose one of the reasons for this is to encourage children who may be faced with objective tests to think creatively.
Learning to plan stories and essays, and preparing to write, plays a large part in today’s schools.
We all know of teachers who are able to make a sound appraisal of levels of ability and attainment. Some teachers are remarkably accurate in predicting chances of success at grammar school. The problem comes when the proportion of candidates in one school is not necessarily the same in another.
What happens to the 11+ children when the teacher at one school is a gifted teacher of English and at another school the teacher is simply wonderful at teaching mathematics? If we rely completely on teachers’ assessment it remains a difficult task to try to ensure the `fairness’ of the system.
It would be interesting to hear about up to date evidence of the fairness a system that uses a combination of the assessment by the teacher and the examination results of a battery of tests. If you do hear of an essay on the subject please let us know.