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I have a question re standard of work

(16 Posts)
IdealWeather Wed 16-Mar-16 13:46:02

Any teachers (or parents!) around that could tell me

- how important is spelling during tests/exams? Is it taken into account in the final mark even though this is not an English test/exam, eg in History or science?

- how important is presentation (incl writing in a way that is actually readible)?

- are children ever told that this is VERY important to both present your work well/clearly/nice to the eyes and to have the work spelt properly?

I'm having a bit of conflict with dc1 (13yo) who maintains that no teacher ever asks him to make an effort there and that it's not that important angry....

DoctorDonnaNoble Wed 16-Mar-16 13:54:29

Spelling punctuation and grammar contribute to marks in ALL subjects at GCSE.
Of course presentation is important! The examiner needs to be able to read it! I can't believe he's been told this in the current secondary climate!

Artandco Wed 16-Mar-16 14:02:24

Yes of course. My son is 6 (year 1). He has to present work neatly, tidy handwriting, and spelt correctly, with correct tenses and grammar. Even in maths for example. Otherwise he is marked incorrect

For example he had matched recently where the answer was 52, and he had to write the answer in words. He wrote 'fiffty two' and it was marked as wrong due to the extra 'f' added ( rightly so anyway imo)

cricketballs Wed 16-Mar-16 15:41:44

every subject has SPAG marks attached to it in the exams, in terms of legible handwriting it does make a difference in the exams (I speak as a GCSE marker) as I have over 2000 responses to mark in a 3 week period, therefore I don't have time to sit and try to work out what each word says. If it is to bad for me to read I have to pass it up the chain to my supervisor.

No teacher would tell him it doesn't matter, it seems like your DS is being economical with the truth

IdealWeather Wed 16-Mar-16 15:44:00

Well it's more that he says he has never been told it is important rather than been told it's not important iyswim.
That means for example, that no one has pulled him off re his spelling in a test so he doesn't see how that could be an issue. Siiigh.

Happy to see I'm not the ony one to think it is though...

IdealWeather Wed 16-Mar-16 15:47:41

cricket I think that's the thing.
They ve been told that SAPG is essential in all subjects but the teachers don't seem to correct them when spelling or grammar is wrong? So he sees it as not important?

To be fair to him, I've just looked at some of his notebooks and none have had any corrections for spellings (at least underlined) and there is some in nearly every sentence, a lot of it because because he can't be arsed to be careful (eg slod instead of sold etc...) but also because his spelling is just not that good.

cricketballs Wed 16-Mar-16 16:09:21

the marking policy may prevent the teachers from highlighting spelling errors. For example, the policy at my school has it that we are only supposed to pick out key terms and we can only do a few (so the work isn't covered in green pen)

cricketballs Wed 16-Mar-16 16:11:47

the example you have given slod instead of sold - has your DS been tested for dyslexia?

IdealWeather Wed 16-Mar-16 16:53:38

No no test for dyslexia but this certainly isn't something that has ever been mentioned before, ie has no other issues in reading or writing apart from from his spelling, which has always ben put down to teaching by his own teachers in primary (ie 'we' havent been that good at it is what I have been told by one of his teachers).

Good point re the marking policy. Having said that, I haven't seen any correction at all in his book. I might need to investigate that a bit more and ask the school about their policy (same with presentation).
Tbh, I wish they would actually highlight every single mistake and cover the sheet in green (or red or whatever) because then he might finally realise how bad it is (very bright child, top of his class in most subjects there...)

Lonecatwithkitten Wed 16-Mar-16 19:59:49

Bright child doing well, but struggling with SPAG and presentation in particular all the right letters in a word, but in the wrong order who becomes very defensive when this is discussed. This is very, very classic for processing disorder ( dyslexic) in bright child who has coping mechanisms. I would lay money that he can not 'see' that there is a misspelling between slod and sold, he processes it as the correct spelling. You could be describing me, my sister, my Dad, my niece and my DD all high IQ with visual processing disorders.

eyebrowse Wed 16-Mar-16 20:47:41

My ds13 is similar and has lost marks in his recent tests because of lazy spelling and grammar

Badbadbunny Thu 17-Mar-16 10:37:17

I feel you pain, our 14 year old son has really poor handwriting which is barely legible. If we mention it, he gets upset and says that no-one else complains. We've mentioned it in countless parent's evenings at both primary and secondary school, the teachers just agree it's bad and agree that he's been downgraded at times when they've been unable to read his answers, but they won't do or say anything about it. We've even had a couple of secondary teachers say that, yes, it's bad, but that you should see some of the other childrens' who are even worse! Everyone seems to think it's someone else's responsibility to take him to task on it. The thing is, he has an attitude problem with us in that he happily ignores what we say, but he regards his teachers as Gods and happily does as they say, so if only one or two teachers told him to improve it, or better still, told him how to improve and maybe set some extra practice sessions, then he'd do it!

IdealWeather Thu 17-Mar-16 10:52:56

* The thing is, he has an attitude problem with us in that he happily ignores what we say, but he regards his teachers as Gods and happily does as they say, so if only one or two teachers told him to improve it, or better still, told him how to improve and maybe set some extra practice sessions, then he'd do it!*
Oh yes to that!!!

Also if there was an issue with dyslexia, what could be done about it?

howabout Thu 17-Mar-16 13:52:23

I have this with DD2. I was completely unreasonably pleased with her English teacher last year when he made a big deal of her need to improve her spelling. Her History teacher has picked up the baton this year smile

Even in Maths and Science my DD's school spend a lot of time making sure they use the correct methodology to document their workings. All of the teachers have cheerful sayings to demonstrate you can have absolutely no clue what the correct answer is but can still get most of the marks. Conversely, if you don't pay attention to precision you can know the answer and still fail.

ChalkHearts Thu 17-Mar-16 18:16:36

Generally spelling counts for 5% at GCSEs in the humanities.

So, he's right. His teachers don't care about his spelling. The effort required to teach him to spell isn't worth it for an extra percent or two.

And presentation counts for 0%.

It doesn't matter whether he's dyslexic or not. It's pretty impossible to get a secondary school to improve spelling or handwriting.

IdealWeather Thu 17-Mar-16 18:26:20

Yes but good spelling and a nice presentation will make a difference, at the very least on a subconscious level.
When something is a mess, hard to read, you have to fish the information out, then there is no way you will give it the same mark than someone who is giving the same info but in a clkear, non messy, readable way.

I'm pretty sure some studies have been done about that.

Plus, it's something he needs to learn for eter on. That sort of things isn't going to be accepted when he is working!

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