The purpose of our blog is to discuss topical issues, stories, and situations, as well as to share what we are up to and new ways for you to get involved. We are always searching for possible answers to the question: Why is a girl's worth culturally and historically relative?

Monday, May 27, 2013

Girl, aged 10, gives a lesson in grammar

Rebecca Lee, 10, from Bristol, wrote to Education Secretary Michael Gove over punctuation errors in her SATs.

Grammar: a word that strikes fear into the hearts of many people, including myself. It brings up memories of finding nouns, adverbs, adjectives, and verbs, adding commas in the correct places and identifying the clauses in the sentences put in front of you at school. Grammar is also something which the current Education Secretary, Michael Gove, is keen to focus on within British schools with the aim of improving the standard of written English. The impression he gives is that current children's grammar and writing skills have been slipping over the past decades.

One 10 year-old girl from Bristol, however, has proved the Education Secretary very wrong. Rebecca Lee, a year 6 pupil at Christ Church primary school in Bristol, has written to Michael Gove pointing out the grammar inconsistencies she and her fellow classmates spotted in the recent SAT papers. Rebecca has said, "The exam wording should be setting an example and I was annoyed." Some of the issues spotted are feature in this article.  Rebecca has not yet heard back from Mr. Gove but the department for education has stated that "The commas 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." This is a response that serves to highlight why people struggle so much when trying to grasp the rules of English grammar, and why Rebecca and her class are streets ahead of many of us! If you, like Rebecca, are a whiz at spotting grammatical mistakes, I apologise for the many errors you will probably have found in this post!

-Emma Hatherall
Junior Girl
Girl Museum Inc.

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