'Like', 'innit' and 'bare' among slang words banned in school by Harris Academy Upper Norwood

Your Local Guardian: New headteacher Chris Everitt has banned the informal phrases at school New headteacher Chris Everitt has banned the informal phrases at school

"Like", "innit" and "bare" are just some of the words firmly placed in the vocabulary of the young people of today, but they have made the list of banned words at one Croydon school.

Students at Harris Academy Upper Norwood now have to think before they speak, after new principal Chris Everitt introduced a list of 10 informal phrases forbidden in classrooms and corridors that are now considered formal language zones.

The list which also includes "coz", "aint", "extra" "you woz" and "we woz", was implemented by Mr Everitt who took charge of the newly opened academy in September.

As part of the initiative students are also unable to begin sentences with "basically" and end sentences with "yeah".

The banned words form a sample of the frequently heard in places the school considers to be a formal setting.

The list will be updated to account for changes to students' vocabulary over time.

The initiative aims to raise awareness about the use of formal language and staff hope it will prepare students for formal situations they will face in later life, such as interviews.

Students are corrected if they are heard to use any of the banned phrases in the formal language zones.

The scheme is one of many introduced by Mr Everitt since the school became an academy, replacing Westwood Girls' College, that had been placed in special measures by Ofsted last year.

A spokeswoman for Harris Academy Upper Norwood said: "In addition to giving students the teaching they need to thrive academically, we want them to develop the soft skills they will need to compete for jobs and university places.

"This particular initiative is just one of the many ways in which we are building the vocabulary of our students and giving them the skills they need to express themselves confidently and appropriately for a variety of audiences."

Liam Reddington, a spokesman from the Plain English Campaign said he “fully applauds” the school for taking a stance.

He said: “Schools are responsible for preparing young people for adult life and they need to be able to speak properly. 

"Within a school they [staff] are responsible for students and I think what this school is doing is very admirable. I do think other schools should follow their example.”

 

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Comments (9)

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5:57pm Tue 15 Oct 13

BringBackNationalService says...

WhaaDaFuhh this is like some barrre phastiness an dissrispek in'it!!!
WhaaDaFuhh this is like some barrre phastiness an dissrispek in'it!!! BringBackNationalService

6:41pm Tue 15 Oct 13

Willow213 says...

Ain't has an apostrophe, btw :)
Ain't has an apostrophe, btw :) Willow213

7:07pm Tue 15 Oct 13

motomoto says...

An excellent idea.......hope to see this rolled out borough wide to all Croydon schools.......time to get rid of this Vicky pollard / gangster rap rude boy jafaican type speak once and for all.......in the real world of work you cannot speak like that and expect normal people to take you seriously or understand what you are trying to say........you will simply get laughed out of the door !!!
An excellent idea.......hope to see this rolled out borough wide to all Croydon schools.......time to get rid of this Vicky pollard / gangster rap rude boy jafaican type speak once and for all.......in the real world of work you cannot speak like that and expect normal people to take you seriously or understand what you are trying to say........you will simply get laughed out of the door !!! motomoto

8:38pm Tue 15 Oct 13

MikeyF says...

Totally agree with the school, this slang language has no place in the working environment.
Totally agree with the school, this slang language has no place in the working environment. MikeyF

2:46pm Wed 16 Oct 13

G_Whiz says...

About time too - Anything to make kids sound less thick will help us and help them get a job. The amount of kids that come into my place asking for a job (which is customer facing) And speaking in this strange way is unbelievable!

Does no one tell them this is a problem when trying to get a job? Even The Eastern European's we employ have much better English and act and sound more polite!

Croydon wake up! Kids wake up!
About time too - Anything to make kids sound less thick will help us and help them get a job. The amount of kids that come into my place asking for a job (which is customer facing) And speaking in this strange way is unbelievable! Does no one tell them this is a problem when trying to get a job? Even The Eastern European's we employ have much better English and act and sound more polite! Croydon wake up! Kids wake up! G_Whiz

1:16pm Thu 17 Oct 13

ANNE GILES says...

This is excellent. I wonder if their parents correct them at home?
This is excellent. I wonder if their parents correct them at home? ANNE GILES

10:34am Fri 18 Oct 13

Banbury Joe says...

Typical lowmarket Croydon when a head teacher tries to instill English to the local yobs ha ha!
Typical lowmarket Croydon when a head teacher tries to instill English to the local yobs ha ha! Banbury Joe

12:46am Mon 21 Oct 13

Angela M says...

They left off the phrases 'isit' and 'well sick'. Not a fan of 'totes' either.
They left off the phrases 'isit' and 'well sick'. Not a fan of 'totes' either. Angela M

11:20am Mon 21 Oct 13

Trisherrrxo says...

I actually wish we had this at my school (in East London), because I slowly adapted these sort of words into my vocabulary without noticing and still use the words from time-to-time. Oops.
I actually wish we had this at my school (in East London), because I slowly adapted these sort of words into my vocabulary without noticing and still use the words from time-to-time. Oops. Trisherrrxo

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