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Our Policy

  • High expectations with regards to the accuracy of students’ written English will enable us to work towards the following aim: students spell, punctuate and use the rules of grammar with considerable accuracy and control of meaning in the context of the demands of the question. Where required they use a wide range of specialist terms adeptly and with precision. To this end, all written work should be regularly viewed with the  aim of instilling a “self-editing” ethos:

  • Within the context of achieving this aim, the following elements of students’ writing will be assessed and marked in each piece of written work:

  • Accurate use of capital letters.

  • Spelling.

  • Accurate use of punctuation, with particular focus on correct use of the apostrophe, commas and full stops.

  • Clarity of meaning in a sentence.

  • All students in Year 7, 8 and 9 should carry a green pen in their kit and should be required to proof read all work prior to submission. Corrections at this stage should be made in green pen. The idea is to instil the habit of proofreading for accuracy and is also diagnostic in that it should help teachers to differentiate between a careless error and something genuinely not understood.


In Practice

  • Errors must be identified within students’ work using the codes outlined below.

  • Staff should indicate the errors in the pupils’ written work – pupils are expected to have identified and corrected simple and repetitive errors before assessment (see above).

  • Teachers should ensure that students are recognising the most common errors that can often detract from clarity of meaning within a sentence as well as subject specific key words.  Examples may include:

  1. Confusion regarding homophones, such as to/too, their/there, led/lead.

  2. Misuse or omission of apostrophes.

  3. Incorrect spelling of subject-specific key words, such as “simile” for English, “government” for History etc.

SPaG Error Code To Indicate Error
Incorrect spelling Sp
Misuse of apostrophe A
Incorrect use of capital letters C
Misuse of punctuation, such as commas, semi colons and full stops. P
General grammar issues G


  • One method of engaging pupils in the task of identifying the error is to deploy the marginalia without circling the mistake.  They should be given some time in class to attend to their corrections.  This can be delivered as DIRT –Directed Improvement and Reflection Time

  • The purpose of this policy is to assist students in recognising and correcting their own inaccuracies, whilst providing support and assistance in cases of misunderstanding or confusion.  Boys at the John Lyon School are encouraged to take responsibility for their own accuracy from an early stage.  This is what will be required in examinations and in the world of work.