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Grammar Expectations

 

Year

Topic

Examples

Terminology

Importance

 

   1

 

Using full stops and capital letters to demarcate sentences

 

We sailed to the land where the wild things are. 

 

Sentence

Word

Letter

Capital letter

Full stop

 

High

 

Use capital letters for proper names

 

My name is Rosie and I have a dog called Woof.

 

Name

Capital letter

 

High

 

Using ‘and’ to join sentences

 

The wild things waved their terrible claws and I told them to be quiet.

 

Joining words

 

High

 

Using a question mark at the end of a sentence to indicate a question

 

Why did Max want to come home?

 

Question

Question mark

 

Low at this stage

 

Using an exclamation mark at the end of a sentence to indicate an exclamation

 

There was a terrible mess!

 

Exclamation

Exclamation mark

 

Low at this stage

   2

 

Demarcate sentences using capital letters at the start and full stops, exclamation or question marks at the end.

 

The doorbell rang. Who could it be? Mummy answered the door and got a surprise. There was a tiger!

 

Sentence

Capital letter

Full stop

Question mark

Exclamation mark

 

High

 

Use commas in making lists

 

The endangered animals we are looking at are: tigers, pandas, whales and cheetahs. 

 

Comma

 

Low at this stage

 

Use adjectives to describe nouns

 

The wild tiger, the black bear and the swimming whale. 

 

Noun

Adjective

 

Medium

 

Use conjunctions to join ideas in longer sentences

Co-ordination: using ‘and’, ‘or’ and ‘but’ (Compound)

Subordination: using ‘when’, ‘where’, ‘if’, ‘that’ and ‘because’  (Complex)

 

Children need to start using compound and complex sentences in their writing: When the tiger came to tea, he ate up all the food and drank up all the water.

If another tiger comes to tea, we have some tins of tiger-food.

 

None

 

Medium / High

 (should be able to use joining words)

 

Use and distinguish past and present text

 

In a story it is often past tense:  The tiger went to the cupboard and took out all the tins. He drank up all the water in the tap.

In a description of something which is true now, it is present tense.  My favourite colour is red. I like playing princesses and magic games best.

 

 

Verb

Tense

Past

Present

 

Low at this stage

 

Use adjectival phrases to describe nouns

 

The tiger who came to tea was lovely and gentle. 

 

 

 

Low at this stage

 

Use apostrophes for contracted forms – relate this to differences between spoken & written English

 

Encourage children to write speech in a realistic way, e.g. I don’t want to come home! 

 

Apostrophe

 

Low at this stage

   3

 

Recognise simple sentences and begin to recognise compound and complex sentences

 

Encourage children to extend their sentences using joining words (conjunctions). They can join simple sentences  (clauses)

The boat arrived late and the man walked down the gangway.

They can add a subordinate clause to a sentence

When the rain stopped, the girls went back to the playground.

 

Sentence

Conjunction

 

High

 

Use and recognise nouns, adjectives and adjectival phrases

 

 

Explain what a noun is, and how an adjective or adjectival phrase can modify the noun:  Mrs Coles’ house was noisy, loud and messy.  Peter and Poppy, who were my age, looked after me very nicely.

 

Noun

Adjective

 

 

High

 

Use powerful verbs

Introduce the idea of a verb

 

 

Explain the concept of a verb and encourage children to use powerful verbs in their writing

Not: I went out of the room but

I stormed out of the room  ... or

I plodded out of the room

I crept out of the room...

 

Verb

 

High

 

Introduce the idea of tense in verbs

 

Explain the concept of a verb and help children to recognise these. They also relate the tense of verbs used to the type of writing. E.g. narrative is usually past tense, description can be present tense.

She ran along the road and saw the robber vanishing down a trapdoor.

My friend has red hair, blue eyes and is always telling jokes.

 

 

Verb

Past tense

Present tense

 

Medium at this stage

 

Use dialogue in narrative or in drama

 

Start by relating speech bubbles to speech marks. Make sure what is inside the speech bubble (marks) is what we or the characters SAY.

“I’m hungry!” yelled the big, bad wolf. “Give me some FOOD!”

 

Inverted commas or speech marks

Direct speech

 

 High

 

Extend the range of sentences with more than one clause.

Co-ordination: using ‘and’, ‘or’ and ‘but’ (compound)

Subordination: using a wider range of conjunctions to add subordinate clauses (complex).

 

Extend children’s use of longer sentences in their writing, so they frequently use sentences with at least one subordinate clause.

Use joining words (conjunctions) such as: and, or, but, if, when, where, because, so, although, etc.

 

 

Conjunction

Clause

 

 

High

(in terms of chn using complex sentences in writing)

  4

 

Use adverbs to modify verbs

 

 

Children need to understand that we can not only say that something is done or happened, but also HOW.

She went off happily to see her granny.

