Back in Oz ‘spag’ simply meant yummy spaghetti, but it now has far more sinister, GCSE connotations. As one of our pupils’ greatest weaknesses it is a major concern that spelling, punctuation and grammar will now be assessed on most extended examination responses. I have tried the following approach, as described by Learning Spy, and it really does work. Health warning: this works with more senior groups with whom you have a good relationship!
One of the ways I’ve found for getting the self assessment ball rolling is to insist that students proofread and edit their work before handing it in. If I find mistakes which they could, and should have spotted I give it back unmarked. Unmarked, but not unseen. I know what they’ve been up to and how much they’ve learnt. They simply proof read again, and again until it’s second nature. I think this sort of approach to basic literacy is going to become increasingly important within the new Ofsted framework and in light of the changes to GCSEs where 5% of marks will be based on spelling, punctuation and grammar.