IELTS Writing Task 2 - Model Answer

‘Once children start to go to school, schools have a bigger influence on their intellectual and social development than parents.’ To what extent do you agree or disagree?

The issue of whether schoolchildren are affected more by events and incidents in the classroom and the playground or by what happens in the family home is a fascinating one. I intend to demonstrate that whilst primary-school pupils may grow and mature as a result of the behavior of parents and other caregivers, adolescents are far more likely to change due to peer pressure.

Amongst younger children, parents, grandparents and older siblings play a fundamental role. They are the source of knowledge and information and youngsters below the age of twelve often admire and look up to their mothers and fathers and aspire to follow in their footsteps. My cousin serves as an excellent example: he hopes to become a brave and courageous fire-fighter, just like his own father.

However, teens undergo several radical and inter-connected changes. Firstly, they begin to notice their parents’ imperfections and, as a response to this, start to develop independent character traits. They find ways to express themselves creatively, through music, art or sport. At the same time, they create strong emotional bonds with their classmates and others of a similar age. Consequently, their life outside the home - and particularly around school - takes on greater significance. A final point is that those attending secondary schools study material which is more intellectually advanced and which those at home might struggle to explain. Therefore, adolescents become dependent upon their teachers for academic growth.

It probably goes without saying that, for all youngsters, the interaction of home-life and school-life is a complicated one. Although it is something of a generalization to believe that five-year-olds are influenced by family and twelve-year-olds by schoolmates and tutors, there is probably some truth in this statement. It would be wonderful if parents and teachers could collaborate more effectively to enable children to become the socially and academically intelligent adults our world desperately needs.


to mature = to become fully grown or developed

peer pressure = influence from members of one's peer group (people the same age as you)

siblings = a brother or sister

aspire = direct one's hopes or ambitions towards achieving something

to follow in their footsteps = to do the same thing as someone else, esp. someone in your family, previously did

undergo = experience

radical = huge, major

imperfections = a fault, blemish, or undesirable feature

character traits = aspects of a person's behavior such as patience, jealousy etc

emotional bonds = emotional connections

collaborate = work together

Note how the writer has used lots of different words to describe people/children/teenagers: schoolchildren; primary-school pupils; caregivers; adolescents; grandparents; siblings; youngsters below the age of twelve; teens; schoolmates; tutors - try to do this in any essay you write to show the IELTS examiner that you have a wide Lexical Resource