William Ford does not administer spelling tests
Many parents have requested a copy of the spellings pupils learn in school.
Whilst I am pleased to honour these requests, I would like to remind parents that whilst there is a lot of research that shows spelling lessons and teaching spelling rules improves children vocabulary, spelling and writing....
There is no research that shows spelling tests help.
I have spoken with pupils about this. The only children who actually like spelling tests are the ones who regularly get full marks. Even they admit they would feel very differently if they were a child who found spellings difficult.
In an age where we, rightly, focus on children's mental health, having the weekly anxiety of facing a test situation is not fair. We do have children in tears when they get a lower mark and sometimes even have to speak to parents about the consequences children face at home when they get a low score. This just isn't right. We also notice that those children who do get full marks in their spelling tests have not necessarily spelt the same word correctly in subsequent pieces of work. In other words they have memorised the spelling for a short time rather than learnt it.
So, to be clear, spelling lessons will continue. We will teach the rules of spellings. We will look to see words spelt correctly in work and support children where this does not happen. We will not be testing children with the exception of Year Six SATS papers and practice SATS papers which we are required to administer by law.