The understanding of grammar is a cornerstone of reading and writing; therefore, it is given a high profile at Sudbury. Teachers regularly plan and deliver discrete grammar-based lessons, to introduce specific grammar features or skills for use in their pupils’ writing. Grammar starters are also regularly taught, in order to consolidate and reinforce pupils’ grammar knowledge.
At Sudbury, we follow the National Curriculum expectations and Programmes of Study, to ensure that the relevant content is taught in each year group. Pupils sit Grammar assessments at each of the three Assessment Points each year.
Each year, we subscribe to the www.spag.com website, and teachers regularly set pupils online tests to consolidate, assess and improve their grammar knowledge.
Opportunities for teachers to enhance pupils’ vocabulary arise naturally from their reading and writing. We use vocabulary books to record new vocabulary throughout the day, based upon the reading and writing which takes place in class. As vocabulary increases, teachers show pupils how to understand the relationships between words, how to understand nuances in meaning, and how to develop their understanding of, and ability to use, language.
Teachers model Standard English and create a language-rich environment through their displays and working walls. It is important that pupils learn the correct grammatical terms in English and that these terms are integrated within teaching by the time they leave that year group.
Spellings are sent home each week according to the needs of the children. These lists are based upon spelling rules, commonly misspelled words, National Curriculum word lists, topic words or misspelt words from pupils’ written work.
The regular reading which takes place at Sudbury, as well as the use of vocabulary books and the development of a language-rich environment, means that all children are able to build up the number of commonly known words that they know and are able to use them in the correct context. Through the regular teaching of writing and use of feedback, children learn to identify misspelt words in their written work and increase the number of correct spellings appearing in their written work.