Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar
At Kings Hill, pupils receive a stimulating and enriching experience in English, developing the skills necessary to master the English curriculum. Through high quality teaching, well planned and organised lessons, we ensure that the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum 2014 are met alongside its aims:
- to promote high standards of language and literacy
- equip pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written language
- develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment.
A new spelling pattern is explicitly taught to the children each week through the use of No-Nonsense Spelling. The No Nonsense Spelling Programme teaches a comprehensive yet accessible progression in the teaching of spelling. Guidance, rather than prescription, is provided on how to teach the strategies, knowledge and skills pupils need to learn.
The focus of the programme is on the teaching of spelling, which embraces knowledge of spelling conventions, patterns and rules; but integral to the teaching is the opportunity to promote the learning of spellings, including statutory words, common exceptions and personal spellings.
The children have use of personal spelling journals to record misspellings and support their understanding. Children are taught a variety of spelling strategies which can be personalised for them. Children use the Spelling Journals across all subjects to highlight the importance of accuracy in spelling.
Spelling words are sent home weekly to practice and are assessed through weekly tests, dictations and within the sequence of teaching.
A Grammar focus is explicitly taught to the children each week through the use of No-Nonsense Grammar. The No Nonsense Grammar Programme teaches a comprehensive yet accessible progression in the teaching of Grammar. Building blocks start from Year 1 and continue through to Year 6. Terminology is introduced from an early stage so that children become confident and successful.
Grammar is all about the patterns and rules in a language: how we put words, phrases and clauses together to make structures that communicate information clearly to our reader. Pupils have this grammatical knowledge in place from an early age, which enables them to understand structures they have not heard before and to know if what is communicated makes sense or not. Whether this grammar acquisition is innate or learned, young pupils pick up the grammatical structure of their language very quickly and their attempts at forming grammatical structures increasingly conform to the rules of their language.
By the time pupils go to school, they have a working knowledge of English grammar, but they are not always explicitly aware of the patterns and conventions that we use to speak and write. Spoken language does not usually have the clearly demarcated sections that are required in writing; if we want pupils to create – and punctuate – sentences, it is important that we help them understand what a ’sentence’ is. In order to do that, we need to be clear ourselves about how sentences are formed.