My Year 7s were practising with sensational writing in a journalistic style. There are many skills involved, skills that are complex to muster. They include at least the following language features:
– Hyperbolic language
– Multiple perspectives
– Passive voice
– Reported speech
– Direct speech
– Cyclic structure
The real challenge is embedding satire in silly nonsense. Too challenging for year 7s? I decided to have a go.
Teacher Found Ticking
Friday, 13th May, the entire school community of Red Ink Academy was stunned into a stony silence when distressing news reverberated down the corridor – a teacher was found MARKING, in a locked stock cupboard in the staff room!
Headteacher, Noel Marks, had the irksome task of announcing this disturbing incident in an emergency whole-school – including the affiliated nursery nearby – assembly. Suited sixth-formers walked with expressions of disbelief with stumbling toddlers supported by nursery staff to the packed school Hall.
Don Homwark, an A-level student studying politics, physics and English Literature, was in floods of tears, “I joined Red Ink Sixth Form because of its stringent No-Marking Policy, and I think this teacher’s action demonstrates his utter contempt for, and disregard of, our ability to learn independently, never mind the school’s iron-fist regime. A formal reprimand would be too light a punishment.” Don had just joined his local comprehensive last term. He attended Grimlook Hall, a £50,000-a-year private school 10 miles away until “a change of circumstances” at home. Don was holding his younger, half-sister, Sam (3), who was clearly confused by all the fuss around her, demanding her milk and biscuits.
A teacher, who wished to remain anonymous, revealed to the reporter that “No one! Absolutely no one, has the courage to actually pick up a red pen, let alone writing something meaningful in a child’s book!” She was believed to be on the Senior Management Team. When asked why, she explained in a trembling voice, “That’s an act of vandalism! The perpetrator will be placed on Capacity Procedure immediately – if he’s lucky!” Most pupils interviewed seemed to echo what this teacher had told us. “We no wha we was doin’!!!!!!” a note was passed to the reporter, presumably written by one of the Year 11 students who had their English mock examination cancelled to allow them to attend the impromptu assembly.
The accused, Mr Mark O’Lott, now suspended indefinitely, remained defiant and showed no sign of remorse for his wrongdoing. When challenged, he simple retorted, “I know what’s best for my students. Not marking their books doesn’t necessarily make them smarter! In fact….” Mr O’Lott’s outburst was interrupted by a rotten egg hurled from behind the school gate. The egg knocked an Year 8 boy unconscious.
Mr Mrak O’Lott’s open defiance, and now assault on a student with a snowball, spread unstoppably like infesting nits. By the time the reporter fought his way out of the chaotic scene, the local residents had started chanting, “Sack De Lot! Sack De Lot!” Bemused motorists stopped and tooted to show solidarity with the outraged parents. The town traffic was brought to a stand still.
The staff room remained cordoned off whilst police gathered forensic evidence to assist a major international operation to crack down on “Teacher Marring Students Work”, code name “Operation Ticking Bomb”. Investigators from the MI5, MI6 and the US Homeland Security were expected to arrive at Red Ink Academy next week.
Have you spotted any unusual marking in your child’s book? Please Tweet or email us your pictures: @skolneus; firstname.lastname@example.org