Spelling, punctuation and grammar are an integral part of our literacy and wider curriculum. The children receive at least one hour of discrete SPAG teaching in a week. This is then applied to the writing process for the rest of that genre. For example, during the teaching and learning of a biography unit in year three, the children would explore vocabulary that is specifically linked Alexander Graham Bell. The class would then be taught about sentence structure and the use of commas for clause subordination, which would be differentiated to suit the individual learning needs. Then, the children would be given the opportunity to apply this to writing and complete the process by editing redrafting and presenting their writing using the new SPAG skills that they have learnt. As well as it being applied through writing in literacy, any new SPAG skills that the children are being taught will then also become part of the success criteria for extended writing in RE or topic. We believe that this enables deeper learning as the children are applying the skill outside of a literacy context.
In KS2 We also teach spelling discretely. We use a Ruth Miskin scheme of work that teaches the children the appropriate rules for that year group and tackles the difficult words that don’t necessarily follow any rules! These include practical and collaborative activities that the children thoroughly enjoy. The children are also given differentiated spellings as homework which is tested on a weekly basis and scores are shared with parents.
To reinforce high frequency words, we also have Spelling Awards. These are tests that all children are encouraged to takes throughout their time here. They range from Bronze to Diamond and the latter also tests the application of grammar. Parents are invited into school to see their child receive each badge.
We test SPAG on a half-termly basis and this includes a dictation exercise. The children are encourages to reflect on their learning and give themselves targets during pre and post learning activities.