He kicked the ball furiously into the wall.

 

Adverb

 

Medium

 

Use conjunctions to express time or cause

 

Extend children’s use of complex sentences by encouraging them to think about how, when, where or why something was done or happened. 

Dad tripped on the stairs because the cat was lying there.

When the film was over, we all went and had a meal.

He was certainly still angry so the dogs thought it best to keep out of his sight for a while.

 

Conjunction

Clause

Sentence

Subordinate clause

 

High

 

Use prepositions to express time and place

 

Help children make their writing more interesting by using prepositional phrases. 

With a heavy heart, the princess put the frog back in the pond.

He kicked the ball right over the wall.

 

Preposition

Phrase

 

High

(in terms of chn using such phrases in writing)

 

Person – understanding that writing can be third or first person

 

Children need to become aware that writing can be ‘She did this...’ or ‘I did this...’.  We can write in the 3rd or the 1st person. 

The dog wandered down the street looking for cats and food.

I wandered down the street looking for my dog.

 

Verb

 

 

High

 

Use adverbs and adverbials (prepositional phrases which act as adverbs)

 

 

Extend children’s understanding of adverbs, showing them how to use a phrase to say HOW something is done or HOW it happened.

He spoke crossly and in a loud voice to all the children.

The dog ran with the lead in its mouth, down the street. 

 

Adverb

 

Medium

 

Use commas after or before phrases and clauses

 

Introduce the idea of a ‘short pause’ which does not merit a new sentence but does require a comma. Show chn how we can use commas before or after phrases or clauses.

After the door slammed, the class sat in total silence.

As light as a bird, the glider disappeared into the clouds.

 

Comma

 

Medium

 

 

Pronouns – using pronouns to avoid repetition or ambiguity and to add clarity and cohesion

 

Encourage children to use pronouns to help them make sense and be clear:

1. Avoid repetition: While Sam watched the TV programme. Sam finished making his Lego spaceship.

2. Avoid ambiguity:  Mary wanted to help her granny and she was feeling very tired. 

3. Add to the cohesion: When she went to bed, Mog was feeling rather full of milk and cat food. 

 

Pronoun

 

Medium

 

Use dialogue in narrative or in drama, emphasising the differences between spoken and written speech.

 

Extend children’s use of dialogue, consolidating the use of speech punctuation and ensuring that what is in the speech marks is what is SAID, not what might be written.

E.g. We can use contracted forms, and we can use slang...

“Give me a break,” sneered Tom, “You can’t expect me to believe that!” 

“Ger’off, you’re hurting me,” Sam told his younger brother.

 

 

Inverted commas or speech marks

Direct speech

 

 High

 

Use the possessive apostrophe

 

Use for singular and plural nouns.

Joanna’s temper was rising fast.

He really wanted his brother’s football shirt.

All the dogs’ dinners had been stolen.

 

 

Apostrophe

 

Medium

 

Use fronted adverbials

 

 

Extend children’s use of adverbs by encouraging them to start their sentences with an adverbial. 

In total silence, the children tiptoed along the corridor.

Without blinking, Max stared into all their yellow eyes.

 

 

Adverbial

Phrase

 

Low

   5

 

Use a wide range of conjunctions to create compound and complex sentences

 

Consolidate children’s use of ‘and’, ‘but’ and ‘or’ to write compound sentences and their use of other conjunctions to create complex sentences with subordinate clauses.

 

Conjunction

Complex sentence

Compound sentence

 

High

 

Use relative clauses beginning with ‘who’, ‘which’, ‘where’, ‘why’ or ‘whose’. 

 

Extend children’s use and knowledge of subordinate clauses.

 

Relative clause

Relative pronoun

 

Medium

 

Use commas to clarify meaning or avoid ambiguity

 

Encourage children to read their work for sense and meaning, and to punctuate short pauses with commas.

 

Comma

 

High

 

Use adverbials of time, place and number to link ideas across paragraphs

 

Encourage children to use paragraphs to break up their writing and to link ideas using words such as ‘Earlier...’ or ‘Nearby...’ or ‘Secondly...’. They can also use phrases in the same way: ‘Later on...’ or ‘Far away...’.

 

 

Adverbial

 

High 

 

Use brackets, dashes or commas to indicate parenthesis

 

Help children to see that brackets, dashes and commas can all be used to indicate parenthesis

In the museum, the toys (always the most popular exhibit) are on display as you enter the hall.

In the museum, the dinosaur – first seen from the stairs – is the largest exhibit they possess.

In the museum, the fossils, never easy to display, have lights behind them. 

 

Bracket

Dash

Comma

Parenthesis

 

Medium

 

Recognise the difference between direct and indirect speech and relate to differences between informal and formal speech structures

 

 

Chn need to turn direct speech into indirect speech and recognise how the writing becomes more formal.

