The grammar of our first language is learnt naturally and implicitly through interactions with other speakers and from reading.

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.

Below is the curriculum outline for each year group.

Children working

The following outlines the concepts taught in year one. At St Margaret’s at Hasbury, each will be recapped several times until children achieve a full understanding.

Word

Regular plural noun suffixes –s or –es [for example, dog, dogs; wish, wishes], including the effects of these suffixes on the meaning of the noun
Suffixes that can be added to verbs where no change is needed in the spelling of root words (e.g. helping, helped, helper)
How the prefix un– changes the meaning of verbs and adjectives [negation, for example, unkind, or undoing: untie the boat].

Sentence

How words can combine to make sentences Joining words and joining clauses using 'and'.

Text

Sequencing sentences to form short narratives.

Punctuation

Separation of words with spaces Introduction to capital letters, full stops, question marks and exclamation marks to demarcate sentences
Capital letters for names and for the personal pronoun 'I' .

Terminology

Letter, capital letter word, singular, plural sentence punctuation, full stop, question mark, exclamation mark.
The following outlines the concepts taught in year two. At St Margaret’s at Hasbury, each will be recapped several times until children achieve a full understanding.

Word

Formation of nouns using suffixes such as –ness, –er and by compounding [for example, whiteboard, superman]
Formation of adjectives using suffixes such as –ful, –less
Use of the suffixes –er, –est in adjectives and the use of –ly in Standard English to turn adjectives into adverbs.

Sentence

Subordination (using when, if, that, because) and co-ordination (using or, and, but)
Expanded noun phrases for description and specification [for example, the blue butterfly, plain flour, the man in the moon].
How the grammatical patterns in a sentence indicate its function as a statement, question, exclamation or command.

Text

Correct choice and consistent use of present tense and past tense throughout writing
Use of the progressive form of verbs in the present and past tense to mark actions in progress [for example, she is drumming, he was shouting].

Punctuation

Use of capital letters, full stops, question marks and exclamation marks to demarcate sentences.
Commas to separate items in a list
Apostrophes to mark where letters are missing in spelling and to mark singular possession in nouns [e.g. the girl’s name].

Terminology

Noun, noun phrase statement, question, exclamation, command compound, suffix adjective, adverb, verb tense (past, present) apostrophe, comma.
The following outlines the concepts taught in year three. At St Margaret’s at Hasbury, each will be recapped several times until children achieve a full understanding.

Word

Formation of nouns using a range of prefixes [for example super–, anti–, auto–].
Use of the forms a or an according to whether the next word begins with a consonant or a vowel [for example, a rock, an open box].
Word families based on common words, showing how words are related in form and meaning [for example, solve, solution, solver, dissolve, insoluble].

Sentence

Expressing time, place and cause using conjunctions [for example, when, before, after, while, so, because], adverbs [for example, then, next, soon, therefore], or prepositions [for example, before, after, during, in, because of]

Text

Introduction to paragraphs as a way to group related material Headings and sub-headings to aid presentation
Use of the present perfect form of verbs instead of the simple past [for example, He has gone out to play contrasted with He went out to play].

Punctuation

Introduction to inverted commas to punctuate direct speech.

Terminology

Preposition, conjunction word family, prefix. clause, subordinate clause, direct speech, consonant, consonant letter vowel, vowel letter inverted commas (or ‘speech marks’).
The following outlines the concepts taught in year four. At St Margaret’s at Hasbury, each will be recapped several times until children achieve a full understanding.

Word

The grammatical difference between plural and possessive –s.
Standard English forms for verb inflections instead of local spoken forms [for example, we were instead of we was, or I did instead of I done]

Sentence

Noun phrases expanded by the addition of modifying adjectives, nouns and preposition phrases (e.g. the teacher expanded to: the strict maths teacher with curly hair)
Fronted adverbials [for example, Later that day, I heard the bad news.]

Text

Use of paragraphs to organise ideas around a theme
Appropriate choice of pronoun or noun within and across sentences to aid cohesion and avoid repetition

Punctuation

Use of inverted commas and other punctuation to indicate direct speech [for example, a comma after the reporting clause; end punctuation within inverted commas: The conductor shouted, “Sit down!”].
Apostrophes to mark plural possession [for example, the girl’s name, the girls’ names]
Use of commas after fronted adverbials

Terminology

Determiner pronoun, possessive pronoun adverbial
The following outlines the concepts taught in year five. At St Margaret’s at Hasbury, each will be recapped several times until children achieve a full understanding.

Word

Converting nouns or adjectives into verbs using suffixes [for example, –ate; –ise; –ify]
Verb prefixes [for example, dis–, de–, mis–, over– and re–]

Sentence

Relative clauses beginning with who, which, where, when, whose, that, or an omitted relative pronoun.
Indicating degrees of possibility using adverbs [for example, perhaps, surely] or modal verbs [for example, might, should, will, must]

Text

Devices to build cohesion within a paragraph [for example, then, after that, this, firstly]
Linking ideas across paragraphs using adverbials of time [for example, later], place [for example, nearby] and number [for example, secondly] or tense choices [for example, he had seen her before]

Punctuation

Brackets, dashes or commas to indicate parenthesis Use of commas to clarify meaning or avoid ambiguity.

Terminology

Modal verb, relative pronoun relative clause parenthesis, bracket, dash cohesion, ambiguity.
The following outlines the concepts taught in year six. At St Margaret’s at Hasbury, each will be recapped several times until children achieve a full understanding.

Word

The difference between vocabulary typical of informal speech and vocabulary appropriate for formal speech and writing [for example, find out – discover; ask for – request; go in – enter]
How words are related by meaning as synonyms and antonyms [for example, big, large, little]

Sentence

Use of the passive to affect the presentation of information in a sentence [for example, I broke the window in the greenhouse versus The window in the greenhouse was broken (by me)]
The difference between structures typical of informal speech and structures appropriate for formal speech and writing [for example, the use of question tags: He’s your friend, isn’t he?, or the use of subjunctive forms such as If I were or Were they to come in some very formal writing and speech]

Text

Linking ideas across paragraphs using a wider range of cohesive devices: repetition of a word or phrase, grammatical connections [for example, the use of adverbials such as on the other hand, in contrast, or as a consequence], and ellipsis.
Layout devices [for example, headings, sub-headings, columns, bullets, or tables, to structure text]

Punctuation

Use of the semi-colon, colon and dash to mark the boundary between independent clauses [for example, It’s raining; I’m fed up]
Use of the colon to introduce a list and use of semi-colons within lists Punctuation of bullet points to list information
How hyphens can be used to avoid ambiguity [for example, man eating shark versus man-eating shark, or recover versus re-cover]

Terminology

Subject, object active, passive synonym, antonym ellipsis, hyphen, colon, semi-colon, bullet points