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Grammar and punctuation

Writing at Greater Depth (1) : A model of formality

Penny Slater is Deputy Lead Adviser for Primary English at Herts for Learning

There are many moments in my working day when I stop and consider how lucky I am to be working amongst such committed, enthusiastic and inspirational people. When I was classroom-based, this inspirational often stemmed from the children whom I taught. Now, as an advisor, I find that I am inspired on a daily basis by the creativity of the teachers whom I have the joy of supporting.

Continue reading “Writing at Greater Depth (1) : A model of formality”

Grammar is not your enemy (though it might sometimes seem like one)

Martin Galway is a Teaching and Learning Adviser for English at Herts for Learning.

(This blog is lightly adapted from our most recent newsletter, available for free download here)

Grammar is not your enemy but you probably already know that.  There are far bigger things to worry about.  What, then, is the point of this article?  It stems from two inspiration points:

  • Fear of grammar
  • An apparent  belief that the teaching of grammar is damaging children’s writing and must be stopped

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HfL Primary English newsletter Spring 2017

Here we are again.   A new term.  A new year.  We hope that you have had a lovely Christmas break and that the new term has begun as smoothly as possible for you all.   With this in mind, we thought we’d share our latest-hfl-primary-english-newsletter-spring-2017as swiftly as possible, especially as it is such a short half term.

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Wading through the treacle: unpicking KS1 writing guidance.

Sabrina Wright is a Teaching and Learning Adviser for English at Herts for Learning

After reading my colleague’s recent blog (Writing at ARE might be Simpler than you thought!), I found myself tempted to unpick the KS1 ARE exemplification materials in the same way.

Continue reading “Wading through the treacle: unpicking KS1 writing guidance.”

The Beauty of Simplicity

Penny Slater follows up her earlier blog on the value of simple sentences in Year 6 writing.

Following on from my last blog, where I unpicked the clause structures used by Morgan in his Working at ARE writing portfolio, I felt the urge to spend a little more time lingering on the beauty of the simple (or single-clause – depending on your definition preference) sentence, and how we can secure it in our children’s writing.

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It’s not just determiners: the personal (pronoun) is political.

Martin Galway is a Teaching and Learning Adviser for English at Herts for Learning

Earlier in the week I wrote this redemptive blog in an attempt to share my regrets for mistreating the humble determiner, a part of speech that children are expected to be able to use, recognise and name from year 4 onwards.

Continue reading “It’s not just determiners: the personal (pronoun) is political.”

A heartfelt apology: determiners – forgive me

Martin Galway is a Teaching and Learning Adviser for English at Herts for Learning.  He has been unduly unkind about determiners for the past couple of years.

It’s true.  Up until very recently (last Tuesday in fact, when I was preparing for some KS3 grammar CPD) I have been rather harsh in relation to the humble determiner. Harsh to the point of  labelling them “boring”  and that coming from someone who has an eternal reserve of enthusiasm for grammar and who will eventually convince everyone that grammar is a quite brilliant thing when handled well.

Continue reading “A heartfelt apology: determiners – forgive me”

Book Review:What to do with a dog called Fred!

A review of Fred, by Mick and Chloe Inkpen (Hodder) – by Penny Slater

(cover art used by kind permission)

As a teacher, I appreciate children’s books on many levels. Sometimes I appreciate a book simply because it has a good tale to tell and I can imagine recommending it to children, or their parents, as a good book to share at bedtime, or as an engaging independent read; sometimes I appreciate a book because I can imagine recommending it to a teacher as a great class read-aloud. Sometimes I appreciate a book because it offers me a way of tackling a tricky teaching point. And then sometimes a book comes along that offers all of these enticing opportunities all rolled into one! Thank you therefore Mick and Chloe Inkpen for creating ‘Fred’.

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The 2016 KS2 grammar, punctuation and spelling test: when is a comma not a comma?

Martin Galway  is an English Teaching and Learning Adviser for Herts for Learning

gps-test

Earlier this week, I had promised on twitter to write a blog on why learning about grammar can be a wonderful, liberating  – and life-changing –  thing.  I still intend to write that blog; it’s next on my list.   Before I start banging my grammar drum too loudly though, I have to address some rather troubling pictures from this year’s grammar, punctuation and spelling test, shared on twitter over the past couple of days.  One such picture is this:

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