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Trying structure strips to scaffold A Level essays

Updated: Dec 6, 2023

Structure strips

I have started to see these all over Twitter and Facebook. Teachers have made their own strips to go down the side of lined paper (sixth form) or a workbook. They help to scaffold the longer essays for the students. I have seen some excellent examples in History and RE so I thought I would have a go myself. These are for Edexcel A Level Business but could be adapted for other boards and levels.

This one is designed for this question, but you can make a more generic strip:

I have included a two-page strip because that is how much space is given in the exam.

Download a copy from HERE which is fully editable and free.

Laptop users

I am now considering how I could adapt this for students that are using a laptop so they have a better idea of how much to type in an exam. I think the best way to tackle that is to write an example essay, then type it in and see how many words it should be. This would give a rough guide so that students are not over or under-writing. I would only need to do this once for 8 marks (paper 3 only), 10 marks, 12 marks and 20 marks.

Sarah is a business teacher trainer; she has taught business for 23 years and has been a business examiner for over 20 years. If you would like to book a staff CPD session or exam revision session for students (via Zoom) please email:

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