%name classroom

Not drowning but waving – from a sea of red pens

By | GCSE English marking | No Comments

I welcome lighter nights, the clocks going forward, the shutting off of central heating until October (well at least here in Norfolk), but spring and summer for me comes with an added bonus: GCSE English Language exam marking.

I mark all year round for various exam boards, schools, multi-academy trusts and colleges, mainly GCSE English Language and English Literature papers, from September to July, ad infinitum.

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%name Manchester bee

Rolling back the years with a weekend away

By | freelance copywriter | No Comments

We’ve been in Norfolk for 10 years this summer – tempus fugit and all that – and when we occasionally hitch up the camels to make the trek out of this remote corner of England, I feel frustrated with the isolation and accompanying journey times.

Amsterdam is closer to us than London, believe it or not (and probably quicker to get to) but this weekend, I went on a missionary trip to the north of England, bearing bottled water and delusions of grandeur to Manchester, no less.

The trip was business-related, but, as it was the north, business quickly became pleasure.

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%name GCSE English Language

GCSE English Language marking – work smarter

By | GCSE English marking | No Comments

I’ll come clean now.

I am a marking expert.

That’s not me giving it “the Big I Am.” It’s fact. I marked in 1988 for the NEAB (I think?) and have done ever since, on and off, with internal exams as an English teacher, head of English since 1996 and with exam boards across GCSE and A Level English Language and English Literature for some of my 31 year career.

I’m a master craftsman with a red pen; an artist at interpreting and applying mark schemes; a ninja at giving diagnostic feedback.

Ok, that is me getting carried away – but you catch my drift?

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%name pen

Raise attainment at GCSE and raise departmental morale

By | GCSE English marking | No Comments

I am a sucker for punishment, a man with a sad admission: I am embroiled currently and will be, until July, in GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature marking.

Mock exams and real exams for various exam boards, schools and multi-academy trusts.

I’m good at marking too: I can spot errors, apply a mark scheme consistently and give individual feedback to students and departments about what needs to be improved for those magical level 4 – 9 milestones.

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%name property

Who should sell your property – your three choices

By | property writing | No Comments

I posted an article yesterday on Property Blogs, a sister site, about the pros and cons of the three ways of selling your property: traditional high street, hybrid or online and having used all three as a buyer and seller, and worked alongside many companies with content marketing, I feel qualified to comment.

I’ve been a homeowner since 1988, when my first home coast me £18,500 in Oldham and still am to this day.

So what do I think?

Visit Property Blogs now or click this link to read more.

%name liverpool

Swap the mortar board for a hard hat with a housebuilding degree?

By | property writing | No Comments

I like to see forward thinking from companies and one story that caught my eye over the weekend was the news that Redrow were starting a dedicated degree in housebuilding.

Britain, you all know probably, is facing a housing and skills shortage and Theresa May’s annual target of 300,000 new homes is unlikely to materialise without some dramatic changes of plans.

Redrow has seized the opportunity it appears in creating a BSc in housebuilding, which I expand upon on my sister site, Property Blogs:

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%name gluten

Possible opening chapter to a gluten-filled autobiography?

By | freelance copywriter | No Comments

Please indulge me; this autobiographical tome has been a long time coming. It’s self-centred, as it’s about me, about my life, my family, my career. It may strike you as indulgent and self-obsessed and I apologise, but what it isn’t is a niche piece for diagnosed and undiagnosed coeliacs.

Hopefully humour and personality will shine through, even in its darker moments and there’s a few of those along the way.

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%name business

How to increase sales with a blogging strategy

By | content marketing | No Comments

Companies have at last latched on to the value of a blogging, or content marketing, strategy.

Visit 10 websites at random, go on, of various small businesses and count how many have a news or blog tab. There may not be 10 but there will be a few, I guarantee, because blogging is a great way of getting website traffic and increasing sales.

If you’re cynical, like I am, you may say, “Stuart you would say that, you’re a writer, you’re not going to say it’s a waste of time and money.”

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