Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar at Wickersley Northfield Primary
We want pupils to acquire a wide vocabulary, a solid understanding of grammar and be able to spell new words by effectively applying the spelling patterns and rules they learn throughout their time in primary school. The Programmes of Study from the National Curriculum are very explicit about which vocabulary, grammar and punctuation devices are to be taught in each year group. Our teachers exploit every opportunity to find examples of them during both the reading and writing processes as children learn best through working in meaningful contexts.
SPAG is taught throughout school in accordance with the National Curriculum. We aspire to provide all children with a secure understanding of the technical features and vocabulary of English.
Knowledge and skills are taught explicitly through daily SPAG sessions but teachers also plan to teach the required skills through the writing text types being taught. We ensure that SPAG rules are taught in a fun and memorable way that enables all children to make progress.
We believe it is important to embed SPAG into all English teaching and the wider curriculum and adults ensure that SPAG features are also highlighted within texts and in all other areas of learning. Adults also correctly model correct spoken and written English at all times.
WOW - Word of the Week/Weekly Top Ten
WNP staff understand that language opens doors. It unlocks the world of reading and the imagination, the excitement of writing, the capacity to explore new subjects and releases our potential to learn and grow as an individual. In schools, it underpins progress, impacts on attainment throughout primary and secondary years, affects self-esteem and behaviour and plays a huge role in a child’s future life chances. Without enough language – a word gap – a child is seriously limited in their enjoyment of school and success beyond.
Vocabulary is a vital part of our curriculum and each classroom promotes a high level of language and use of specific words throughout all subjects. These carefully chosen words follow a tiered system approach and are taught systematically throughout the year in all year groups. Tier 3 words are ‘Subject specific’ words that children will learn during each of their topics. They are taught within the context of a lesson or subject matter. Each class will also have a new word to focus on every week (WOW - Word of the Week). These words are classed as Tier 2 and introduce new vocabulary to the children. These words are used by mature language users and are important to allow deeper understanding and enhanced comprehension skills. Tier 2 words are taught explicitly each week and children are supported to understand the definition of each and its use in a sentence. Other words are then specifically and carefully chosen to make up a ‘Weekly Top Ten’. The idea is that our teachers choose 10 words, in a specific context, and choose a range of ‘Power-Up strategies’ to explore these 10 words in depth across the week. This context could be a class novel, a news article, a play, a poem or anything else that provides the opportunity to explore new language. The key is that learners will ‘Power-Up’ language and then CHOOSE & USE new words for a purpose. All words are displayed in the classroom and shared on Google Classroom.
Spelling is a statutory element of the National Curriculum and spelling rules, word families and exceptions should all be taught. As a result, spelling is taught through a consistent and systematic approach at WNP with spelling lists following the rules and words contained in Appendix 1 of the English National Curriculum. Teachers also use the ‘Rising Stars’ Spelling Scheme to support their teaching and to provide activities that link to weekly spellings.
We ensure that children are exposed to weekly taught spelling lessons with opportunities to practise and apply these skills built in throughout the week in a variety of ways.
Children are given set spellings to learn each week and are given a spelling test the following week.
In addition, when marking work, teachers identify words that children have spelt incorrectly and children are then encouraged to identify these incorrect spellings in their own writing and correct them.
Weekly spellings are sent home to practise which can be done on paper or using ‘Spelling Frame’. Year group spellings are also included on Google Classroom.
We understand the importance of parents and carers in supporting their children to develop both grammar, spelling and composition skills, and so we want to encourage a home-school partnership which enables parents and carers to understand how to enhance the skills being taught in school.