“Why don’t you do a blog about coursework?
“Fine, Carenza – tell me a funny story about coursework.”
“There are no funny stories about coursework, Mum.”
“It’s not a subject on which you should attempt humour.”
Poor old coursework – much maligned. I’m an exam girl myself, always have been, always will be (except maybe Teaching Skills, Numeracy). I’ve no patience for endlessly drafting rewrites and taking pains over presentation. Yet isn’t adult working life often much more like producing coursework than the “Wham, bam, thank you, Mam” of exams.
The authorities seem, however, to be getting more edgy and are asking pupils to produce coursework in an invigilated environment. It’s true that with coursework produced at home there is every chance for a cast of thousands to “contribute” – parents, teachers, classmates, Joe from down the chip shop. The same crew will no doubt have helped each pupil prepare their new-style controlled coursework, but will no longer have a hand in the end product.
Does this mean a de-skilling of mothers? No longer expected to colour in diagrams, glue photos into portfolios, check punctuation in essays?
Will the changes in assessment herald a renaissance in creative evening classes as parents seek a new outlet for their cutting, sticking and colouring skills?
Meanwhile in the streets, will teams be called in with leaf-blowers to clear away the drifts of unused commas and apostrophes?
Nope, Perran and Carenza still aren’t smiling.