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Grammar and Punctuation

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Grammar is a vitally important part of language learning. By teaching grammar, we give our pupils the means to express themselves. At Great Binfields Primary, Grammar and Punctuation is taught within daily Literacy lessons through warm up and editing activities. Children learn how grammar and punctuation is used to build sentences which then develops into longer precise paragraphs. The grammar and punctuation they learn in class is then transferred into their written work. We constantly emphasise the link between reading and writing and during reading sessions, children will be encouraged to identify grammatical features they have learned about during their grammar and writing sessions. 

Statutory requirements for teaching Grammar and Punctuation 

All schools have to follow an agreed curriculum in the teaching of reading (and other subjects).
Follow these links to find out more:

  • England: The National Curriculum 2014.

Grammar Glossary - teachers use this but I'm sure you will find it useful too!

Grammar Loop Game - Cut up the cards. Lay them out and create a loop. Why not time each time you play the game to see if you improve!

Year 3 Grammar Targets

  • Accurately use commas in lists
  • Expressing time and cause through conjunctions (e.g. when, before, after); adverbs (e.g. then, next, so); and prepositions (e.g. before, after, during)
  • I decided it was best to hide because there was no way out.
  • Use adverbs to modify verbs (e.g. danced quickly, energetically sprinted)
  • Can identify nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs and prepositions in a range of different texts.
  • Use simple noun phrases with a greater range of vocabulary (e.g. a lot of money; my younger sister; the best team in the world)
  • Use a variety of fronted adverbials to add interest (e.g. In the middle of the park…, A week last Friday…)
  • Use simple time subordination to open sentences (e.g. When I finished dinner, After we had an ice cream)
  • Begin to use a range of past tense forms for purpose (e.g. I walked, I was walking, I had walked)
  • Use inverted commas to indicate direct speech , though some errors may be present in opening and closing of different speakers
  • Begin to use commas after simple fronted adverbials (e.g. Today, I feel tired)
  • Choose some words or phrases, to add interest to writing, showing an awareness of the reader
  • Use elements of an increasing range of genre language appropriately. Choose words or phrases to support the purpose of the text
  • Can identify and use expanded noun phrases to add interest and detail
  • Uses a wider range of conjunctions (e.g. when, if, because, although, however)
  • Use subordination to show relationship in time and place (e.g. Until he learnt to tie his shoe laces…, Following the race…)
  • Use speech marks accurately to punctuate direct speech

Year 4 Grammar Targets

  • Use a range of adjectives and adverbs across fiction and non-fiction writing
  • Choose some words or phrases showing an awareness of the reader
  • Use elements of an increasing range of genre language appropriately. Choose words or phrases to support the purpose
  • Can identify and use expanded noun phrases to add interest and detail
  • Uses a wider range of conjunctions (e.g. when, if, because, although, however)
  • Use subordination to show relationship in time and place (e.g. Until he learnt to tie his shoe laces…, Following the race…)
  • Use speech marks accurately to punctuate direct speech
  • Use a variety of conjunctions to clarify relationship between ideas (e.g. but, so, when, because, while)
  • Appropriate choice of pronoun or noun within a sentence to avoid ambiguity and repetition
  • Apostrophes to mark singular and plural possession (e.g. the girl’s name, the boys’ boots)
  • Use of commas after fronted adverbials and after subordination (e.g. Later that day,)
  • Include details to interest, persuade, explain and instruct
  • Use precise vocabulary that is lively and imaginative showing an awareness of audience and engages the reader
  • More confident use of different types of sentences and related verb type (e.g. imperatives in commands)
  • Use adverbial phrases and noun phrases to give clarity to the account
  • Use speech punctuation (inverted commas) correctly with a new line for each speaker
  • Use and experiment with a range of punctuation, although not always accurately (e.g. brackets, semi-colon, colon and dash)

Year 5 Grammar Targets

  • Indicating degrees of possibility using adverbs (e.g. perhaps, surely) or modal verbs (e.g. might, should, will, must).
  • Noun phrases expanded by the addition of modifying adjectives, nouns and prepositional phrases (e.g. the boy expanded to: the naughty boy with long hair).
  • Using speech punctuation (inverted commas and end punctuation) and a new line for each speaker.
  • Using the apostrophe for a range of purposes correctly.
  • Use relative clauses beginning with who, which, where, when, whose, that or with an implied (e.g. omitted) relative pronoun (e.g. the boy, who was feeling very ill…, the boy, feeling very ill…)
  • Link ideas across paragraphs using adverbials of time (e.g. later), place (e.g. nearby) and number (e.g. secondly) or tense choices (e.g. he had seen her before).
  • Brackets, dashes or commas to indicate parenthesis (subordinate clauses).
  • Use of comma to clarify meaning or avoid ambiguity (e.g. Before leaving, the soldiers demolished the fort).
  • Using a colon to introduce a list and punctuating bullet points consistently.
  • Use brackets, dashes or commas to indicate parenthesis (subordinate clauses).
  • Use devices to build cohesion within a paragraph (e.g. then, after that, this, firstly).

Year 6 Grammar Targets

  • Indicating degrees of possibility using adverbs (e.g. perhaps, surely) or modal verbs (e.g. might, should, will, must).
  • Using the apostrophe for a range of purposes correctly.
  • Using speech punctuation (inverted commas) and a new line for each speaker.
  • Noun phrases expanded by the addition of modifying adjectives, nouns and prepositional phrases (e.g. the boy expanded to: the naughty boy with long hair).
  • Show an awareness of the difference between formal and informal vocabulary (i.e. ask for – request)
  • Use relative clauses beginning with who, which, where, when, whose, that or with an implied (e.g. omitted) relative pronoun (e.g. the boy, who was feeling very ill…, the boy, feeling very ill…)
  • Hyphens to avoid ambiguity (e.g. man eating shark / man-eating shark).
  • Link ideas across paragraphs using adverbials of time (e.g. later), place (e.g. nearby) and number (e.g. secondly) or tense choices (e.g. he had seen her before).
  • Brackets, dashes or commas to indicate parenthesis (subordinate clauses).
  • Using a colon to introduce a list and punctuating bullet points consistently.
  • Use of comma to clarify meaning or avoid ambiguity (e.g. Before leaving, the soldiers demolished the fort).
  • Use of the semi-colon in lists and to mark the boundary between independent clauses.
  • Use devices to build cohesion within a paragraph (e.g. then, after that, this, firstly).

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