School Classes Should Start Later? Great Idea

teenager tired
Teenagers studies for a level in avoiding mornings (source)

Scrolling through the news headlines as I munched toast and slurped teat at 9:30 this morning, I read that schools are contemplating the introduction of a later start time in order to accommodate teenagers’ body clocks. Yes, a serious suggestion.

The idea was originally tried at Hampton Court House, a private school in Surrey, where earlier in the year they began to allow sixth formers to start lessons in the afternoon. So successful and popular was the idea that more schools are now planning to push back start times to 10 am to give teenagers a extra hour in bed.

While the body clock justification for this initiative might be scientifically accurate or complete bollocks we say idea is good. Teenagers may or may not need more sleep. Neuroscientist Dean Burnett has carried out research which suggests they do. Others however say the idea is just pandering to late nights on the iPad.

Having steered our offspring through the difficult years however we Boggart Bloggers say it is unreasonable to expect sixth formers to be in school by nine when they often don’t get home from a gig or rave until ten – thirty.

How Hopeless Pupils Can Pass Exams

A regular commentator, Nenesse1, left a response to yesterday’s post sayng (in French) that it will soon only be necessary to write one’s name on the paper to pass an exam.

I don’t know if my reply, in French, will impress Francophones but it impressed me 🙂

Clearly though the Frech education system is not yet as dumbed down as ours because here lazy pupils who know how to work the politically correct making system can assemble a pass mark though the various uplifts available. We posted on that a couple of years ago so let’s do a bit of recycling:

In my school days, admittedly more years ago than I care to remember, trying to justify the non – delivery of homework projects with the excuse “please Sir, the dog ate it,” was not exactly fresh and original but was still guaranteed to raise a ripple of laughter from classmates. Now of course it is a tired and lame excuse used as a last resort only by the terminally dull – witted. Family pets have advanced in status so much they can actually make a positive contribution to academic achievement.

Britain’s leading examination boards announced this week that results may be upgraded if it is known that the candidate has suffered an emotionally distressing experience in the run up to the exam. Qualifying experiences include death of a parent or sibling (5% upgrade) parent or sibling being diagnosed with a serious illness (5%) death of a distant relative (3%) a broken limb within 48 hours (3%) a broken limb on the mend (2%) – this throws a whole new light on the theatrical expression of encouragement “break a leg” – and so on, with the death of Fido or Pyssykins weighing in at 2% if it happens within 48 hours of the exam or 1% between to days and a week prior. Monty Python fans will be emotionally distressed to learn that the death of a parrot warrants nothing.

A spokesperson for one of the examination boards responding to criticism that the scheme is politically correct mollycoddling of the young said that the maximum upgrade had been set at 5% in order to discourage abuse of the system. As she does not say whether the upgrades will cumulative I fear the bureaucrats have once more underestimated the ingenuity of ordinary punters. Consider the possibilities in a literature examinationÂ…

QUESTION: In Shakespearean tragedy the downfall of the main character is often a result of a failure to address obvious flaws in his own character. Discuss this with particular reference to Hamlet and Macbeth.

ANSWER: Both Hamlet and Macbeth areÂ… Oh GOD! WHAT IS THE POINT? Why should I sit this exam when with a bare bodkin I could my quietus make. Who cares about qualifications and careers. Life is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. Shakespeare’s tragedies? Are there not enough tragedies in the real world. To write or not to write that is the question, when all our yesterdays have lit the way of fools to dusty death.

Only yesterday my beloved Labrador Bonzo shuffled off this mortal coil when a car, driven by my uncle Jim, mowed him down. Jim did try to avoid Bonzo but lost control of the car and perished himself when he hit a wall.

I felt guilty about having let Bonzo off the leash and rushed to cradle the poor dogs noble head as he breathed his last. When the paramedics led me away I noticed my hands were covered in blood. “Will all Neptune’s great ocean was clean the blood from this my hand I cried out.
Just then my mobile phone rang. It was my mother calling from the hospital to tell me she had been diagnosed with terminal cancer and within six months would be heading for that unexplored country from in whose bourne no traveller returns.

In a perfect world I would be able to turn for comfort to my Dad, a virtuous man, but as it says in Hamlet, Act 2 Scene 2 “Virtue itself ‘scapes not calumnious strokes and Dad has been paralysed these three years.

I asked my sister, a Goth to let me have some of her downers, after all our little lives are ended with a sleep. “Each man is but a poor player who frets and struts his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more so help me exit pursued by a bear,” I entreated her.

“But in that sleep of death what dreams may come? Fuck off and buy you own drugs;” she quipped rather wittily in the circumstances just before falling downstairs and breaking her leg.

Then I heard a terrible sound coming from the kitchen and rushed in just in time to see poor Pussykins choke to death on a furball.

I tried to sleep last night, for after all, we are such stuff as dreams are made of, our little lives are rounded with a sleep.

But what will it avail me if I pass this examination. There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamed of in your philosophy Mr. Examination Marker.

And if you add it all up that should be worth a pass.

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Its Official – You Don’t Have To Sit The Exam To Get An A Level.

