Pupil power corrects council's mistake

SUPER bright school kids have persuaded council chiefs to change a signpost - because it boasted an out-of-place apostrophe.

SUPER bright school kids have persuaded council chiefs to change a signpost - because it boasted an out-of-place apostrophe.

Punctuation is a tricky business but youngsters at Ditchingham Primary School, near Bungay, have got it spot on.

The nine and 10-year-old were outraged to learn that the sign in nearby Beccles had an apostrophe when it shouldn't have.

So they got their heads together and promptly rattled off 30 polite but firm letters to Waveney District Council to let them know.

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Just three weeks later the old “Peddar's Lane” sign has been removed and replaced with a shiny new “Peddars Lane” post.

Carolyn Ellis-Gage, 25, has been teaching class four since Easter and said they acted after an intensive week-long look at punctuation.

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She said: “We were doing a lesson about apostrophes.

“We were talking about why they were important and I was discussing how sometimes they get them wrong on signs.

“I discussed the sign in Beccles and the children were outraged.”

While one of the signs on Peddars Way did not have any apostrophes, another at the St Marys Road end did.

Miss Ellis-Gage, of Beccles, said she realised the road was named after the Peddars Way walk, which runs along the coast from Knettishall in Suffolk to Holme-next-the-Sea in north Norfolk, and should not have one.

She explained that to her class - and they were so concerned they asked if they could write to the council to correct the glaring error.

Alice Budds, 9, said: “I wrote 'Could you change it please because otherwise if people are learning about apostrophes and they see it, they might think it's all right'.”

Sam Clitheroe, 9, of Ditchingham, said he had been concerned the inconsistent signs would puzzle passers-by.

He said: “At the start there's an apostrophe but at the end there isn't. People will get really confused.”

Red-faced Waveney District Council responded quickly and the class has now received a letter from maintenance manager Nikki Childs thanking them for their help.

She said: “I was very interested to read all your letters though I did feel a little embarrassed about the error with the grammar.

“What I propose to do, as it's so important to you all, is have a new Peddars Lane sign made.”

Ms Childs said the incorrect sign was an old one and these days they did not put apostrophes on any signposts.

The pupils were delighted with the response and surprised to find the sign had already been changed when they got the letter.

Alice, of Ditchingham, said: “I felt really proud.”

Gwyn James, Ditchingham Primary's headteacher, said it was important for the children to see they could make a vital difference.

She said: “The whole school knows about it.

“We wanted to raise the profile for the rest of the children to show them 'this is what you can do'.”

Ms Childs said: “The children were absolutely right. The sign needed to be changed and we did so immediately.

“We would like to thank them all for being so on the ball.”

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