Do you realise that teachers do not have the time to check all spelling and grammar errors when marking  books in secondary school?  This means that the same spelling errors are repeated year in, year out.  When I tutor students in Year 11, I find that they tend to be surprised when spelling mistakes are brought to their attention for the first time in years.

Parents, carers and family – YOU CAN HELP – by taking an interest in your teenager’s school books.  You can help by highlighting any misspellings and looking out for missing capital letters (a common omission). Remember that capitals are needed at the start of sentences, names of people, places, days of the week and months of the year.  Please also cast an eye over the spelling of ‘Shakespeare’ because the final ‘e’ is often left off the end.


Spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPAG) continues to be assessed separately in GCSE exams so it is very important that we support our teenagers by allowing them to develop their skills in this area.

As a tutor I find that it is important to take an interest in all your teenager’s books –that includes English, maths, science, history, geography and religious education to name a few.

One further point to note

Taking an interest in your teenager’s books can also give you an idea of how your teenager is finding school or a particular subject. Praise for a particular piece of work will help enormously. But look out for any changes like presentation or handwriting which might be starting to get messy. Check if the standard of work has changed. Lots of doodling can mean several different things: a creative person who would benefit from a doodle pad: a bored student who is struggling to understand the lesson or a student who is finding the work too easy.

How to practise spellings

Make a list of key words that are regularly misspelt.

Put the list of words to learn on the fridge door, bedroom wall, back of the toilet door or on a desk in your teenager’s  bedroom.

Focus on 3-5 words a week and you’ll soon notice a difference.

Watch out for the CubeNdo Spellings of key words and further tips in our future blogs.