After weeks of rain the clouds finally parted and reassuringly the sky is still blue. The sky is blue and the ground is still muddy.

Since it’s a day with a name that ends with DAY – it must be a day for another school moan. Don’t worry it will be the Christmas holidays soon and you will get a break from the rants – hopefully.

Next week our dyslexic son has to sit TWO spelling tests. One for English and one for DRAMA. That’s DRAMA. So to develop any Performing Arts talents he has to learn to spell words like

Melodrama, Exaggeration, Facial Expressions, Placards, Stock Character….

I guess when he wins his first Oscar in his acceptance speech he can thank these Spellings…..

Then we have the English Spelling Test. The weekly spelling test. This week he has 15 words to learn. Including such beauties as

Advertisement, Similarity, Persuade, Exaggeration, Testimonial, Alliteration….

All the class (regardless of individual spelling ability, regardless of dyslexia) have to spell the same words. The expectation is that you will get 100%. All it takes is a bit of effort. Hang on we need to raise the stakes just a bit higher. Anyone not getting at least 10 out of 15 exactly right will get a Negative. Four Negatives get you detention and much shame. It also rules you out of the end of year trip to the Fun Park/Zoo.

For F*#@ Sake.

This new penalty rule was introduced minutes before today’s test. One unfortunate student received his punishment. Our son managed 11 so survived. As he says he had to guess the ending of most words and was largely lucky today. But he’s a nervous wreck. Having seen this weeks words he’s convinced he has no chance. How can this be part of modern teaching. Oh I forgot our Government wants to return to Victorian values. Well they can all bugger off back to Victorian Times and leave us in peace.

On a side not I see our Prime Minister is avoiding being asked difficult questions so he has started sending his Dad to do some of his interviews. I’m not making this up. Well today a member of the public phoned in and basically said Johnson was like Pinocchio. His Dad then said mockingly “the British Public couldn’t even spell Pinocchio if they tried”. Well let’s try – Pinocchio.***** up yours you posh snob.

So what do we do. We have the weekend to think about it. I’ve offered son the day off if school insist on him sitting the test. At the moment he is saying that he will have to sit the test. He doesn’t want to be picked out as different. But that’s the problem with the current approach to handling dyslexia in the classroom. It’s the same as with Aspergers and the classroom. The approach is so fundamentally wrong.

Assume the child is low attainment.

Resist providing proactive support

Deliver one standard teaching programme for all kids – no variations

Put the onus on the child to put a hand up and ask for help – in front of all the other kids

Child doesn’t put the hand up so assume everything is fine

Watch child struggle in tests and class work

Confirm assessment that child is low attainment

One final thought. It’s ok to penalise the kids but what about those leading us. Our School Minister – Remember him he’s the lovely chap who thought kids having time off for bereavement was like “an extended holiday” – was asked a grammar question he was expecting school kids to get right. Guess what the numpty got it wrong. So maybe he should get a negative and be barred with running our schools. That is one punishment I can agree to.

86 thoughts on “Time for punishment

  1. I still dont understand this obsession with spelling. I mean, I’m kind of a word nerd and I hate misspelled words, but everything is typed out and auto corrected whether we want it to be or not.
    Call me foolish, but I’d rather kids learned the meaning of words than how to freaking spell them.🙄

    Liked by 4 people

  2. So frustrating, and since when do you get detention for not spelling everything right? That’s horrible! I thought our school system was bad, but the more I read from you, I think you definitely have it worse.

    Sent from my iPad


    Liked by 1 person

      1. Here in WY my 13 and 16 year old grandkids are homeschooled because in our area the schools are not good. The students in our part of the city are part of it. In New Jersey. My youngest granddaughter, 6 goes to nice school.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Education is a low priority. Doesn’t make sense but true. And then when absolutely clueless leaders are put into the top position in the field of education, as in the US case, its hopeless

        Liked by 1 person

  3. They seem hard words, unsuitable especially for Drama..They have no idea.I used to be ok at spelling but now I look at words and get muddled.I cannot imagine how horrible it is for children with dyslexia.And the teachers claim to be very stressed as do doctors…. so don’t expect them to be any use

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh, that’s rich. The public can’t spell Pinocchio, you asshole, because most of them were shoved, head first, through your son’s (and his ilk) F***ED UP, GOV RUN SCHOOL SYSTEM. BRAVO, you moron.

    I just read not long ago about the UK merging ALL private schools into the gov-run miasma and, coming after home-schooling parents. W.T.F.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They want to get profit into schools, hospitals and care homes. A quick buck for the few and screw the services/people. Has to be a balance but that balance has gone. The approach is to identify minority groupings, blame them for all the problems, say they are standing up for the majority then seek to profit out of it. Kids with learning difficulties are increasingly blamed for school cuts. Home schooled kids are blamed for falling standards. Seriously we are screwed at present.


      1. We must round pegs for the round holes. EVERYONE must fit…or else.

        So, even if you COULD find & afford a private school and/or tutor, they want to roll everything into one GIANT nightmare. Geezus…

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh, my goodness. That is awful. Any child who didn’t have test anxiety before surely has it now. Hasn’t this person ever heard that stress causes people (including children) to perform worse rather than better? And that we all use word processors that have spell-check? My brother was dyslexic and would have spent the year at the school.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Flippin’ ‘eck (am I getting it down pat here?), three of those six words I always have to let spell check correct for me, and I have a bunch of college degrees! What are your schools expecting here? Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What a nightmare! I feel your pain. Even with an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) that kids here in the US can qualify for (it does things like give a student extra time for test taking, have class notes provided to them, let them use assistive technology, etc.), teachers at my son’s schools could only do so much. And it was never enough. We live in a poorer county where schools never seem to have enough money, and special education especially never seems to have enough money. My son does school at home now. It’s a daily battle.

    Liked by 1 person

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