In order to do well in the year 6, children need to have a technical understanding of how the English language works.
As well as being able to spell words correctly, use a wide range of vocabulary and punctuate well, they need to grasp the meaning of grammatical terms such as noun, verb, adjective, prefix, pronoun and adverb, know what phrases and clauses are and how to use them, understand what connectives are and how they work, know how to turn a question into a command, and so on. This terminology can be a stumbling block even for children who are otherwise good at reading and writing, and make the questions hard to understand. Check out our Grammar: Revision Guide for help with understanding the terminology.
The websites below contain tips and games to support your child with SPaG.
DfE’s guide to helping children with spelling
Most of us, even if we consider ourselves to be good spellers, make spelling mistakes at some point. What is important is that we know what to do when we get stuck and we know how to correct our mistakes.
The English language is a rich but complex language but, despite its complexity, 85% of the English spelling system is predictable. Your child will learn the rules and conventions of the system and the spelling strategies needed to become a confident speller.
Here are some of the strategies that will help your child become a confident and accurate speller:
- sounding words out: breaking the word down into phonemes (e.g. c-a-t, sh-e-ll) – many words cannot be sounded out so other strategies are needed;
- dividing the word into syllables, say each syllable as they write the word (e.g. re-mem-ber);
- using the Look, say, cover, write, check strategy: look at the word and say it out aloud, then cover it, write it and check to see if it is correct. If not, highlight or underline the incorrect part and repeat the process;
- using mnemonics as an aid to memorising a tricky word (e.g. people: people eat orange peel like elephants; could: O U lucky duck);
- finding words within words (e.g. a rat in separate);
- making links between the meaning of words and their spelling (e.g. sign, signal, signature) – this
Encourage your child to have a go at spelling words they are unsure of. This will give them the opportunity to try out spelling strategies and to find those that they find useful. You can help them to use the strategies outlined above and praise their efforts.
- https://www.oxfordowl.co.uk/for-home/reading-owl/expert-help/grammar-punctuation-and-spelling-made-easy – Oxford Owl’s tips and games for supporting children through the SPaG test.
- http://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/ks2/english/spelling_grammar/ – contains information, games and quizzes to help children to revise their grammar skills.
- http://mrthorne.com/home/grammar/ – This website has various videos which can help to explain concepts if you are having difficulty remembering grammar facts.
- https://www.turtlediary.com/games/language-arts.html – An American site containing a large number of grammar and punctuation games.