In defence of poetry

25th May 2001 at 01:00
I write to express my disappointment with the key stage 2 reading test this year.

The test is heavily biased towards boys - or rather, reflects a stereotypical notion of boys' reading tastes insofar as it contains not one item of literary worth.

The teaching of a broad range of texts under the literacy strategy regulations is seriously undermined by an end-of-key-stage test that makes no reference at all to poetic or multi-layered language, whether in poems or prose.

As a Year 6 teacher I want children to understand and use a rich vocabulary.I want to open a door to the literary treasures written in English. Our curriculum risks being greatly impoverished if the yardstick by which teaching is measured is a test such as this year's.

It has to be acknowledged that in years gone by we did not pay adequate attention to the skills employed in understanding and writing non-fiction or non-narrative texts, but, surely, I cannot be alone in believing that the pendulum has now swung too far in the opposite direction?

Mrs C Cainen

60 Acton Avenue

Appleton, Warrington, Lancs

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