Spelling and grammar aren’t everything in secondary teaching

Don’t assume that equipping pupils with a basic competence in grammar, spelling and handwriting will give them the tools they need to flourish in every secondary subject, says Alex Quigley

Spelling and grammar in secondary school

Around 85 per cent of the world’s population can now write and, in England, that figure is much higher. Yet, we too easily assume that our pupils’ exhibiting a basic competence in writing gives them all the tools to flourish in every classroom, the exam hall and in every aspect of their future lives.

That assumption is wrong. In primary school, writing remains part of the fleet of assessments in Year 6 but progress has plateaued. In 2019, only 78 per cent of pupils leaving primary school attained the “expected standard” in writing (the same as in 2018), despite its being self-assessed by ...

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