Supporting Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar (SPaG) at home
What does my child need to know?
SPaG forms an important part of the National Curriculum for English. Each of the year group Programmes of Study for English outlines what children should be taught in this area as well as in Reading and Writing. Here you can find a useful glossary (with examples) of grammatical terms from the English National Curriculum. There is also a more 'parent friendly' document with grammar guidance here.
How is SPaG taught at school?
In Key Stage 1 SPaG is learnt through phonics sessions as well as during English lessons. As a school we follow Letters and Sounds, which is a very popular phonics scheme, working through different phases starting from learning sounds and speaking and listening in phase 1 and 2 (Reception) to learning about use of possessive apostrophes and homophones in phase 6 (Year 2). Further work on SPaG also takes place in English lessons and may focus on areas such as full stops and capital letters, adjectives and adverbs and use of exclamation and question marks.
At the start of Key Stage 2 (Year 3) the children will cover and revise aspects of phase 6 Letters and Sounds before moving on to a spelling scheme, which covers all the spelling patterns and key words that the children need to know for each phase. As they continue to move through KS2, the children will also cover the appropriate grammar rules for their age group (this will generally take place as part of an English lesson on a daily basis).
This is the spelling guidance from the National Curriculum with lists of key words for different ages.
What are 'common exception words'?
Common exception words are words in which the English Spelling code works in an unusual or uncommon way. They are not words for which phonics 'doesn't work', but they may be exceptions to spelling rules, or words which use a particular combination of letters to represent sound patterns in a rare or unique way. You can find a list of these words below
How is my child assessed in SPaG?
As part of the end of Key Stage SATs tests (taken in the summer term of Y2 and 6) children are assessed in SPaG as well as in their Reading and Writing. The children are expected to know and understand a range of grammatical terms, be able to identify how they are used in a sentence or piece of text then be able to apply their knowledge and understanding of what they have learnt in their own writing. If you are interested in seeing the format and standard required in an end of KS2 SATs SPaG paper (and seeing how many questions you could answer yourself!), click here for an example of a paper.
Spag.com (KS2 children have their own log in for this site)
For children in KS1, you may find Phonics play is another useful site (Username: RoyalKent, Password: Royal10)