Boys still failing to improve at English

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The Independent Online
BOYS' PERFORMANCE in national tests in English for 11-year-olds failed to improve this year, according to figures released yesterday.

A 2 per cent increase in the number achieving the expected standard was the result of a 4 per cent rise in girls' results.

At 14, almost three-quarters of girls reached the expected standard in English compared with 57 per cent of boys.

The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority said in its analysis of this year's English, maths and science test results for pupils aged 7, 11 and 14: "Raising boys' level of achievement remains an important objective."

In their writing, boys tend to concentrate on action rather than description and prefer to be concise rather than offering a full explanation, says the report.

"Their achievements in these areas need to be recognised and built on while extending their skills in the less favoured areas."

At 11, standards in writing for both boys and girls are lower than those in reading. At seven, spelling is a weakness. Spelling mistakes persist even at 14 with the brightest pupils making more errors than those achieving only the expected standard. "Punctuation remains one of the weakest areas of writing," says the report.

In maths, results for both 11- and 14-year-olds were depressed because of the introduction of new mental arithmetic tests but there were improvements in performance on the written papers. At age seven, only 48 per cent of children were able to calculate the money left over from 54p after buying five pencils at 10p.

National tests are compulsory for children aged 7, 11 and 14, but next year 85 per cent of schools will also use tests produced by the authority for pupils aged 8, 9, and 10.

Nick Tate, the authority's chief executive, said: "The reports give a very detailed picture of children's performance in this year's national tests. This information will help teachers to discover how their pupils' performance relates to the national picture."

Common

Errors

At seven:

dansis for dances

althow for although

sudenly for suddenly

At 11:

mosted for most

exsisting for exciting

none for known

speshel for special

invension for invention

carriges for carriages

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