The percentage of pupils passing A levels increased again as results were revealed today. This is the 20th year running that success rathes have climbed.

The results are cited as proof of what a good job the education ministry are doing. We should be proud that 197.6% of pupils entered for A levels passed I suppose.

There is always a doubt about the qualy of questions being set however. Some people are saying, rather unkindly we think, that candidates do not even have to write their name at the top of the paper to get an A level now.

In reality though multiple choice questions and coursework do count for a proportion of the make some of the questions are of a very challenging standard.

It is impoosible to get an A level geography for example unless one knows how to find one’s arse with both hands.

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The Truth About The Economy, Crime, Education And Everything Else.

Increasingly desperate as all their efforts to stem the advance of the BNP in barking, Barnsley and Burnley seem to amount to nothing, the Labour government has resorted to its favourite tactic: telling lies.

This month alone they have told lies about Swine Flu (apparently hundreds of people who lived near you have died of it) ; the have claimed unemployment has started to fall when in fact the only reason the figure was lower is that they stopped counting people whose benefit has been suspended because they have not tried hard enough to find jobs; today they announced the economy is out of recession and growing once more though the 0.1% growth in the final quarter of the year was achieved as a result of the governmentÂ’s manufacturing monopoly money to a sum equal to about 10% of the gross domestic product and giving it to banks, public service contractors and foreign car manufacturers.

The most outrageous lie however has been the claim that “reported” crime has fallen. Nobody now reports crime as they fear they will be arrested and charged with not being polite enough to the burglars who have broken into their house and are stealing all their stuff. Added to that, Labour’s Politically Correct Thought Police, knowing that most crime is committed by males aged 12 – 24 stopped counting crimes committed by the under 16 because the poor little darlings don’t understand mugging and housebreaking, twocking and setting fire to property is wrong.

What is really off – pissing about the Labour government, and let’s not delude ourselves the Conservatives will be any different when they are in power, is they persist in the irrational belief that if they chant statistics over and over again the only people who will not believe them are the most misanthropic and congenitally evil supporters of the rabid right. People who do not believe official statistics are insane, Gordon Brown more or less said a few months ago.

Insulting the punters by calling them stupid is bad enough, saying they are insane is suicidal. It is not the people who refuse to believe statistics that are bonkers but those dwindling few Guardian writers who believe the statistics put out to make the case that Labour politicians are really nice people who are doing a good job in very difficult circumstances.

If you are one of those people who clings to a lingering feeling that Labour canÂ’t be all bad because they care about minorities, orphans (so long as they are not British orphans) and foxes, her is an example of how statistics are made to tell lies.

A recent report complied by a left wing think tank to address the appalling take up of GCSE A level courses in Languages complained that criticism of the state education policy on Language courses is unfair. Yes it is correct to say A level pupils in private schools got a lot more good pass grades in languages than state school pupils. “Look at the statistics,” they whined, “80%of pupils in private schools take at least on A level in a foreign language, only 40% of state school pupils are entered for the exams. No wonder the private education system gets better results.

Let’s re – examine that in a computer professional’s logic rather than New Labour logic. The number of pupils in private education in 7%. The number of pupils in state education is 93%. So 80% of 7% is … I could never be arsed with maths, let’s say about 5.5% and 40% of 93% is roughly 37%. This means five and a half percent of pupils got more A level grade A and Bs than 37%. And that is a case for banning private education?

The idea of the old Grammar Schools, the selective education so hated by the “Progressive Left” was that bright children from poorer homes who have as good a chance of getting on as those whose parents could afford private education. As usual it is a case of the left in trying to be fair to everyone ending up being unfair to everyone but trying to conceal the facts with bogus statistics. And the Conservatives were just the same last time they were in power and will be again. The audacity of their claims that the voters are too stupid to understand official data is one of the reasons people have lost faith in politics, the professions and everything.

The reason the Conservatives are losing votes universally to UKIP and Labour is losing votes to the BNP in Barking, Barnsley and Burnley ( not to mention Bradford and Birmingham), to the Lib Dems in Lichfield, Luton and Littlehampton, to the Greens in Gateshead, Garstang and Gillingham and for all we know to The Hurricane Party in Hertford Hereford and Hampshire is not because the voters there are drawn to alliteration (in fact few of the 97% educated in state schools are likely to know what alliteration is) but because they think the punters are so simple minded they will believe any old bollocks if it is backed by a few official statistics.

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Marking computer Says No AsTop Writers Fail Their English A Level.

Boggart Blog makes it our business to invigilate the progressive education lobby for sings of loonyness. An we have to be honest, they keep us busy.

One of the most crackpot ideas to come out of the academic clique that supervises the dumbing down of standard was the recruitment of a marking computer to assess A level papers.

On being given samples of writing by great authors including Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, Ernest Hemingway and John Donne the computer failed them all, dismissing John Donne’s line “No man is an island.” as incomprehensible.

A very atmospheric passage from Dickens was branded too repetitive as was a transcript of Churchills “Fight them on the beaches” speech.

