SPaG Test 2016

As we know, from summer 2016, all Year 1 and Year 6 children will be formally tested on the Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar elements of the National Curriculum 2014.

In theory, this should not cover any aspects of grammar that have not always been implicitly taught when preparing children for their own writing; however, the difference is, that now, children must be explicitly taught to speak the meta-language of grammar – to know and to apply the correct terminology (and by definition, teachers must be confident of their own ability to do the same).

Although it is perfectly possible to prepare children for the test with formal deconstruction and numerous ‘naming-of-parts’ exercises, repeated studies have shown that this kind of learning has no impact on general writing standards. However, teaching children the function and terminology of grammar both in general reading and when discussing options for their own writing, not only empowers them to use language to express themselves most effectively, but also enhances their ability to pass the test.

My training and support packages show how pupil discussion of grammar and punctuation can be effectively embedded into the writing lesson (as well as providing a simple model for more formal grammar classification and application should this be wanted). I also give teachers an opportunity to reflect on their own confidence in teaching grammar elements and support them with this where needed.


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