SPELLING, PUNCTUATION AND GRAMMAR
Through our English curriculum, we strive to teach the children how important their reading, writing, speaking and listening skills will be in the real world. By providing an enriched and engaging English curriculum, we develop confident and enthusiastic learners who are equipped with the tools they need to participate fully as a member of society both now and in their future.
At St. Stephen's, we ensure that our children have curiosity and an understanding of the meaning of language. Pupils will feel ready to understand the evolving English language and acquire strategies to enable them to become independent learners in English. They will have the building blocks necessary to become successful writers and be ready for life beyond Primary School.
The systematic teaching of phonics has a high priority throughout Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1.
Phonics is taught daily to all children in Foundation Stage, Year 1 and Year 2, with children who have not passed phonics screening in Year 1 receiving extra intervention. Staff systematically teach learners the
relationship between sounds and the written spelling patterns, or graphemes, which represent them. Phonics is delivered in a whole class format because it enables staff to ensure application across subjects embedding the process in a rich literacy environment for early readers. Intervention is planned for those children who are working below expected levels.
Pupils from Year 2 upwards take part in one dedicated spelling session each week. Within this sessions, key spelling rules and patterns are explored and effective strategies for learning, remembering, understanding and applying are taught. Pupils record some of this learning within their handwriting and spelling journals, which they may refer back to when needed. Spellings taught are also referred to in writing sessions and children are encouraged to use learnt spellings across the curriculum.
Each year group sends a weekly list of spellings home based upon the spelling sessions that week. Pupils are to practice their words and ensure that they understand them before taking part in the weekly spelling test.
Punctuation and Grammar:
Punctuation and Grammar is taught alongside the English cycle of work, often as starters to lessons. By taking part in a daily grammar and punctuation session, children are able to continually revise concepts, thus making them more memorable. All punctuation and grammar work is linked to the genre being used within the English cycle to make it more connected with the intended writing outcome.
As well as embedding punctuation and grammar across our writing sequence, teachers also lead the pupils in explicit grammar and punctuation sessions each week.
Marking and Editing
Within all lessons, teachers and teaching assistants act as a model for quality spelling, punctuation and handwriting. Work is marked using signs and symbols which highlight errors in spelling, punctuation and grammar (see marking policy) and children are given time to address these errors.
For spelling, in Years 1 to 4, teachers identify up to three spellings to be corrected. These are written by the teacher at the end of the work and children are expected to rewrite each word three times. Teachers should check these have been spelt correctly with high expectations of letter formation. For children in Year 5 and Year 6, ‘Sp’ is used to identify spelling errors and children are expected to correct spelling errors using a dictionary or a word bank where appropriate.