The importance of grammar and punctuation to the curriculum Grammar is concerned with the way in which sentences are used in spoken language, in reading and in writing. Sentences are the construct which help give words their sense. The purpose of grammar teaching is to enable pupils to become conscious of patterns of language which they can apply in their own work to enhance meaning.
The purpose of punctuation is to clarify the meaning of texts. Readers use punctuation to help make sense of written texts while writers use punctuation to help communicate intended meaning to the reader.
Teachers work hard to enhance pupils’ vocabulary through opportunities that arise naturally from their reading and writing. Throughout all literacy lessons, pupils are shown how to understand the relationship between words, how to understand nuances in meaning and how to develop their use of figurative language. They are also taught how to work out and clarify the meaning of unknown words and words with more than one meaning. In addition to this, new words and phrases are introduced each week. The pupils explore the meaning of the word or phrase and begin experimenting and perfecting using these in their writing. Regular work on synonyms and antonyms also helps broaden the pupils’ vocabulary.
Teaching explicit knowledge of grammar is important to enable the pupils to have a more conscious control and choice of their language. Building this knowledge is taught through focused activities and within the teaching of reading, writing and speaking. Once the pupils are familiar with a grammatical concept their teacher encourages them to apply and explore this concept in the grammar in their own speech and writing.
Each week the pupils have a set of spellings to revise. These spellings are linked to the spelling focus taught that week in their literacy lesson.