Sixth-formers to take Harry Potter test
It is enough to leave traditionalists spluttering into their tea – Harry Potter is about to be placed on the school curriculum.
In a move bound to fuel "dumbing-down" accusations, sixth-formers will be able to write a thesis on the fictitious boy wizard alongside their A-levels, the head of the country's biggest exam board said today.
The books by J K Rowling may have sold in their millions, but critics have sniped that they are not as well written as they might be. Nevertheless, from next month, around 3,000 students in more than 100 schools and colleges will be starting a new English baccalaureate which will, as one of its topics, invite students to complete a 5,000-word essay answering the question, "Would Harry Potter have been so successful 30 years ago?"
The baccalaureate has been devised by the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance (AQA), in line with reforms suggested by the former chief inspector of schools Sir Mike Tomlinson. Negotiations are under way to see whether it can be awarded points that would count towards university admission.
There is some comfort for traditionalists. Another of the questions will ask students to write about "the influence of Russian history on the writings of George Orwell". Pupils also need to complete community service, work experience and an AS-level to qualify for the extra qualification.
"It's developing the kind of skills that higher education and employers say they need," said Dr Mike Cresswell, chief executive of AQA. "There's evidence of independent research and personal development."
When it comes to promoting equality of the sexes, we tend to think that we’ve come a long way in the past 40 years.
Anti-gay hate preacher accidentally tweets 4,000 followers cartoon clip of him 'confessing' to be a 'homosexual sodomite'
Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
Grayson Perry: London needs affordable housing because 'rich people don't create culture'
Kenya bus attack: Al-Shabaab militants slaughter 28 non-Muslims who failed to recite Koran
That Sugar Film director Damon Gameua receives shocking diagnosis after going on healthy sugar diet for just 60 days
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services
Myleene Klass: Ed Miliband 'strikes back' by comparing UK's need for Labour's mansion tax to Hear'Say track
- 1 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 2 Tower Bridge glass walkway 'smashed' by night-time visitor dropping bottle of beer
- 4 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
- 5 Grayson Perry: London needs affordable housing because 'rich people don't create culture'
£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Cardiff: We are currently recruiting f...
£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Cardiff: Science Teacher -Full Time - ...
£40 - £45 per day: Randstad Education Cardiff: The Job: Our client in the Newp...
£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Cardiff: Randstad Education Cardiff is...