Thoughts on intervention for GCSE English Language

It seems to me that the way that our students are learning to meet specific criteria for GCSE Language as it stands, actually hinders the natural development of reading and writing skills in those students who learn in unusual ways and who think differently. I have observed this amongst borderline and resit students and am convinced that the only way with some of them is to educate them out of the formulaic approach that they were drilled in at school to free them up to use their natural intelligence and common sense.
For example, this year I helped a Yr 12 student who achieved an A in AS History to pass English Language with a high C the 5th time of taking GCSE only by convincing him that the way he was writing in History essays was the way he should approach his English. When he realised he was free to do this – to focus on the content and meaning of the text he was writing about, rather than trying to spot examples of figurative language and jump through hoops- his writing style improved overnight.
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