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To expect school teachers to actually educate my child?

(461 Posts)
ICancelledTheCheque Fri 27-Jan-17 10:41:00

Maybe I'm being a bit PFB but this has really irked me.

DD is Y7 in a big academy secondary school. She showed me some work she had done - in three paragraphs there were six spelling errors and five grammatical errors. The teacher didn't mark up a single thing and just put big green ticks and irritating smiley faces on her work and wrote "excellent work" at the end.

But it wasn't excellent work. How is she going to learn if they don't flag this stuff up? Is this the norm these days? Doesn't bode well for GCSEs if so!!

brasty Fri 27-Jan-17 10:43:43

I would not be happy with that either.

Scarydinosaurs Fri 27-Jan-17 10:44:36

Green pen...marked by a teacher or fellow student?

ICancelledTheCheque Fri 27-Jan-17 10:47:13

Definitely a teacher.

I should add that it was English homework!

TeenAndTween Fri 27-Jan-17 10:48:33

I'm in 2 minds about this.

On the one hand I agree (especially as my DD is also y7 with poor spelling)

On the other hand, if teachers had to 'deep mark' every piece of writing they see then they would be more overloaded than they already are.
Also it can be very disheartening for a child to have work covered in red/green pen when actually they have done really well meeting the brief of creative writing / arguing how William I won the Battle of Hastings, or whatever.

My solution is to look at DDs books myself to identify key spelling mistakes.

SmileEachDay Fri 27-Jan-17 10:51:00

What was the work? Specifically, what were the ticks for? What was the objective of the work?

Was a properly assessed piece or just more informal class marking- if I'd asked students to write a (for example) piece of persuasive writing, I might tick all the persuasive devices. I wouldn't necessarily flag up every error, although I would indicate some. If the student had included the expected persuasive devices taught that lesson, it would be excellent work.
If lots of students made the same grammatical/spelling error, I would include that in teaching the next lesson.

Or it might just be crap marking.grin

ICancelledTheCheque Fri 27-Jan-17 10:51:30

TeenandTween I agree - I'll have to do it myself I suppose. I just remember when I was at school and the same age, spelling errors would be flagged up. They even were in primary!

brasty Fri 27-Jan-17 10:51:40

But how will they learn if it is not corrected?

Rockpebblestone Fri 27-Jan-17 10:52:20

A note might have been made to tackle the grammar and spelling mistakes separately. The work your daughter did might have accomplished the actual task brief well and so the praise was appropriate.

ICancelledTheCheque Fri 27-Jan-17 10:52:44

Thanks Smile it was a review of Animal Farm. The content of the review was good, I admit, but I was surprised by the lack of care with the marking.

I'm a stickler for it though as grammatical perfection is a key requirement of my job!

TeenAndTween Fri 27-Jan-17 10:52:44

Nice explanation from Smile

madcatwoman61 Fri 27-Jan-17 10:53:46

My daughter's form teacher in year 8 was also her English teacher. Letters home were full of spelling/grammar mistakes. I actually sent one back corrected once - it was a while before she forgave me!!

Dahlietta Fri 27-Jan-17 10:53:59

I think a lot of schools these days have a policy of not correcting all mistakes for the reasons explained by TeenandTween - the idea is that covering students' work in markings gives them the impression that it wasn't very good when in fact it may have fulfilled the brief very well. A lot of policies go along the lines of 'correct one or two mistakes, particularly in key vocabulary, but not all mistakes'. These were certainly the guidelines about 5 years ago. There was also a similar edict that marking in red pen is detrimental to students' self-esteem (!) and that an alternative colour, such as green, should be used as it is 'friendlier' I wouldn't be surprised if your DD's school is slavishly following this kind of thinking.

SaltyMyDear Fri 27-Jan-17 10:54:31

Unfortunately this is normal.

At DDs school they only ever mark 3 words wrong in a piece of work. So DD had no idea that she'd actually made a lot more mistakes.......

Spelling, and grammar, just aren't a priority like they used to be.

ICancelledTheCheque Fri 27-Jan-17 10:54:50



PurpleDaisies Fri 27-Jan-17 10:55:46

I agree with smile. It depends on what the objective is as to whether it's excellent work.

It's also impossible to correct every single mistake in all the books. I normally underline them when I see them.

SaltyMyDear Fri 27-Jan-17 10:56:10

Spelling / grammar counts for 25% of one of the GCSE English exams, and 5% in some of the others. And this is new, it used to count for nothing.

So if you're a history teacher, or geography teacher or whatever, there was no incentive for you to correct spelling......

oneplus2is3 Fri 27-Jan-17 10:57:13

If the content as being assessed as a reading piece (ability to summarise and interpret) then spelling isn't assessed. If it was a writing task (form and structure of given text) I would have picked out a few spellings but not all. As PP said- filling a page with red pen isn't the best way to draw out a writer- you want them to feel able to write without fear of constant correction.

SmileEachDay Fri 27-Jan-17 10:59:23

I'm also a total grammar pedant!

I will not tend to indicate more than 2/3 errors per piece as the feedback needs to be focused on the "point" of the piece.

In a deep marked piece of work, I'd have feedback at the end - one thing I thought they'd done well,a content target and a SPAG target. I can't do that for every single piece of work.

Trifleorbust Fri 27-Jan-17 11:10:42

You have to remember that a secondary school English teacher might be responsible for 6-7 classes and physically does not not have time to mark every piece of work.

BalloonSlayer Fri 27-Jan-17 11:11:40

This is often done deliberately in order not to discourage pupils who have worked hard, by giving them work covered in red pen.

The rule-of-thumb tends to be, only correct two spelling errors.

PurpleDaisies Fri 27-Jan-17 11:12:01

Absolutely agree with trifle. There are sometimes big advantages to teaching a non essay subject. Hooray for maths marking. grin

YetAnotherSpartacus Fri 27-Jan-17 11:12:24

But how will they learn if it is not corrected?

They don't. They end up at university still unable to write and the mantra about how 'spelling and / or grammar are not the point of the exercise' is still repeated, even if poor grammar / spelling renders the work almost unreadable.

brasty Fri 27-Jan-17 11:15:23

Even if they had written - some spelling and grammatical errors here - on the paper, that would be better.
Spelling and grammar do matter a lot.

BertrandRussell Fri 27-Jan-17 11:16:02

Depends what it was being marked for.

Do you really want an excellent piece of writing by an 11 year old completely covered in discouraging spelling corrections?

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