English - Spelling, Punctuation & Grammar
At St Paul’s we aim to enable pupils to confidently use the essential skills of grammar, punctuation and spelling in order to develop a love of writing. By the end of Year Six these skills will allow the children to express their thoughts and ideas clearly and creatively through the written word.
The objectives of the National Curriculum are closely followed to ensure that the skills learnt in spelling, punctuation and grammar are embedded and transferred into writing. Lessons are carefully planned so that skills are taught, embedded, revisited and then developed in a sequential way which promotes learning and retention of knowledge and skills.
At St Paul’s, in Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar sessions, the children learn key objectives and skills in relation to this area through pacey, interactive sessions. Our children are then provided with further opportunities during their wider curriculum to embed their new learning. Explicit Grammar lessons are included within English lessons once a week in all year groups, but Years 6 have focused grammar sessions in addition. Year 3 receive regular phonics to support their acquisition of spelling skills and phonic/spelling interventions are provided throughout the key stage to support pupils and to raise attainment.
Weekly spellings are progressive throughout the school and focus on the spelling rules that are required for each year group. Opportunities are provided throughout the week to practice using a variety of strategies including dictated sentences, modelled and shared writing. A look, cover, write, check approach is often used for homework which is supported by our online spelling programs Spelling Shed and Doodle. These can be accessed at home as part of home learning and allows parents to support their child’s learning.
At St Paul’s School, children will make good progress from their own personal starting points. The impact of the SPAG curriculum can be seen in books, in outcomes and discussion with our pupils. Based on ongoing assessments, work is planned to address misconceptions and gaps in learning to ensure that the SPAG curriculum effectively meets the needs of all children.
By the end of Year Six they will be able to write clearly and accurately and adapt their language and style for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences. Our children will acquire a wide vocabulary and have a strong command and love of the written word.
Spelling is monitored on a weekly basis through application, dictation and marking within written work. Spelling ages are assessed biannually and are recorded on SIMS. Grammar and spelling are assessed termly with PIRA tests and progress and attainment is monitored through Educater and discussed with SLT at pupil progress meetings.
Some people read words more accurately than they spell them. The word lists for Years 3 and 4 and Years 5 and 6 are statutory. The lists are a mixture of words pupils frequently use in their writing and those which they often misspell. Some of the listed words may be thought of as quite challenging, but the words in each list can easily be taught within the four years of key stage 2 alongside other words that teachers consider appropriate. Please find below the word lists for Years 3 and 4, and Years 5 and 6. They are available as a download at the bottom of the page.
Memorizing the Spelling of New Words
When you come across a new word ALWAYS use the LOOK - THINK - COVER - WRITE - CHECK method to memorize it. LOOK carefully at the new word. How can you break it into smaller bits? Do any of the smaller bits remind you of the patterns of letters from other words?
THINK about the parts of the words which might cause problems - double letters for instance, or a vowel that isn't pronounced as you would expect.
COVER the word and close your eyes. Try to see it in your mind's eye.
WRITE the word down without looking back.
CHECK to see if you're right. If not, look carefully at where you went wrong and try again.
More Hot Tips
- Whenever you have to copy a new word from the blackboard, from a book, or from the dictionary always try to write the whole word in one go. Don't keep looking back after every few letters.
- Try finger-writing: while you're THINKing about the word, pretend to write it with your finger, on your desk or on your hand.
Parents can also help their children by:
- Encouraging them to look closely at words and talking to them about words.
- Encouraging them to try new words.
- Play words games like Hangman, Boggle and Scrabble.
- Pointing out interesting newspaper items.
- Encouraging visits to the library or buying comics, magazines and books as treats.
- Encouraging effective memorizing strategies (LOOK - THINK - COVER - WRITE – CHECK).
- Respecting "good mistakes" : those which use letter.
- Patterns which do make the right sound, even though they are not right for that particular word.
So, for "purpose": ensuring a dictionary is on hand for homework
- For regular misspellings, use a mnemonic (because elephants can’t always use small exits = because).
- Use colour for difficult sound/letter spellings (friendly).
- Chunk words into syllables to help spellings – Wed-nes-day.
- Use learnt word patterns (Read Write Inc – ‘Blow the Snow’).
- Investigate root words and have a go at adding prefixes and suffixes (hope/hopeless/hopefully).
- Use fridge magnets to practise spellings.
- Learn spellings ‘little and often’.
- Write a silly story with words from the spelling lists.
Click below for downloadable resources