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Candidate 6 - "Can I be bothered?"

 

General Marking Principles for the portfolio

This information is provided to help you understand the general principles you must apply when marking candidate responses to this portfolio. These principles must be read in conjunction with the Detailed Marking Instructions, which identify the key features required in candidate responses.

(a) Marks for each candidate response must always be assigned in line with these General Marking Principles and the Detailed Marking Instructions for this assessment.
(b) Marking should always be positive. This means that, for each candidate response, marks are accumulated for the demonstration of relevant skills, knowledge and understanding: they are not deducted from a maximum on the basis of errors or omissions.
(c) The candidate’s writing will be marked in terms of content and style.
(d) Assessment should be holistic. There will be strengths and weaknesses in every piece of writing; assessment should focus as far as possible on the strengths, taking account of weaknesses only when they significantly detract from the overall performance . Marks should be awarded for the quality of the writing, and not deducted for errors or omissions. Writing does not have to be perfect to gain full marks


Detailed Marking Instructions for the portfolio

Consistent technical accuracy is a requirement for a mark of 8 or above. Consistent technical accuracy means that few errors will be present: paragraphs, sentences and punctuation will be accurate and organised so that the writing can be clearly and readily understood; and spelling errors (particularly of high frequency words) should be infrequent.

Assessors should assess the essay in terms of content and style and arrive at a final mark. The following tables for each genre of writing should be used in helping assessors arrive at a mark. The band descriptors in the tables refer to the middle of each marks band.

For each of the texts, the Marker should select the band containing the descriptors that most closely describe the piece of writing .

Once that best fit has been decided, then:

  • where the evidence almost matches the level above, the highest available mark from that band range should be awarded
  • where the candidate’s work just meets the standard described, the lowest mark from that band range should be awarded

Otherwise the mark from the middle of that band range should be awarded.


Writing which is broadly creative

Range of marks

Marks 15 - 13

Marks 12 - 10

Marks 9 - 7

CONTENT

The creative piece demonstrates, as appropriate to genre:

  • strong attention to purpose and audience
  • strong creative qualities
  • skilful command of the genre
  • thematic concerns which are skilfuly introduced and developed
  • ideas/feelings/ experiences which are explored with a strong degree of mature reflection/self - awareness/ involvement/ insight/sensitivity
  • strong sense of the writer’s personality and individuality
  • clear attention to purpose and audience
  • clear creative qualities
  • clear grasp of the genre
  • thematic concerns which are clearly introduced and developed
  • ideas/feelings/ experiences are explored with a clear sense of reflection/self - awareness/ involvement/ insight/ sensitivity
  • clear sense of the writer’s personality
  • adequate attention to purpose and audience
  • adequate creative qualities
  • understanding of the genre
  • thematic concerns which are introduced
  • ideas/feelings/ experiences which are explored with an adequate sense of reflection and involvement
  • adequate sense of the writer’s personality

STYLE 

The creative piece demonstrates, as appropriate to genre:

  • linguistic features of the chosen genre used skilfully to create a strong impact
  • confident and varied expression
  • effective structure which enhances the purpose/meaning
  • linguistic features of the chosen genre used to create impact
  • clear expression
  • clear structure which enhances the purpose/ meaning
  • linguistic features of the chosen genre used adequately
  • adequate expression
  • adequate structure

Range of marks

Marks 6 - 4

Marks 3 - 1

Marks 0

CONTENT

The creative piece demonstrates, as appropriate to genre:

  • limited attention to purpose and audience
  • limited creative qualities
  • a limited use of conventions of genre
  • limited thematic concerns
  • limited ideas/feelings/ experiences explored
  • limited sense of the writer’s personality
  • very little attention to purpose and audience
  • very few creative qualities
  • very little use of conventions of genre
  • very few thematic concerns
  • very little evidence of exploration of ideas or feelings
  • very little sense of the writer’s personality
  • no evidence of the skills required in terms of content, style and accuracy

STYLE

The creative piece demonstrates, as appropriate to genre:

  • limited use of features of the chosen genre
  • limited expression
  • limited use of structure
  • very little attempt at using language effectively
  • many errors in punctuation/ syntax/spelling
  • very little use of structure

This is a piece of personal writing entitled “Can I be bothered?” Here the candidate adopts a chatty, conversational tone which conveys a strong sense of the writer’s personality and individuality throughout. The topic is one which many candidates attempt, with varying degrees of success. This piece shows a strong attention to purpose with confident and varied expression.

