Terrible grammar and spelling in nursery newsletter(28 Posts)
Ok, so not the biggest deal in the world, but we've just received our first bi-monthly newsletter from DD's new nursery (expensive, established, good reputation) and the spelling and grammar are awful!
I realise that other things are more important when it comes to childcare, but I do feel that if these people are going to be contributing to the education of my child, I would like to think they at least know the difference between 'our' and 'are'.
I'm not planning on complaining in a rude way, but possibly offering to do some proof-reading for them... What do you think?
Does is really matter?
Do you really want to be that parent?
Of course it matters! They are supposed to be educators. Offering to proof read is a good idea.
Same is true of the letters etc from dd's nursery. I don't think it's a problem really, as long as the meaning is still clear. If you mention it the person who writes them may well be upset. And do you have time to proof-read for free everything they send out (if, by chance, they were to take you up on your offer).
I disagree with those saying it doesn't matter. Written communication is very important. I would be very unhappy if the nursery or school my child attended provided information with incorrect grammar or spelling and would arrange to speak to the manager about it.
I'm a nursery teacher. One of my teaching assistants is extremely dedicated and hardworking, but struggles with spelling. She is quite up front about this with me, and we have worked out a range of strategies, such as getting her to write observations in pencil so they can be corrected before they go into the children's books, always having access to a dictionary, keeping a list handy of words she regularly mis-spells etc. I also, make sure that I either write or proof read any signs, newsletters, observations that are sent out or displayed.
My DS' previous nursery:
"Pasta with brocolli"
"Everyone should wash there hands"
Why does it matter, though? I'm not trying to be deliberately argumentative and I can see that it clearly matters a lot to some people, but I just can't really understand logically why this should be, providing the meaning is clear. After all, they are not teaching the children incorrect stuff, this is just in letters to parents.
To be honest my dh moans a bit ( to me, not to them) when my nursery do this, but can't really explain rationally why it is a problem - so I would love to know!
It was the same with my DDs nursery. It is a matter of professionalism isn't it? Particularly in external communications with parents. It got to the stage with us that the handwriting & spelling in the little paragraph they write down for you each day were so bad that it was incomprehensible.
One day I was told
"X (my DD's name) bitten today".
I vaguely muttered, "oh dear" or something.
"Yes, she bitten today." Looking at me intently for a response.
I didn't have a clue who had bitten who! Turns out it was DD who had bitten another child (she was about 1 at the time and it only happened once, honest!).
The purpose of grammar is to help us make our meaning clear, it is important. Spelling I am a bit more relaxed about as I'm useless at it myself. But, spellcheckers exist for word-processed documents.
I think Littlefish's approach is the right one. If people leave school unable to write correctly it is important that they are supported to improve at work. It is a life skill.
I completely agree that, if the meaning is not clear (such as in the biting example), that is a real problem. But when it is?
Our nursery usually get the spelling of food items wrong, for example - but not so badly wrong that I can't make out what dd has eaten.
I think I may need to accept that it is just something with me that these kind of mistakes don't bother me at all in this context, as they seem to wind most people up quite a lot.
The spellings and grammar on communications from the DC's day-care nursery always made us smile.
11/9 years on and both the children remember their days there with great fondness.
Sometimes spelling and grammar isn't so important. As long as you can understand what they mean, of course!
Always found this with nurseries. It sets my teeth on edge ("DD done painting") but I just tell myself there are other more important qualities I want staff to have at that stage.
Thick but caring is better than clever but uncaring, but I'd rather have staff who are caring and clever.
Accurate literacy isn't always the same as cleverness, though.
No. I've worked with people who've had trouble spelling for various reasons. They all knew they shouldn't write a letter and just send it out with nobody checking. They we're clever enough to know that.
Why is that a marker of cleverness, though? If they could write a letter, which could be understood, that they should nonetheless submit it to your checking for spelling accuracy - is that a marker of cleverness? Not trying to be inflammatory, but I honestly don't get why this is seen as such an important measure, of anything.
