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Pupils get lesson in swearing

By Lynsey Bradford, Town Reporter Friday 13th July 2012
Pd28299 Disgusted: Pupil Lauren Sparks and Karen Young.

Children as young as 11 have been asked to decide on the appropriate use of swear words, including the c-word, as part of a lesson at school.


Year seven pupils at Shafton Advanced Learning Centre, were given a worksheet called 'Acceptable or Not?' which listed situations including: using the c-word, telling your friend to f*** off and shouting f*** off across a classroom, in a shopping centre or in assembly.


It also asked pupils about the appropriateness of saying s**t, calling someone a d***head during a lesson, making comments like 'it's pi**ing it down' and telling someone to bu**er off.


The words were not censored and pupils were asked if it was 'always ok, sometimes ok or never ok' to say the expletives, or if 'it depends'.


Shocked mum Karen Young 43, of Acre Road, Cudworth, in an exclusive interview for the Chronicle, said she was disgusted when her stepdaughter Lauren Sparks, 12, brought the worksheet home. She said: "I was just disgusted, it was a shock. I don't swear in front of children and don't think they should be subjected to this."


A school spokesman said it was part of its 'social responsibility' and there had been no complaints. Others don't agree.


See today's Town and Royston editions of the Chronicle for reaction.


What do you think? Leave a comment below, or join the debate on Facebook.

CommentsClick here to add a comment...
Posted by tracey I Fri 13th Jul 2012 at 9:49am

I don't think it's such a bad idea..i think there tryin t get across that swearin is not acceptable in the community....or different situations.

It's ok parents sayin they don't swear at home...(i try not to either) but they do hear it at skool, town tv..etc...and your 11 to 16 yr olds who are out and about without there parents ave free rein then to swear all they want. Teaching them that its not socially accepted, sounds horrible, and they will get in trouble 4 it is a gud idea...

Posted by mikeynma I Fri 13th Jul 2012 at 10:58am

@tracey - obviously schools need to teach spelling, punctuation and grammar as well. Although I do agree that teaching children when it is acceptable to use these words is a good idea.

My guess is that they already know all the words on the sheet anyway and parents who think otherwise are in denial.

Posted by sheils I Fri 13th Jul 2012 at 5:50pm

a multi million £ building, a highly paid head. The sooner this school is held to account the better - let's bring proper teaching back.

Posted by W Scott I Fri 13th Jul 2012 at 6:41pm

Well done for the school trying to tackle foul mouthed children. A minority are unable to have a conversation without offending the sensible majority. Deluded parents have a lot to answer for!!

Posted by Norman I Fri 13th Jul 2012 at 6:45pm

It's hard to overcome poor parenting , but that's what the school is trying to do. Children need to learn that there is a way for them to communicate effectively without people thinking they are rude and ignorant. Face up to the problem, don't hide from it. Youth unemployment over 1million and growing... I wonder why?? Well done Shafton ALC!!!

Posted by buttercup I Fri 13th Jul 2012 at 7:54pm

Well, there are lots of comments I agree with and yes, parents who think their kiddies are all sweetness and light need a reality check. You should hear them in and out of school. Walking in the road and swaring at you as you try to overtake them with out running them over, like they have more rights to be on the road than the car drivers.... The young lady in the paper and on the news, sorry mum but her language leaves a lot to be desired so ask her to tell you the truth, dose she use all the words on the lesson sheet, I think so. The school has a difficult and fine line in educating our kids. They are never going to get it right for everyone. Do your best Shafton ALC but sadly I do think you are fighting a loosing battle with the kids but don't give up there a lost of parents who agree with you and support your idears. Lets hope the young lady in question tones her own language down now her mum has put her self on the line for her.

Posted by robbo I Sun 15th Jul 2012 at 3:18pm

Well done Shafton ALC for trying to tackle an endemic problem in British schools. Although their efforts are a drop in the ocean maybe it could be the catalyst for other schools to take on this issue. Although these social skills should be addressed at home (which I am sure they are in many homes) there are some youngsters who unfortunately do not receive this guidance and the schools are left to pick up the pieces. I am surprised that the parent in question did not contact the school for a complete explanation before going to the press.

Posted by Paige Worrall I Mon 16th Jul 2012 at 8:57am

I am lauren's friend and I was in the lesson

i am paige worrall and i dint bknow we was doing swering and i agree wiv lauren cos i wazs shouting em out

Posted by buttercup I Mon 16th Jul 2012 at 11:47am

Page Worrall Your grammar needs work, D- for effort.

