Should exam boards be allowed to use poems about death in exams?

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lharrisonx
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So the poems in the unseen poetry comparison for WJEC were about memories and death... it's quite an easy theme to write about but should the exam boards use it as it's probably quite unsettling for students that have lost parents, grandparents or friends? What's the general opinion?
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forsparta
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Yes. They should be able to test those topics in subjects, no point censoring life just to happiness, love and everything positive, you can't ignore the negative otherwise you're living a lie
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EllieC130
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Kids deal with death in popular culture all the time; we don't need to bubble wrap them anymore than we have been.
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llamaspoon
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Death is an important theme to talk about. Most people have experienced some sort of death in their life, so it isn't singling out a few students. By worrying it could upset/offend some people and therefore not talk about it opens up a whole can of worms.
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alexmufc1995
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(Original post by lharrisonx)
So the poems in the unseen poetry comparison for WJEC were about memories and death... it's quite an easy theme to write about but should the exam boards use it as it's probably quite unsettling for students that have lost parents, grandparents or friends? What's the general opinion?
Death, sadly, is as much a part of life as any of the other themes they usually bring up.

Censoring these questions would be the equivalent of stopping 'love' questions for those who had been in a bad relationship... obviously not an option!
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superdarklord
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That second poem was really emotional, it made me tear up. Anyway, it was still nice to write about.

Posted from TSR Mobile
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palladin984
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By that logic we wouldn't be allowed to study history
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lerjj
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Why? Most people have probably lost a grandparent or somebody close to them. GCSEs are sat by 16 year olds, they should have come to terms with mortality by this point. Censoring 16 years olds about death is unnecessary old rather weird in my opinion. We know what it is.
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username1042689
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1.) My AS poem was on death, but it wasn't the traumatic kind. Banning 'death poems' would be too generalised.

2.) For coursework, I had a book that dealt with depression and suicide as key themes, and that really upset my friend (who has clinical depression) but I think that everything is going to upset somebody, and I'd rather there just be means for people who are offended or triggered by the English material to have other options in extreme cases, than to just ban the books altogether. We need to talk about these things, it makes us more educated about the issues in the world and how to communicate ideas about them.

3.) Carol Ann Duffy's poem 'education for leisure' is about knife crime, and one teacher complained to the board and had it removed from the GCSE spec. But that's counterintuitive - the best way to stop knife crime is to be educated on it and its causes and repercussions.
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Nullio123
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My friend in the exam had to leave as her mother died very recently, she committed suicide and she had to leave the exam I don't see that as fair that she's going to fail the exam due to something coming a bit too close to home.
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DeceitfulDove
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Death is an important topic to cover in literature, there would be no sense in banning it from exams. It's embedded into our lives everywhere else
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lharrisonx
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Thanks for the replies! It's great to see what people think. Obviously death is everywhere and people have to get used to it, but I was wondering if an exam is the place to educate people about it
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