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Laddingford St Mary's

C of E Primary School

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Grammar and punctuation

Grammar is fundamental to reading and writing well and helps us to see the structures and rules that lie beneath and help us make sense of the quality texts that we read. If we think of phonics as being about how letters work together to create words then grammar is about how words work together to convey meaning. Grammar covers a wide range of things from sentence structure to punctuation, word classes to when to use 'there' or 'their'. It helps children express themselves clearly, unambiguously and succinctly as well as interpret texts correctly. A secure grasp of grammar also helps children analyse the ways in which an author achieves their impact upon their reader and to feel confident with experimenting with and developing their own style of writing. Whilst many of us are proficient users of the English language, as many of us are proficient drivers, a good understanding of grammar is the equivalent of being able to lift up the bonnet and fix your own car. When you understand how English works, you can manipulate and use it on a far deeper level. Grammar has the potential to be dry but, at Laddingford, by combining it with our English texts and embedding it in our reading and writing, we aim to give children a fun introduction to the rules of English so that they learn to 'play with language'.

Does grammar matter?

Likewise, punctuation is a selection of marks that help us to make sense of what we read. Many pieces of punctuation were introduced with the advent of printing to compliment the meaning of the written words. They help to show types of sentences (like question marks and exclamation marks), where clauses and sentences begin and end in a text to aid our reading and understanding of these units of meaning (like capital letters and full stops, commas and semi-colons). They can add extra information (like these brackets!) or demonstrate when a character is speaking (using inverted commas). The correct interpretation and use of punctuation is a vital part of the English language.

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