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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2016 5:58 pm 
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Is this the norm in most primary schools these days:

A marking policy where in upper KS2 only three or four incorrect spellings can be pointed out in any one piece of written work?

Would be interested to hear your experiences and views.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2016 7:09 pm 
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Certainly the norm at our local schools. And, before DC tell you it is not important, not withstanding the unconscious negative bias that will always feature when reading something error ridden I can tell you that today, of the 100 graduate job applications I screened for a major graduate employer, 72 were rejected before being thoroughly analysed due to basic grammatical and/or spelling errors. Be one of the 28.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2016 7:36 pm 
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Poor DS2 never manages to move out of range fast enough, so I asked him wrt what he could remember from a couple of years or so ago. Admittedly, his spelling is pretty good, so he probably never made enough spelling mistakes himself to have had first hand experience, but he says he was not aware of any such policy at his old primary school. And furthermore, Mum, that's a really stupid idea, how does that help anyone? Only 'really' isn't actually the word that he used :shock:

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2016 8:42 pm 
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:lol: you both express my sentiments entirely.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2016 9:45 pm 
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I've been wondering about spellings. My younger boy often argues with me about how something is spelled to the point that I have to show him a dictionary. To which he tells me he had definitely seen the word spelled that way. When I ask me where, he often quotes his schoolmates' homework or YouTube! He also thinks that if a word is not corrected in his notebook, then it must be correct. Can I blame him?

I recently read Spell It Out, by David Crystal which I thoroughly recommend. In it, the author makes a good point about the teaching and correcting of spellings. For example, it is more helpful to say why the word is misspelled. Now, he makes a point for teaching spelling by using a linguistic approach. I'm trying that approach with my son. For example, when the monks were writing words they didn't like words ending in i, so they would use y. Only modern foreign words end in i. That's a fantastic mnemonic for him. Another one I liked was that they didn't like words ending in v or z. So, that's why we have "give" or "have". They just stuck an "e" at the end, not worrying about the fact that they had used "e" to make the previous vowel long!

Anyway, the worrying thing he points out is that even newspapers like The Times and The Guardian may prefer different spellings for words, for example: judgement vs judgment. Which one do I teach him? Which one would GL or CEM use? Would they just avoid such spellings? What if he's reading an American book and internalises their spelling?


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2016 10:18 pm 
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'Judgment' is US spelling, but (just to confuse matters!) is also used in British legal contexts. Similarly 'enquiry' is the correct British spelling for a general request for information whereas 'inquiry' refers to a formal/judicial investigation. All of this may or may not be of interest to the average 10-year-old! I tend to tut when I find examples of US spelling in my children's writing, but I shouldn't as it's not their fault - as you say, they're surrounded by it, and how should they know the difference at this age when so many adults don't?! I also wondered whether US spelling would be considered correct in tests such as the 11+: it's a tricky one as some words are 'harmless' variants which are unlikely to be mistakes, but knowing the difference between 'practice' (noun) and 'practise' (verb) is important, I would say. My DCs' teachers always get this one wrong! Sticking up for British spelling here but I know I'm probably fighting a losing battle.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2016 9:01 am 
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Location: Herts
Yes. I have mentioned this before. I have worked in six different primary schools and was told the same thing in each one. Only correct three spellings and then leave the rest so as not to discourage the student.

I totally disagree with this policy and feel it has resulted in an army of students who get your and you're and their and there and whose and who is mixed up and other very basic errors. I even know of prep students who did not know the difference between know and now.

Would simple maths errors be left uncorrected? Would students be allowed to write 2 plus 2 equals 5 and get away with it? DG


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2016 9:07 am 
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Spot on!


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2016 9:30 am 
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Yes. It's been the downfall of my second daughter's spelling. And she's a voracious reader so it's nothing to do with that. And I would be pleased if it was just the errors that you list DAO!

Does anyone know where this "policy" came from and if there's any chance of persuading an individual teacher to deviate from it for an individual child-always assuming that the teacher themselves can spot the errors?


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2016 9:52 am 
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I agree that the current system is mad and is giving children mixed messages. How can it be OK for them to neglect correct spelling in their writing but to be expected to spell correctly in a SPAG test?


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