Grammar, punctuation and spelling (GPS)

English Skills

For children who have mastered phonics, there is a dedicated English Skills lesson each day. These sessions are designed to enable children to focus on key skills in reading, spelling, grammar and handwriting.

Our carefully planned learning sequences provide children with the opportunity to practise a specific skill before applying it in subsequent English lessons.  Through this approach, pupils build their confidence alongside their competence. For example, in Year 4 pupils rehearse the use of speech marks and effective speech verbs before they begin writing their own narratives which include dialogue.

said is dead

Spelling at Wensum

Spellings are taught through Phonics lessons or English Skills. Children are assigned spellings to practise each week on Spelling Shed. Children are given time to rehearse these words in school and are encouraged to spend time learning these at home too. Teachers review these words on a Friday.

At the end of each half-term, teachers assess children’s spellings and determine whether they need to remain on a particular spelling stage or move up to the next level. A link to the words in our spelling assessment can be found here.

Our spelling curriculum follows the National Curriculum.

Children are taught to apply these strategies:

  • Sound it out – applying their phonic knowledge.
  • Does it look right? – drawing on their visual (orthographic) memory.
  • Break longer words into syllables to support spelling, for example im-poss-i-ble.
  • Recognise the root word, along with common suffixes and prefixes.

Use a dictionary to check spellings, or find the meaning.

Handwriting and Presentation

We encourage all children to take care and pride in their work and make our expectations clear through the use of Presentation Pledges. Click link.

Children are taught how to form the correct joins between letters from the beginning of Year 3. Our school script and handwriting policy can be found here. Click link.

There are many ways that children can develop their motor skills and hand-eye coordination at home.

These include:

  • Riding a two-wheeled bike
  • Swimming
  • Playing a musical instrument
  • Using cutlery to eat
  • Carrying out household chores, such as sweeping and dusting.
  • Drawing and colouring with precision.
  • Participating in sports activities.
  • Dancing in time with music.
  • Playing with Lego, jigsaw puzzles, threading beads, etc.