*English - Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar

At Sandy Hill Academy, we strive to provide our children with the highest quality teaching of English. We aim for each child to become a lover of English and to understand how each skill taught, whether that be in Reading, Phonics, Writing or Grammar, will support development and success across the curriculum. 

The overarching aim for English in the national curriculum is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written language, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment.


At Sandy Hill, our aims are to ensure that all pupils:


  • acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language

  • can develop and enhance their writing through accurate use of punctuation

  • have a range of strategies to support their development and competence in spelling
  • write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences 

Please see the document links at the end of this page to learn about the full English Curriculum at Sandy Hill Academy.


In Nursery our spelling, punctuation and grammar learning all starts with learning to recognise and write our names! The children practice their name writing daily and complete a name writing task every half term. 
"I can write a 'L' for my name." Nursery child, aged 3.
"Look at my name writing!" Nursery child, aged 3.
In Reception, children are taught spelling, punctuation and grammar within their daily taught Phonics session and within their weekly guided writing session. Children are taught to use a capital letter, full stop using a clear finger space between each word. Starting in the Spring term when children have a weekly  'spelling check', children learn to spell simple decodable words following a rhyming string or sound pattern. 
"I put the full stop to finish my sentence." Reception pupil, age 4. 
"Our names have capital letters at the start!" Reception pupil, age 5. 
Year 1
In Year 1 we have been learning to apply our phonics sounds more accurately when spelling. The children have also been building their knowledge of the spelling of common exception words using the look, say, cover, write, check method. They have also learned about spelling families e.g. no, go, so and mnemonics e.g. they - 'they had eggs yesterday.' 
"We do spelling practise every morning to help us to learn our spellings." Year 1, age 5.
"Most of our spellings have our sounds for the week in them from phonics but there are a couple of 'tricky' words in that we can't sound out." Year 1, age 6.
Year 2
In Year 2 each day we practice our spellings using look, cover write. We are also learning about different punctuation and working towards writing extended sentences using adjectives. 
'I have used an AA sentence: The boy has short, brown hair.' Year 2 pupil.
Year 3
Year 3 have been having fun experimenting with the order of words in a sentence.  We enjoyed getting outside to plan ideas to write Fronted Adverbial sentences to describe place. 
'In the blue sky, the bird soared gracefully.'  Year 3 child, age 7. 
'In the distance, the mountains stood tall like soldiers.'  Year 3 child, age 8. 
Year 4
In Year 4, we have been learning how to used inverted commas correctly for direct speech, use commas after fronted adverbials and use apostrophes for contractions and to show possession. 
"If a word ends in 's' already then I know that the apostrophe for plural possession goes at the very end." Year 4 pupil, aged 9. 
Year 5
In Year 5 this year, we have learnt all about a range of new grammar learning. We have learnt about how to include parenthesis to add extra information, how to include a range of fronted adverbials and also how to include different modal verbs to indicate possibility.
"I am confident adding extra information using brackets and dashes to up-level my writing." Year 5 pupil, aged 10.
Year 6
In Year 6, they have been learning a variety of spelling, grammar and punctuation skills. The children can use a full range of punctuation in their writing, apply spelling patterns to help spell unknown words and understand how to use different grammar techniques e.g. relative clauses. Here the children are spelling in an active way, playing 'Squat You Know' - spell the word, squatting each time. 
Useful websites for Pupils and Parents/Carers

Document Links

Teaching and Learning Principals
Curriculum Overview
Progression Overview
This document below is an example of skills progression in Spelling from Year 1-6 (6 photos).
Below is a link to the National Curriculum Appendix 1 which relates to spelling. The teaching of spelling patterns is taught progressively throughout each Year group and Key Stage. The teaching of specific spellings also services to support vocabulary development.
In Key Stage One a spelling overview is given at the beginning of each term. These spellings are linked to the Appendix 1 spelling list and the teaching of Letters and Sounds. The children receive a weekly spelling sheet to practice at school and one is also taken home. The children use the: look, cover, write, check approach to spelling through rainbow, dot, shape and pencil writing.
In Reception, the children are provided weekly opportunities to practice and develop their letter formation during the first half of the Spring Term. They will then be tested weekly on their letter and number formation. Through the second half of the Spring Term, the children's writing is developed further by focusing the spelling of simple decodable words.

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