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Spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPaG)

Francesca Ross, Literacy Co-ordinator and Teacher writes about the new SPaG test and resources that can help children.

Posted on Wednesday 27th March 2013

 How two get it write  How to get it right

Nobody ever said spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPaG) was easy to learn, but in a world of signs and symbols our children are exposed to an array of various written and audio language from an extremely early age. However, these exposures do not always provide the best examples of spellings and grammar.

There are many examples in the public domain and some from some surprising multinational offenders?

Spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPaG)

In correlation, the debate of prejudice towards regional accents and dialects does appear to have subsided somewhat in recent years, with more variation and equality within the media. However has the increase of social media had a more dramatic negative affect on the increase of ‘text speak’ and colloquialisms into everyday language?

Whether you believe it is evolution or revolution of the English language the Government certainly want to make their feelings known with the new Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar test which is set to be introduced in the Summer Term of 2013. It is the Government’s belief that children should have mastered these important aspects of English by the time they leave primary school, and that appropriate recognition should be given to good use of English throughout their schooling.

As both teachers and parents we naturally want the best for our children and I am confident that Literacy teaching within Primary Schools already addresses many elements of the SPaG test. Although similarly to the phonics screening which was introduced in Year One I believe Teachers and parents need to be providing informed opportunities to ensure children are both aware and prepared.

Like with the Year One phonics screening, schools who purely relied on continuing their teaching of phonics may have found that the nonsense words ‘tricked’ their pupils. Likewise in this case, children who have had good spelling, punctuation and grammar teaching could be better prepared having had opportunity to encounter similar practice activities.

While sample papers can be downloaded from the internet, TTS Group has made available a SPaG range of resources full of interactive and multi sensory resources to ensure learning these essential writing skills remains fun and engaging.

Not only are these resources great for targeting specific areas of understanding but they are also ideal for use alongside APP and providing progression.

I am certainly not advocating teaching to tests or using test specific materials instead I recommend that used in conjunction with quality planning and teaching they provide focussed activities in classroom or can be used as learning aids at home with parents.

Knowledge is power– we know about the upcoming tests so let us provide children with the power to succeed.

With thanks to Francesca Ross, Literacy Co-ordinator and Teacher.