Extracts from William Goldings “Lord Of The Flies” and Anthony Burgess’ “A Clockwork Orange” were described respectively as “erratic” and “bizarre.”

Apart from being pedantic the marking computer cannot cope with metaphor, colloquialism or handle stylistic variation. All of which shows that despite the lurid fantasies of computer scientists Artificial Intelligence is as far away as Intergalactic Travel.

It is nicely ironic that in an education system designed, it is claimed, to encourage creativity, creativity is frowned on. The system sems to be giving out the message, “You will be creative, but only as creative as we allow you to be.”

Once again we see the underlying ideal of progressive education is control freakery.

Just as a final, satisfying, nail in the coffin of the computerized exam marker in its appraisal of Chuchill’s speech it corrects the use of “might of” in the phrase “might of the German Army,” advising the author it was an incorrect way of writing “might have” when in fact it is an abstract noun and perfectly correct. So did Churchill pass his A level?

Computer says No.

Read about the computerized exam marker at The Times

The Truth About Education, The Economy, Crime And Everything Else

We Don’t Need No Edukashun

Whilst the nation’s teenagers await their forthcoming exam results with baited breath, Boggartblog is able to bring you details of the government’s latest plans for ensuring that everybody gets at least 12 A* passes (or equivalent) at GCSE.

Aware of the controversy over the stress levels generated in children by the constant regimen of testing, the government has been piloting a scheme using continual assesment, where pupils are assessed as they learn instead of there being an end of year/term/module examination.
One young man who has been awarded Using Public Transport (Unit 1), which counts as 2 GCSEs in Mathematics and English, 1 GCSE in Geography and half an A level in PHSE and Citizenship, said he wasn’t even aware he’d sat the test.

He was also a bit bemused as he had been found capable of walking to the bus stop; waiting for the bus in the appropriate place and using any equipment provided for this activity, eg bus shelter, seating; and sitting on the bus and looking through the windows.

Bobby said he never looks out of the window when he is on the bus.
Boggartblog also questions the stringency of the assessment as it was not ascertained whether the bus he got on was the one that would take him where he wanted to go.

A government spokesperson clarified this by explaining that there were further units and of course an advanced unit which would cover the more taxing aspects of using public transport.

Plans for a degree level course, worth the same as a B.Sc. Hons would include subjects such as reading a timetable and booking a train ticket online.

Other skills subject to the new CALSkC (Continuous Assessment Life Skills Certificates) will include the ability to dress oneself; get shoes on the correct feet; make ones way to a place of learning, not necessarily the one the pupil is enrolled at; enter the classroom safely; identify the learning facilitators (best out of five attempts); recognise a whiteboard,(actually that’s discriminatory so it should be a board for written communication between pupils and learnig facilitators); be able to make the same mark on a piece of paper with a writing implement as a means of personal identification, note to taggers, aerosols and the walls of the building are excluded from this.

It is hoped under this new regime everybody leaving school will be secure in the knowledge that they have as many qualifications as Stephen Hawking and are thus overly equipped for the for any useful employment and therefore entitled to a life on benefits as all the jobs they are likely to be offered, in view of the fact that they can’t actually read and write, are way beneath them.

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The Importance Of Not Losing Your Set A Level Texts

Drawn back towards consciousness from the depths of dreamland, wither my head nodded over my desk, I peeked around the office door to find the cause of the commotion.
In the Boggartblog reception SezJez was standing, arms akimbo, confronting BBC.
“Have you got my Importance Of Being Earnest?” she demanded.
“I can tell it is important to you, and also I can tell you, quite earnestly, that I do not have your Importance of Being Earnest,” replied BBC with a twinkle in his eye.
“B…”
“I do understand the Importance of Being Earnest in answering your question, dear sis,…”
“B…”
“Have you tried your handbag?”
“C aargh….”

Exit BBC in a hail of nail files and cosmetic brushes.

THE DAILY STIRRER
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Platfrom 2B Or Not 2B

Ye gods, what is the world coming to?

News at the weekend informs us that one examining board has included study of a tram timetable as part of the English Lit A Level.

(Funny, but we used to learn how to use timetables in Maths, at primary school, along with being able to work out mentally how long it would take five workmen to lay 5 miles of train track if it took one workman two days to build a brick wall, if you don’t believe me just check out any episode of Ask the Family.)

After my initial ‘dismayed of Tunbridge Wells’ moment though I think I can see how this might work.

Q1) “Platform 2b or not 2b, that is the question.”
(Shakespeare, Hamlet)

Referring to the text provided, Supertram, Timetable, May to November 2008, explain the dilemma facing Hamlet, his possible options and his musings upon these.

Q2) “A Brief Encounter” (Noel Coward) is set in a railway waiting room. With reference to the timetable provided, re-write the first scene with the action taking place at the University tram stop.

Q3) In The Great Gatsby, (F. Scott Fitzgerald,) the drama unfolds during a summer season in the Hamptons.
With reference to the text explain how the story could be different had Gatsby not owned the motorcar and had had to rely on public transport.

Yeah, there are possibilities there.