Part 4: Identifying the sounds in words

Marking policy

Children’s earliest efforts at independent writing do not need rigorous marking. Maybe missing sounds would be pointed out and any ‘tricky words’ already taught would need correcting.

It is impossible for young children to have the freedom to write exactly what they want to say, and spell all the words correctly. If everything is corrected it is demoralising, and discourages the children from writing so freely. Generally speaking, it is best to restrict the errors marked to about four words. These words can be practised with the ‘Look, Cover, Write and Check’ method (refer to Chapter 5, Tricky Words) when the work has been marked.

By the end of the second year at school the majority of words start to be correct. If the error is one that they should know it should be marked. If it is out of the ordinary a dot can be put under it. This tells the child that it is wrong, their attempt was a good one and that it will be taught later. Again four words can be selected to be practised underneath.

The children with good visual memories and a certain amount of maturity, who have been careless, need more rigorous marking than the poorer ability children with weak memories. In the end it is judgement. It is not encouraging to have too many red pen marks all over the work but as they get a bit older, the children need to know if it is wrong, and to learn from their mistakes.