The Year 6 Sats will include a grammar and punctuation test this year.
Whilst the writing tests have always included marks for spelling and grammar this is the first time that a separate paper has been included. Writing, let’s not forget, is still teacher assessed with some LA moderation taking place.
Do remember that it is working from the current framework, see guidance below! Nothing new is added at this stage…
So, what can Primary teachers and Literacy Coordinators do to add more opportunities for grammar and punctuation lessons in their classrooms?
- Literacy Coordinators need to be reminding teachers of the vocabulary, meanings and correct use of grammar and punctuation now – don’t wait until the test. The draft curriculum is due to be introduced in 2014, but you can use the vocabulary and punctuation guidelines now. Introduce some vocabulary or a rule each week during staff briefing. Share a game that can be played to support this rule or vocabulary.
- School wide focus – make ‘correct sentence structure’ a school wide focus. Encourage age-appropriate targets linked to sentence structure and reference this in marking for all subjects.
- Model the correct use – all adults need to be ensure they are a model for the children to use. Remember the saying – if they can’t speak it how can they write it? If they don’t hear it said, how can they write it down?
- Language rich learning environments – everywhere in school all displays should be language rich – encourage mathematical explanations and model scientific language.
Do share the test and expectations with Parents, the DfE have produced a guide:
There are many home-grown resources out there – and I will begin to collect links and documents here. I’ve been thinking about Maths games – how great teachers are at creating resources to encourage quick recall and calculation skills – and employing this in literacy. Flashcards for vocabulary, matching games for sentence types and ‘follow-me’ cards can all be used for quick grammar and punctuation.
Also Pie Corbett has recorded an excellent video for Oxford University Press here, talking about grammar in context, which is incredibly important!
Thinking about your own understanding, there is an excellent site here, from Bristol University to test you and explain any misconceptions.