Two More Stupid SATs GPS Signals

My exam papers haven’t arrived yet, and the grass is still too damp to cut….

I have many objections to the KS2 English SATs GPS [SPaG], and here are just two from this year’s, but repeating what I have objected to in the sample papers:


This obsession with teaching the semi-colon at an early age is ridiculous, as is to test it like this, and as I have written before, the overuse – quite often inaccurate – of the semi-colon in GCSE English Writing papers [students taught to ‘hit’ assessment criteria about sophisticated use of SPaG, for example] is a further example of this nonsense. The sentence There are Roman ruins near our village and they are being excavated next week is a far better exemplar for good writing.

question mark

Dull, dull, dull. Why not write the sentence They are listening to music? and get students to respond [in all kinds of ways] to why and how this is different to Are they listening to music?


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