James Jackson

Author of the Best Selling Books Pilgrim & Blood Rock

Biography: School Report


Age 5:

He has worked steadily and has made an all-round improvement. He takes a full share in everything at school.

Age 6:

He has made progress this term and his work is much more neatly written. He generally behaves well.

Age 9:

An entertaining and popular member of his form. Really an excellent term for him and his progress is pleasing.

Age 10:

Most of his masters speak well of him, which is excellent. He has worked very hard with excellent results in all English subjects, but has success in others.

Age 11:

When James comes 1st in English and 2nd in Scripture, I am naturally surprised to see him so low in other subjects. My suspicion, based on my experience of trying to teach him English and History, is that he pays very little attention to anything he is told. For instance, every week I tell him ‘of’ is not a substitute for the auxiliary verb ‘have’, and every week I am rewarded with a charming smile and an assurance that he will not repeat the mistake.


Age 6:

His singing is always enthusiastic, but his percussion-playing lacks rhythmic-accuracy’.


Age 6:

‘He has a strong sense of colour values. Very good. He is not very dextrous with scissors.


Age 10:

(Rugby) He finds the game rather confusing, but seems to enjoy it. (Tennis) He has difficulty hitting the ball as it moves towards him. (Football) A strong player, he showed plenty of enthusiasm.

Age 11:

(Football) When he gets the ball in focus, he gives it a tremendous hoof and was one of the most formidable kickers on the ground.

Age 12:

(Football) He seemed less accurate than last year due, I think, to the increased size of his already enormous feet. (Rugby) Without his glasses Jamie has little idea of what is going on, so we have to add the ‘Jackson amendment’ to the rules. Even under these rules, Jamie has been known to ground the ball behind the wrong goal line. (Cricket) His fielding is somewhat erratic and relies partly on an element of surprise – his batting at times has been very good.

Age 13:

(Rugby) On one occasion he threw away his glasses and promptly scored a try. (Cricket) He found cricket very boring but did not make too many other people aware of the fact.


Age 9:

When he is not day-dreaming, he works well.

Age 10.1:

He still has a tendency to let his mind wander, but his work is neatly presented.

Age 10.5:

His work has been disappointing this term. He rarely achieves half marks in vocabulary tests and his knowledge of verb and noun endings is hazy. His written work is weak too.

Age 11.1:

He still has not made a real effort to learn the vocabulary and grammar. Hence his translation work continues to be disappointing and inaccurate.

Age 11.9:

He still fails to pay enough attention to detail in his translation work, which is therefore disappointingly careless.

Age 12:

He was in detention on no fewer than 5 occasions this term for his inability to learn grammar and vocabulary enough. This ignorance of so much of the basic groundwork also accounts for the difficulty he had in translation work.

Age 13:

I have been very disappointed with his work. He seems to be in danger of having excuses for idleness and a readiness to laugh off substandard work.


Age 6:

He is attentive and contributes to these lessons. He answers questions sensibly.

Age 9:

He has written some remarkably good essays and his projects ‘Teeth’ and ‘Cats’ were excellent. A good term.

Age 14:

(Physics) He has struggled along cheerfully, though he has very little natural ability in this subject.


Age 6:

He is extremely interested and has a very good memory.

Age 13:

Another good term. Lively, sensitive, and perceptive.

Age 14:

Close attention and a really scholarly quality about almost every piece of work shows up he was really in a class by himself. It was a real joy to read his work.


Age 6:

His illustrations are full of remembered detail.

Age 9:

A very good term’s work. He has tried hard and can be trusted to work on his own. He shows interest in this subject and seems to enjoy it.

Age 12.5:

He still obstinately refuses to listen to me or to read the correct chapters in the book. He would have done better in the exam if he had not chosen to answer a question he knew very little about.

Age 12.9:

He needs to accept that not all examiners will accept his lively style as a substitute for facts. I recall a recent essay of his about the French Revolution in which Mme Guillotine’s appointment-book was in a most unhistorical muddle.

Age 14:

Promising work of scholarly quality. He sets himself a really high standard and is going from strength to strength.


Age 6:

He reads with expression, his spelling is good, and his handwriting is showing improvement. He expresses himself well and at great length.

Age 9:

All through the term he has set a high standard for himself and has reached it. His written work is interesting and imaginative and, on the whole, correctly spelt. A thoroughly good term’s work.

Age 10:

His essays have been excellent and his comprehension good. His grammatical exercises are sometimes weak, and although this is unlikely to affect his English, it may affect his future progress in Latin and French.

Age 11:

He has done another excellent term’s work, but he must guard against using too many words because he has time to spare. He is inclined to load his sentences with otiose adverbs – ‘plunge down’ or ‘soar up’ – he must avoid adding paragraphs to an essay which is already complete. It is also fair to add he is well ahead of the rest of his form in this subject.

Age 15:

If he can bring his usual high standards of effort and perception to bear on the Shakespeare he should make a very pleasing job of O Level literature. He must beware of wordiness in his writing at times: my sole criticism. A cheerful member of the set.

Age 16:

He shows a great measure of commitment and flair. I have enjoyed his work.

Age 17:

He takes an active if quizzical part in discussions. He can wander off at a tangent and rarely makes a remark that is central to the theme.

Age 18:

His essays suffer from an abrupt, constipated style which, in turn, leads to over-simplification and dogmatism.