"Sadly, it is not just the SPaG teaching for tests that negatively impacts on children's writing. The 'guidance' on judging whether a child's writing 'meets age expectations' is all about grammar, punctuation, spelling and handwriting. The need to include all the grammar and punctuation that is taught produces dull, formulaic writing that has no heart. Gone are the 'marks' (read 'tick boxes' now) for composition and effect. One piece of writing can be clearly better than another - it flows, has a genuine 'voice', is a pleasure to read but may be judged 'not at age expected' because no contractions have been used so no evidence of correct apostrophe use for omission. The turgid 'written by numbers' piece however can tick all the boxes. I am sickened. I am a primary teacher."