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Writing (including Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar) guidance for families.


Reading and writing skills are taught through sequences of English lessons. Each English Teaching Sequence begins with reading a text and completing activities to ensure children have a secure understanding of the text and can talk about its features – the text may be written or visual. The children will complete some spoken language and drama activities about the text before they gather ideas to plan and write a new text. Whilst Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling skills can be taught separately, we spend time exploring the specific features of genre types, aiming to ensure grammar and punctuation are taught at appropriate times, so that children see a good model of text and can use their newly acquired skills within their own writing. Evidently, knowing and securing the necessary Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling skills and rules will be of great value to developing the quality of the children's independent writing.


Independent application, and not relying on adult instruction, is absolutely key in Years 5 and 6.


Transcription: spelling and handwriting.

The children will be taught to:

Write legibly and fluently and with increasing speed. Writing in pen and sometimes choosing the implement that is best suited to the task.

Use prefixes and suffixes and understand the guidelines for adding them and how they alter the original meaning.

Spell some words with ‘silent’ letters (letters you don’t hear when the word is spoken) e.g. gnome, knight, solemn, scent.

Spell words which are homophones (words which sound the same but have different spellings) correctly e.g. hoarse, horse or vein, vain, their or there, where or were.

Use apostrophes correctly for contraction and possession.

Use the first 3 or 4 letters of a word to check the spelling or meaning in a dictionary.

Use a thesaurus for impact, also knowing that whilst precise and powerful vocabulary is often essential for effect, sometimes ‘good’ is ‘good enough’.

Understand some morphology (common letter pattern) and etymology (common meaning/ word root) to help with spelling.

The children will also be given words to learn from the National curriculum spelling list of commonly misspelt words and words from their own personal spelling list to learn at home. The children also need to spell words with apostrophes.

Children must understand that in writing, spelling errors cannot always be signalled by teachers, and they must develop strategies to ensure that their spellings are vastly accurate.


Writing Composition

Planning writing by:

Identifying the audience and purpose of writing, selecting appropriate form, and using similar models

Noting and developing initial ideas, drawing on reading and research where necessary

In narrative, consider how authors develop character and setting through own reading, listening, or watched performance

Draft and write by:

selecting appropriate grammar and vocabulary, understanding how such choices can change and enhance meaning and impact

in narratives, describing settings, characters and atmosphere and integrating dialogue to convey character and advance the action

précising longer passages, maintaining the necessary stamina throughout

using a wide range of devices to build cohesion within and across paragraphs (see punctuation)

using further organisational and presentational devices to structure text and to guide the reader

Evaluate and edit by:

assessing the effectiveness of their own and others’ writing

proposing changes to vocabulary, grammar and punctuation to enhance effects and clarify meaning

ensuring the consistent and correct use of tense throughout a piece of writing

ensuring correct subject and verb agreement when using singular and plural, distinguishing between the language of speech and writing and choosing the appropriate register

proofread for spelling and punctuation errors

perform their own compositions, using appropriate intonation, volume, and movement so that meaning is clear.


Grammar and Punctuation

develop their understanding of the concepts set out in Appendix 2 (see attached picture) by:

recognising vocabulary and structures that are appropriate for formal speech and writing, including subjunctive forms

using passive verbs to affect the presentation of information in a sentence

using the perfect form of verbs to mark relationships of time and cause

using expanded noun phrases to convey complicated information concisely

using modal verbs or adverbs to indicate degrees of possibility or certainty

using relative clauses beginning with who, which, where, when, whose, that or with an implied (ie omitted)relative pronoun

learning the grammar for years 5 and 6 in Appendix 2


Indicate grammatical and other features by:

using commas to clarify meaning or avoid ambiguity in writing

using hyphens to avoid ambiguity

using brackets, dashes or commas to indicate parenthesis

using semicolons, colons or dashes to mark boundaries between independent clauses

using a colon to introduce a list

punctuating bullet points consistently

use and understand the grammatical terminology in Appendix 2 accurately and appropriately in discussing their writing and reading.