Improper prescription for training English | Letters

Thank you for the heartening piece by Michael Morpurgo (‘My spelling isn’t that great’, 18 May possibly). When I begun educating English in 1971, we had been cost-free from limits on how to do it, so it was pleasant, artistic and tough. The rot commenced to set in with Kenneth Baker’s prescriptive national curriculum in 1989, which prompted me to leave classroom English teaching. I pity people who continue to be, pressured to follow Michael Gove’s even worse impositions on our younger learners. Morpurgo’s analysis reminds me of a criticism of that strategy to tests: “You never fatten a pig by weighing it.”
Alasdair Donaldson
Maidenhead, Berkshire

Michael Morpurgo is place-on. Our nine-calendar year-outdated granddaughter is predicted to know grammatical terms I in no way arrived across at grammar university in the 60s. If the Conservatives have any schooling policy at all, it is to replace it in point out educational institutions with mere instruction. A further illustration: at primary faculty in the 50s we did division for our young children in the 70s and 80s it was sharing, which designed so a lot far more sense now, for our grandchildren, it is back to division. What does that say about our culture?
Joy Webb
Penistone, South Yorkshire

Move notes (Rebranding maths as numeracy? It doesn’t increase up, 19 May perhaps), in earning the case for better numeracy, perpetuates a recurrent confusion of maths with arithmetic. The latter is about addition, subtraction, multiplication and many others – all crucial for numeracy. Maths is about the summary science of figures and does call for some energy to grasp. As anyone who did effectively at maths but unsuccessful O-degree arithmetic, I can attest that the latter is not essential to excel at the previous. It is not contrary to very good writers who just cannot spell.
Ian Watson

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