The Footnotes

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Student writes 5 page essay in trials, teacher feedback is just 6 words and a single ‘?’

“… it’s just really hard to gauge what I can improve on she just says, “what”, “why” “more” and ?”

Promising Year 12 student, Sonja Symons (17) recently received her trial paper Discovery paper back to receive only a mark of 9 out of 15.

After producing five and a half pages of work that included two related texts and four paragraphs on her prescribed text, her teacher’s only feedback included: “what”, “why”, “more” and “?”

Ms Symons explains, “When she handed the paper back she said – just improve those bits and you’ll be set for the HSC. But like, what does “why” written underneath a whole page mean? Like… it’s so ambiguous?”

The Footnotes was in contact with Ms Symons’ teacher who says, “If a student has any more questions they should consult the syllabus, as teachers – to be honest… we don’t really know what Discovery means. It’s all so ambiguous. I think the marker just wants words like, ‘emotional, creative, intellectual, physical and spiritual ’other than that, I can’t really help.”

Ms Symons was unavailable for a second comment as she was at home rewriting her entire essay. 

Student writes 5 page essay in trials, teacher feedback is just 6 words and a single ‘?’
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