When children write essays, letters or any other compositions, they tend to write simple, generic words like “nice”, “good”, “happy”. Everything is nice or good. Nothing is incredible or fabulous or excellent. Kids are not sure about the spellings of the words like “excellent” or “incredible” and they know that every wrong spelling costs them half a mark. So why take chances? The policy to deduct marks for wrong spellings makes kids averse to experiment and averse to use adventurous vocabulary.
Shouldn’t writing be more about imagination, analysis and ability to express effectively? We teach them to play safe and to be scared to try something new. Instead, why not reward them for using new, different words? Why not give a mark more for using a rich vocabulary even if the spelling is wrong? Agreed, writing correct spellings is important as well. However, there could be a separate spelling test to test that aspect and we can decouple spellings from creative writing.