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. Young pupils, in particular, use more complex language in speech than in writing and teachers should build on this, aiming for a smooth transition to sophisticated writing.
The table below focuses on Standard English and should be read in conjunction with the programmes of study as it sets out the statutory requirements. The table shows when concepts should be introduced first, not necessarily when they should be completely understood. It is very important, therefore, that the content in earlier years be revisited in subsequent years to consolidate knowledge and build on pupils’ understanding. Teachers should also go beyond the content set out here if they feel it is appropriate.
The grammatical terms that pupils should learn are labelled as ‘terminology for pupils’. They should learn to recognise and use the terminology through discussion and practice. All terms in bold should be understood with the meanings set out in the Glossary.