Posted by JohnBald I Mon 16th Jul 2012 at 6:27pm

This story has attracted national attention, and the range of comments elsewhere mirrors those locally. What really concerns me, from the photograph of Lauren's writing, is that she clearly needs, and fairly urgently, to be taught to write properly. Swearing is not acceptable in school, and children who have been in school for six years already know this. Ticking a box saying that it's not acceptable to swear in assembly is not going to teach anyone anything. The exercise as a whole is not what Lauren most needs to learn, and that is the most important single point.

Posted by Apedant I Tue 17th Jul 2012 at 1:36pm

buttercup - you should have a look at your own spelling and grammar before criticising others.






Posted by Genna Collins I Wed 18th Jul 2012 at 12:37am

I never actually went to this school I went to priory and priory had the same difficulties as shafton alc had they used to swear 6 hours a day at least and I was a pupil there I didn't know any swearing word until I started Priory in year 7

Posted by AMum I Wed 18th Jul 2012 at 12:49pm

It looks as if some people are getting a bit carried away with talk about other people’s comments instead of the article itself. Perhaps we could all do with a grammar lesson? I know for a fact that this language happens in this school but it started in primary school. My son used to come home and ask me what certain words ment so let’s not say that these words are not used in our schools. My son is at Shafton ALC and tells me that these words are used on a regular basis throughout the school but not by all children. There are still some children out there with morals thankfully so we shouldn’t paint them all with the same brush. I feel that the responsibility lies solely on the shoulders of the parents alone to ensure we bring up our children with self-respect and respect for others but sad to say this is not always the case and I feel that this is a sign of the times. The school has tried to catch those that do not get the right guidance. Rightly or wrongly they did what they thought was the right thing to do.

Posted by MaryL I Wed 18th Jul 2012 at 1:59pm

I think that this is disgraceful, the teacher concerned should be disciplined. I hate foul language there is no need for it, my mother used to call it "pit language", but I believe that the mine workers showed respect when in mixed company.

Posted by dedatodd I Thu 19th Jul 2012 at 1:38pm

I went to Prioiry and my son now attends Shafton ALC and starts Year 10 next year. Neither I or my wife swear in front of him, and we dont accept him or his friends using bad language within earshot and they all respect this, however I am unable to follow him 24 hours a day and as such I expect he uses some colourful language.

Hats off to the school for trying something new, we all know its used in schools and sadly not just in the playground. Rather than having a go at the school / teachers, show some support, this establishment is attempting to get young adults ready for the big wide world and its not pretty or sanitised out here!

Posted by AMum I Thu 19th Jul 2012 at 1:40pm

Our children learn their lessons for life right from the day they are born and they learn them from their parents, US…. I was lucky I had good parents who taught me right from wrong and respect for others and my son has had these lessons passed onto him. It’s a sad fact that no one wants to admit. What lessons in life have these children been taught? My Nan always told me when I had my son that discipline begins in the cradle and whilst that is an old fashioned phrase it is true. How we raise our children is a reflection on us parents so who should have rely been given this lesson, our children or us???? As I said in my last comment, the school has tried to catch those that do not get the right guidance from their parents. Don’t get me wrong, life is not easy this day and age but it should not be an excuse to let our standards drop. I’m going to get off my soap box now as I think it has been talk about enough and I can only look to my own family to see that I feel I must have got something right for my son to be as level headed as he is. Good luck to us parents who try and to Shafton ALC, it’s hard work but worth it in the end.

Posted by ANON I Wed 10th Jul 2013 at 11:52pm
This comment has been deleted for breaching our site terms.
Posted by chloe lindley I Tue 16th Jul 2013 at 12:01pm

this school is the worst school ever because the school has waste and it is that horrible my chidren and my cousion does not like it at all this is discusting school it needs to change and shafton alc is already in special messures

Posted by viv YOLO I Tue 3rd Dec 2013 at 1:30pm


Posted by messa I Tue 3rd Dec 2013 at 1:32pm

i agree with lauren #yolo

Posted by messa I Wed 19th Feb 2014 at 11:17am

i hate shafton alc you get bullied and they dont care and thats why i am leaving :( and this school is the baddest school ever

Posted by Bryn I Mon 10th Mar 2014 at 11:34am

I go to shafton, I'm in year 11 and this has been blown way out of proportion. The lesson was no where near as bad anyone may think. Bad mouthing a school to the papers that is already under special measures is just sad. Especially over a lesson about swearing.

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