Nobody under the age of 11 needs to know what a modal verb or a subordinating conjunction is. And they definitely don't need to be tested on such things, and made to feel like failures because they don't get it.
The wonderful Chris Riddell - current Children's Laureate, among other things - has illustrated The Truth.
Full disclosure: I don't follow football. I'm not a Liverpool fan.
But my son is. I recorded this poem in his bedroom. It seemed fitting.
I wrote this after reading this article in the Guardian. It made me sad, and angry. I'm not quite sure why that in turn prompted a poem, but I think it's because last night, helping my son to revise for his GCSEs, I read with him 3AM Feed, by Steven Blyth. It's a beautiful poem, and it took me back to the days when my son was a baby who would fall asleep in the crook of my arm.
My son's 15 now. He goes to football matches with his friends. If we'd each been born 27 years earlier, maybe he'd have gone to Hillsborough. Maybe he'd have died there. Maybe they'd have lied about him, and I'd have spent 27 years, with 96 other families, trying to get them to admit the truth.
John Dougherty's grown-up blog page
This is where I'll put blogposts whose content might not be suitable for young readers. It might be a bit dull and political. Or there might be words you might not want your children to read.