The piece opens with the candidate acknowledging that he is lazy but that he realises that ‘the day of reckoning is looming’ in the light of recent school reports. The candidate tries to justify his laid-back approach, comparing his behaviour to that of the ‘boy . . . on the burning deck’ but ultimately recognises the ‘sad’ fact that the teachers may be right.

The candidate goes on to tell us that his lack of effort is also being criticised at home and makes reference again to the poem about the boy who stood on the burning deck although he – unlike the boy in the poem – is ‘all too ready to abandon my post’. The candidate’s easy, informal and self-depreciating style is very engaging and there is a strong degree of self-awareness throughout. This tone continues into Paragraph 4 with the acknowledgement that he deploys ‘many work avoidance tactics’.

In Paragraph 5, the candidate reflects on the fact that he was not always lazy and that ‘as a small boy, I rose before the rest of the household’. In this paragraph, there is also further reference to the children’s TV programme ‘The Hoobs’, first mentioned in Paragraph 4. The candidate is making an attempt to endear himself to the reader here by acknowledging that, despite getting up early; he was ‘not exactly throwing myself into an energetic pursuit’.

The easy, relaxed style of the writing should not blind us to the fact that the candidate is using confident expression and vocabulary with phrases such as ‘cultural allusion’, ‘luridly coloured’, and ‘vindicated’ in this same paragraph.

The candidate moves on from discussing children’s TV programmes to video games and virtual football in particular – ‘Why stand on a cold touchline when you can sink into the warm embrace of a sofa?’ He freely admits that he much prefers virtual football to the real thing, even though for a time he ‘even enjoyed playing in driving wind and rain’, but, eventually, he succumbed to the allure of ‘the easy option’ as ‘These gruelling conditions weren’t for me’.

His new career as sofa-bound manager left his mother singularly unimpressed: ‘my mum has shown me the red card as far as FIFA is concerned’. The red card image shows a skilful use of language.

The candidate says that despite the impression that he may be giving, he does have ambition and considers himself to be dependable, evidenced by the fact that he has a morning paper round. The candidate suggests that this offers some hope and this, combined with the inspirational recent visit from his ‘model student’ sister, should provide the impetus required to get them through their exams. The relationship with his sister is illustrated in the penultimate paragraph – she is described as having ‘a bossy nature’ and he admits that ‘hearing about her A grades’ brings out the competitive side in him and there is a note of grudging admiration in the description of ‘her stoical approach to her studying’. As a result, the candidate seems to have resolved to change his lazy ways: ‘it’s time to take up the mantle. It’s time to act’.

This resolve is short-lived, however, and, by the final paragraph, the candidate refers to ‘the Nutella calling’ and ‘FIFA awaits’, rounding the piece off by referring to the distractions which were mentioned at the start.

This piece characterised by a strong sense of the writer’s personality and individuality and clearly belongs in the 15-13 band. This is a confident piece of writing and the candidate sustains an engaging stream of consciousness and uses an effective structure, moving between the past and present skilfully. Language use is also skilful, with word choice such as ‘languorously loafing’ in Paragraph 6.

The piece is not without some less successful aspects: the repeated references to ‘The Hoobs’ do take us a little off topic at times and the final rounding off paragraph could be seen as a little disappointing. Overall, though, there is no doubt that the candidate has a skilful command of the genre. He writes with strong and confident expression throughout and the observations he makes about his lack of motivation at times demonstrate a strong degree of insight. This piece is awarded -

14 marks