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Boys catch up

While infant and junior boys have caught up with girls in spelling, large numbers of children still have problems with everyday words at age 11. Last year's test results by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority show junior pupils spelled 93 per cent of words correctly, an improvement in boys' progress on the previous year.

Younger children's spelling also markedly improved. But more than half the 600,000 who took the tests entered secondary school unable to spell words like pollution, structure or necessary; 80 per cent couldn't spell environment. P> In reading, boys had a slight improvement in the last two years, but still lag behind girls. The QCA says key stage 1 pupils need to build confidence in writing in a wider range of forms. Less able children need to concentrate on understanding what a sentence is and on the use of full stops and capital letters.

Reva Klein

The reports, Standards at key stage 2: English, mathematics and science and Standards at key stage 1: English and mathematics are available in the Curriculum and Assessment section of the QCA website:

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