Myth of KS2 writing 'problem'

17th August 2001 at 01:00
Again we have the mythical "problem" of the mismatch between key stage 2 children's achievements in reading and writing. ("Maths and literacy on course but writing still trails behind", TES, July 13).

In fact, the problem lies in the tests and marks at which levels are awarded. The percentages required for reading are lower than for writing.

It could be argued that the reading test is more difficult. But for most children, writing a sustained, logical piece, with good punctuation and appropriate language and style in a timed situation, is the most difficult task.

Moreover, the reading test has certainly been easier for the past two years. And the literacy strategy is not responsible for reading improvement (as the Toronto University research indicates "Real improvements but only skin deep", TES, July 13). Even where it has not been followed, results have gone up.

With the more difficult KS3 tests, many children with level 5 (at least in reading, if not overall) will again achieve level 5 in three years' time.

Lana Boztas 18 Alma Road Reigate, Surrey

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