The Way of the Silent Coach


Imagine this scene:

The pupils are silent as they file into the exam hall. Their names are checked,valuables left at the side and they quietly walk past the rows of desks and chairs till they find their own. Nervous tension fills the the room. The exam papers are distributed, instructions issued and timings written on the whiteboard. They hear the words ‘you may begin’ and they open their paper and start reading and writingfuriously. As soon as that happens a number of teachers and parents who just happen to be at the sidewatching, start shouting instructions at those who are taking the exam:

‘Jimmy read all the questions first and underline the command words!’

‘Jimmy start with the long answers. Get them out the way first!’

‘Bobby remember to write in full prose, show your depth of knowledge!’

‘Bobby remember to bullet point your answers, besuccinct!’

‘Frankie don’t leave blank…

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