Over the summer I have been doing some marking for the AQA GCSE teams.
One thing that has really struck me this year is that handwriting has been a big issue. Students have taken their time to craft and answer filling the page and it is illegible. If we can’t read it, we can’t mark it.
If you are intending to get better grades from your year 11s this year, then why not insist that they write legibly. You could run a series of timed in class essays that could be peer marked. If their writing goes haywire under pressure of time, then this needs to be picked up and addressed early on in year 11. Don’t settle for less.
The kids that write a whole page that we cannot read – someone somewhere had marked their work and knew that this kid wanted to do well (because they attempted the question in full) they just could not translate that into a format that we could read. Make it priority number 1 and you will see their grades go up.