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English - what proportion of gcse marks are for spag?

(5 Posts)
colourdilemma Wed 18-Oct-17 00:03:18

Hope this is okay to ask. I am a primary teacher but have done some one to one work in secondary, mainly in English focusing on writing.

I’ve been asked to assess and probably tutor a year 8 girl who is struggling with English. I haven’t had an opportunity to look at her work yet, but mum has raised spelling as the main issue that school says she needs help with.

I am pretty experienced in getting students to improve in writing, but need to find out just how much of gcse English depends on good spelling before I think about what approach to take. My philosophy is always to look at writing as a whole and improve spelling in context. I also think that there is a possibility that being nervous about spelling will affect her choice of vocab when writing because she will limit word choices rather than risk misspelling.
I do want to be more informed about the priority given to spelling specifically and also punctuation and grammar too.

Would be grateful for any info secondary teachers could give.

Checkedstripes Sun 22-Oct-17 13:21:24

For the GCSEs it breaks down like this:
English Literature (across both papers) 8 Marks only for SPAG
English Language (again, both) 32 Marks - 24% (roughly) of the whole qualification.

yaela123 Sun 22-Oct-17 18:41:26

AFAIK (this may be wrong)

English Language - SPaG is covered in AO6 which is worth 20%
(Candidates must use a range of vocabulary and sentence structures for clarity, purpose and effect, with accurate spelling and punctuation.)

English Lit - SPaG is covered in AO4 which is worth 5%
(Use a range of vocabulary and sentence structures for clarity, purpose and effect, with accurate spelling and punctuation.)

I'm not sure how much weight is put on spelling within this, I think it kind of depends on the individual examiner. A more in depth mark scheme is available
here for Lan on page 19
And here for Lit on page 8

I hope this helps

Cynderella Tue 24-Oct-17 08:09:13

While spelling matters, I believe punctuation matters more. I tell GCSE bottom sets to focus on this. I don't have time to fix all their spelling problems, but it's possible to make big improvements by tackling punctuation errors.

theduchessstill Thu 26-Oct-17 18:57:27

I marked the new paper this year and would add that vocabulary is also part of the new SPAG - a very important part. As a HoD, I can tell you that the vast majority of our cohort, many of whom are quite weak in terms of literacy, got at least half marks for SPAG. As long as it reads 'ok' they will get that. Vocab is key.

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