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SPAG

What is SPAG?

SPAG is an acronym, used in the field of education, that stands for Spelling, Punctuation and Gramar. SPAG is a key part of the English National Curriculum. Indeed, the National Curriculum states: 'Pupils should be taught to control their speaking and writing consciously and to use Standard English. They should be taught to use the elements of spelling, grammar, punctuation and ‘language about language’ listed.'

What is Grammar?

Grammar is the system of a language and is sometimes referred to as 'its rules'. It refers to conventions of sentence structure and parts of speech, including word classes. Grammar is the foundation of good communication, reading comprehension and writing. In Appendix 2 of the English National Curriculum, it states: Explicit knowledge of grammar is, however, very important, as it gives us more conscious control and choice in our language. Building this knowledge is best achieved through a focus on grammar within the teaching of reading, writing and speaking. Once pupils are familiar with a grammatical concept [for example ‘modal verb’], they should be encouraged to apply and explore this concept in the grammar of their own speech and writing and to note where it is used by others.

What is Punctuation?

Punctuation refers to the marks used in writing to separate sentences and clarify the writer's meaning. Examples include: full stops (.), exclamation marks (!), question marks (?), commas (,) and apostrophes ('). Children need to know their names and what they are used for.


SPAG KS1

Here are the statutory requirements as laid out in the National Curriculum for English (Year 1): 

Pupils should be taught to develop their understanding of the concepts set out in English Appendix 2 by:

- leaving spaces between words

- joining words and joining clauses using and

- beginning to punctuate sentences using a capital letter and a full stop, question mark or exclamation mark

- using a capital letter for names of people, places, the days of the week, and the personal pronoun ‘I’

- learning the grammar for year 1 in English Appendix 2

- use the grammatical terminology in English Appendix 2 in discussing their writing.

 

Non-statutory Guidance: Pupils should be taught to recognise sentence boundaries in spoken sentences and to use the vocabulary listed in English Appendix 2 (‘Terminology for pupils’) when their writing is discussed.

Pupils should begin to use some of the distinctive features of Standard English in their writing. ‘Standard English’ is defined in the glossary.

 

Here are the statutory requirements as laid out in the National Curriculum for English (Year 2): 

Pupils should be taught to develop their understanding of the concepts set out in English Appendix 2 by:

-learning how to use both familiar and new punctuation correctly (see English Appendix 2), including full stops, capital letters, exclamation marks, question marks, commas for lists and apostrophes for contracted forms and the possessive (singular)

learn how to use:

- sentences with different forms: statement, question, exclamation, command

- expanded noun phrases to describe and specify [for example, the blue butterfly]

- the present and past tenses correctly and consistently including the progressive

- use and understand the grammatical terminology in English Appendix 2 in discussing their writing. form

- subordination (using when, if, that, or because) and co-ordination (using or, and, or but)

- the grammar for year 2 in English Appendix 2

- some features of written Standard English

 

Non-statutory Guidance: The terms for discussing language should be embedded for pupils in the course of discussing their writing with them. Their attention should be drawn to the technical terms they need to learn.


Resources to help with SPAG KS1

 

FREE: Capital Letters and Full Stops Worksheets
LESSON PACK: Describing Dinosaurs - Lesson 2: Dinosaur Noun Phrases
LESSON PACK: Zog: Instructions - The Complete Series (6 lessons)
SPAG Noun phrases

This set of capital letters and full stops worksheets are a great way to help your children become more familiar with how to use capital letters and full stops in full sentences, including capital letters for proper nouns.

Children can unscramble sentences, correct the missing capital letters and full stops in both single sentences and paragraphs, and read sentence cards aloud to a partner to see if they can record the sentence including the correct punctuation.

Build upon your class's understanding of adjectives as they begin to link them to nouns based around a dinosaur with this complete Dinosaur Noun Phrases KS1 lesson pack.

Challenge the children to create simple dinosaur noun phrases to label a dinosaur by assigning one adjective to a suitable noun. Using the included lesson slides, you can bring up the discussion around whether an adjective is suitable for the corresponding noun or if it's a silly choice.

Use this Time Adverbials KS1 lesson to teach your children how time adverbials can be used within instructions to help the reader understand the order of the tasks.

After looking at a range of different time adverbials as a class, and the importance of choosing the correct one for each instruction, children will progress to their individual activities. Here they are tasked to add appropriate time adverbials to a set of instructions, or are challenged to order a set of muddled instructions using the time adverbials to help them.


SPAG KS2 (Lower KS2)

Here are the statutory requirements as laid out in the National Curriculum for English (Years 3 and 4): 

Pupils should be taught to develop their understanding of the concepts set out in English Appendix 2 by:

- extending the range of sentences with more than one clause by using a wider range of conjunctions, including when, if, because, although

- using the present perfect form of verbs in contrast to the past tense

- choosing nouns or pronouns appropriately for clarity and cohesion and to avoid repetition

- using conjunctions, adverbs and prepositions to express time and cause

- using fronted adverbials

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

- learning the grammar for years 3 and 4 in English Appendix 2

indicate grammatical and other features by:

- using commas after fronted adverbials

- indicating possession by using the possessive apostrophe with plural nouns

- using and punctuating direct speech

 

Non-statutory Guidance: Grammar should be taught explicitly: pupils should be taught the terminology and concepts set out in English Appendix 2, and be able to apply them correctly to examples of real language, such as their own writing or books that they have read.


At this stage, pupils should start to learn about some of the differences between Standard English and non-Standard English and begin to apply what they have learnt, for example, in writing dialogue for characters.


SPAG KS2 (Upper KS2)

Here are the statutory requirements as laid out in the National Curriculum for English (Years 5 and 6): 

Pupils should be taught to develop their understanding of the concepts set out in English Appendix 2 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

- using relative clauses beginning with who, which, where, when, whose, that or with an implied (i.e. omitted) relative pronoun

- learning the grammar for years 5 and 6 in English 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 semi-colons, 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 English Appendix 2 accurately and appropriately in discussing their writing and reading.

 

Non-statutory Guidance: Pupils should continue to add to their knowledge of linguistic terms, including those to describe grammar, so that they can discuss their writing and reading.


Resources to help with SPAG KS2

Here at PlanBee, we have a huge bank of resources to help you teach the SPAG KS2 curriculum. Here are some free resources you can download to help you!

FREE: KS2 Grammar Glossary Cards
FREE: Active and Passive Voice KABOOM!
FREE: UKS2 Punctuation Activities

Download these FREE KS2 Grammar Glossary Cards and challenge your class to correctly match them up! They are a great way of informally assessing your children's understanding of these terms.

Download this Active and Passive Voice Kaboom! game and have fun teaching grammar with your class. It's simple to play and your kids will love it!

Download these free UKS2 Punctuation Activities to help your children understand how and when to use a range of punctuation.


KS2 Sats SPAG test

In Year 6, there are two SPAG papers which test the SPAG elements of the National Curriculum. Details of these papers are described below.

KS2 Sats SPAG test PAPER 1: This paper is a 45 minute test focussing on the grammar and punctuation elements of the National Curriculum.

KS2 Sats SPAG test PAPER 2: This paper is a spelling test with 20 words. Children are given sentences with a missing word. They must write the missing word when the complete sentence is dicated to them.

FREE: Spelling Objectives Y1-Y6


ENGLISH PACK: Great Fire of London - London Past and Present - Sorting Sentences


ENGISH PACK: Shakleton's Journey Letter Writing - Lesson 3: The Subjunctive Form