Page last updated at 11:34 GMT, Thursday, 2 October 2008 12:34 UK

Pupils 'distressed over spelling'

Blackboard
The school will no longer test spellings in the classroom

A primary school has stopped carrying out spelling tests because children find them distressing.

Whitminster Endowed Church of England Primary, near Stroud, no longer gives children spelling lists for homework.

Parents found out about the plan in a letter, saying many pupils found the activity "unnecessarily distressing".

A spokeswoman for Gloucestershire County Council said it was up to individual schools to decide how they delivered literacy.

School meeting

In the newsletter, the school's head teacher Debbie Marklove wrote: "You will notice that the children will not be given spelling lists to learn over the week and then be tested in class.

"We have taken the decision to stop spellings as homework as it is felt that although children may learn them perfectly at home they are often unable to use them in their daily written work.

"Also many children find this activity unnecessarily distressing."

Parents have now been invited to a meeting, during which the new policy is to be explained.

Mrs Marklove declined to comment on the move on Thursday.

Gloucestershire County Council's head of school improvement Karen Charters said: "It is entirely for the school to decide if they wish to use spelling lists.

"It is important that we recognise the strengths a variety of approaches can bring.

"The county council monitors the performance of schools closely and believes that partnership between schools and parents raises the level of both achievement and enjoyment for the children."


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