Anyone sending out newsletters needs to have a good command of English and grammar - a prerequisite in my view as a nursery principal.
The odd observation with 'Tommy done a painting'.. Whereas frustrating, is not a train smash. I would not expect this to come from qualified staff though, an assistant possibly. Sadly grammar and spelling are nit high on the agenda in many schools nowadays it seems. And if I did notice this I would point it out that we need to write 'Tommy did a painting'.. And with more info related to the area of learning naturally... Not just a statement but what he enjoyed, what he learnt from it eg: he saw that when he mixed blue and yellow paint he created green paint!
Would you expect a school or a doctor's surgery to send out a letter with poor spelling & grammar?
I expect any organisation to be able to communicate externally in acceptable English, it is a marker of professionalism & respect for the audience. Not talking about the individual nursery workers here, rather the management team. I don't understand why we wouldn't hold nurseries to this standard?
Unless you are saying that there is no point having standard spelling and grammar?
This used to drive me insane as a nursery supervisor, it really made the standards of our own education appear questionable. A lot of nurseries will use untrained staff, sometimes with no high school qualifications either, because they pay crap wages. Our 'principle' (as she called herself) was a lovely, warm Grandma type figure but I had to keep my mouth shut a lot about her and the other staff
At the end of the day, it is primarily a care setting over an educational one, I'd be concerned if teaching staff were making mistakes such as these.
I completely agree with you on this. We've been getting letters from dd1's school for her. They have been unreadable, as in they make no sense whatsoever.
We couldn't work out which part of the school she was going to. North or South, which is weird as they are East and West of each other we read the letter backwards, and it actually made more sense.
We have just received the dates when dd starts. Another confusing letter that makes absolutely no sense again. Probably written by the same fool.
This school has an outstanding award from OFSTED and was in The Times newspaper on a list of the best schools in the country.
My daughter works in a nursery. She is a natural at it. She is also doing a degree in early years. However she is dyslexic. I agree the news letter should have been proof read. But my dd difficulty is writing comments on pictures that a child has made. Or writing in their home book. She asked for help but her job is full on and that takes time. Also she has no idea what she can or can't spell.
She decided to be open about her difficulty. This means a home book or picture goes home with spelling mistakes.
The result is the parent gets lots of incidental info about their child and my daughter is less stressed. She gets very upset that she is looked down on for spelling incorrectly. May be we put a little too much importance on it.
Actually, I don't think I am particularly worried about the education level of nursery staff. As long as they are caring, loving and engaging for the children they have under their care, does it really matter if they can't spell or use grammar appropriately? I don't think they need masses of qualifications. It wouldn't concern me in the slightest that the notes etc... about my child by the key worker were badly written.
Letters that come out of the office however, should be spelt correctly and have reasonable grammar because it is professional for a business to do so. The person who runs the business should have an interest that it comes across professionally.
Primary school however - that's when the grammar and spelling should be spot on. It enrages me when I hear one of the teachers say "Didn't they do fantastic!?" AAARGH you are teaching my child, speak properly!
This was the case in DD's nursery.
I reasoned that their core strength is looking after children not writing good English.
Ds's nursery was like this. The deputy manager who didmost of the newsletters was great with kids, remembered everything about them all, could update you verbally, but honestly couldn't have squeezed more grammar mistakes in the newsletters if she tried. The manager could write pretty well but tended to press print before rushing to cuddle an upset child or other priority. Her business, had waiting list.
I did suggest amending signs and things a child might see, which they always did (lots of older siblings coming in, who could read), but wasn't fussed about theletters.
With school I'd just like more communication with more notice.
I agree I don't think it would worry me on things like daily notes. I suppose my concern is that this nursery goes right up to pre-school teaching and it does make me question whether what they teach will be correct. DD is not yet 1, so not an issue at the moment.
Also, I work in communications and bad spelling and grammar just get on my nerves!
PS - I haven't said anything - I'm going to think about it a bit longer!
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