“I’ll never admit that you’re better than Arsenal,” Fred growled as the Man U supporter tightened the headlock.

Turns into: Fred refused to admit that Arsenal was inferior to Manchester United, even though the supporter had him in a headlock.

 

 

 

Use apostrophes correctly

 

Consolidate correct use of apostrophes:

1.  To indicate possession in singular or plural nouns: The dog’s tail, cats’ eyes, ..

2. To indicate a contraction – taking the place of missing letter(s) I’m, don’t, ...

 

 

Apostrophe

Contraction

 

Medium

 

Use modal verbs to indicate degrees of possibility

 

 

Show children how we can have a hierarchy of possibility using modal verbs:

I may go to my granny’s.

I might go to my granny’s.

I should go to my granny’s.

I will go to my granny’s.

I must go to my granny’s.

 

 

Modal verb

 

Medium

(in terms of chn using such verbs in writing)

 

Y5/Y6 Use dialogue, recognise differences between spoken and written speech (contractions)

 

Consolidate children’s use of dialogue, including use of speech punctuation Stress differences between spoken and written speech. E.g. Contracted forms, and slang...

“Give me a break,” sneered Tom, “You can’t expect me to believe that!” 

“Ger’off, you’re hurting me,” Sam told his younger brother.

 

 

 

Inverted commas or speech marks

Direct speech

 

 High

  6

 

Use a wide range of conjunctions to create compound and complex sentences

 

Consolidate children’s use of ‘and’, ‘but’ and ‘or’ to write compound sentences and their use of other conjunctions to create complex sentences with subordinate clauses.

 

 

Conjunction

Complex sentence

Compound sentence

 

High

(This is essential for end of Y6)

 

Use full stops, commas, exclamation marks, speech marks and question marks to punctuate sentences correctly.

 

 

Help children use punctuation correctly:

  • Full stops, question marks for questions and exclamation marks for exclamations.
  • Speech marks for dialogue, with capital letters and full stops or exclamation/question marks as appropriate.
  • commas for pauses within sentences.

 

 

Full stop

Comma

Exclamation mark

Question mark

 

High

(This is essential for end of Y6)

 

Use a wide range of adjectives and adjectival phrases, adverbs, adverbials and prepositional phrases to add description and elaboration to writing.

 

Consolidate children’s use of description to enable them to express themselves in interesting ways. 

 

Noun

Adjective

Verb

Adverb

Phrase

Preposition

 

 

High

(This is essential for end of Y6)

 

 

Use expanded noun phrases to convey complicated information concisely

 

 

The blue and white salts left in the basin can be placed in a jar for safe-keeping. 

The herd of deer we saw earlier have returned to the hillside.

(A good test of a noun phrase is that the whole thing can be replaced by a pronoun.)

 

 

 

Noun

Phrase

 

 

Medium

 

Use semi-colons or dashes

 

Show children how we can use a semi-colon to indicate a pause longer than a comma and we can use a dash to indicate a further thought.

The woolly mammoth was thought to have died out after the ice-age; the weather became too hot for them to survive.

Simon absolutely refused to apologise – he was convinced he had done nothing wrong.

 

 

Semi-colon

Dash

 

Low

(at this stage)

 

Distinguish between informal and formal vocabulary and sentence structures

(?incl. subjunctive?)

 

 

Encourage chn to see how we can use speech structures in informal writing and appropriate structures such as the subjunctive in formal writing. E.g.

He really gave that his best shot didn’t he? [Informal speech structure]

She is really not going to change her mind, is she? [Informal speech structure]

If I were you, I would go and say sorry to Jimmy. [Subjunctive]

If the planet were to warm more than 3⁰, scientists think that much of the UK would be under the sea. [Subjunctive]

 

 

 

Low

(at this stage)

 

Use bullet points and punctuate correctly

Use colons and semi-colons in punctuating bullet points

 

Encourage children to use bullet points in non-fiction writing.

New playground rules:

  • No running in the quiet area;
  • No football except on the pitch
  • Hoops, skipping ropes and Frisbees to be returned to the big basket; and
  • No food in the sitting area.

 

 

 

Bullet points

Semi-colon

Colon

 

 

Low

(at this stage)

 

 

Use hyphens to avoid ambiguity

 

 

Help children to see that a hyphen can change the meaning:

 ‘man-eating shark’ is different from ‘man eating shark’

‘cat-hating woman’ is different from ‘cat hating woman’

‘re-cover’ is different from ‘recover’

 

 

Hyphen

 

 

Low

 

Use passive voice to present information in an objective way

 

Demonstrate to children how we can describe an incident without saying who did it! Show children how the passive voice helps us to report something without allocating responsibility.

The window was broken by a football being kicked through it.

The kittens were placed on the doorstop of the orphanage.

John was punched in the chest.

 

 

Passive voice

 

Low

(at this stage)

 

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