This is why the SPaG test (now remodelled as the GPS test) is serious, nasty and dangerous
An eagle-eyed youngster who spotted her favourite author had broken a grammatical rule, wrote to her about it – and the letter went viral.
Six-year-old King Edward Primary School pupil Isabella Rhodes became an internet sensation after she pulled up Joanna Nadin for using “And” at the start of the sentence in one of her books.
The celebrated children’s author wrote back and sent Isabella a signed copy of the book, telling her some rules are made to be broken.
The pair’s exchange was shared online and, in internet parlance, “‘went viral”.
Isabella wrote: “In your book The Stepmonster, you start a sentence with the word ‘and’. We have been taught not to start with a conjunction. Why have you done this on page five?”
The author replied – with all her sentences starting with conjunctions
Michael Rosen sums up where the UK education system is at… Grainy video, but worth your time.
Y6 Pupil Complains About Missing Commas
For the test, sat across England on Tuesday, pupils had to insert a correctly spelled word missing from a sentence. Question 6 read: "If there is not [blank] rainfall this month there will be a drought." Question 16 read: "As he was the [blank] of the tribe the final decision was his." The pupils protested that a comma was required after "month" in Q6 and "tribe" in Q16.
The result is mild embarrassment for the education department in the first year that the "Spag" (spelling, punctuation and grammar) tests for year 6 pupils have been conducted. The wording of the tests was approved by the Standards and Testing Agency, an executive agency of the Department for Education. A department spokesperson said: "The commas here are a matter of choice: they can be used to mark out clauses that appear at the beginning or the end of a sentence, but they are not necessary. We decided to use commas sometimes and not at others to make the tests more like real life where people will have their own styles." (My emphasis)