Green Lane Primary School, Worcester Park, Kingston is a mixed intake Primary with some EAL and SEN needs.
Key points to take away
- Diagnostics checks enable accurate assessment of children’s needs and progress.
- Fully guided activities allow children to practise grammar and spelling at home.
- Complex grammar concepts are made easy to understand and more accessible to children.
- Fun and humorous games are great for engaging boys and girls alike.
Green Lane already have a good system of technical English instruction in place. They have grammar progression posters dotted around classrooms, but Lee tells us that Grammar and Spelling Bug has taken it to a new level. The school started using Grammar and Spelling Bug two months before the new 2013 SATs.
Grammar and Spelling Bug is incredible.
How do you use the programme across the school?
Green Lane have early starts at 8.45am and as part of the day all Year 6 classes do grammar every morning. When using Grammar and Spelling Bug this year we really focused on the Year 6s and practising for the test. We did a specific spelling rule and then gave space for consolidation. We would cover one grammar, punctuation and spelling objective every week. Once we’d covered these we’d return again to consolidate any areas of weakness.
What do you like about Grammar and Spelling Bug?
It’s great for the new curriculum as it really helps to break it down and make sense of the new learning that children are expected to acquire. I really love the fact that it ties into the new curriculum so well!
It’s been a fantastic tool for us.
It’s great for teacher subject knowledge too as there are so many new things to master. Semi-colons and colons are complex concepts that need time to understand and apply, so I like the fact it’s so accessible for the kids.
As we already have a strong focus on grammar, children are familiar with the terminology by Year 6: we teach embedded clauses in Year 3 for example, so we are just trying to consolidate what children know already.
The fully guided activities in Grammar and Spelling Bug mean that children can access it from home without needing me there at all times, which is great for practice.
In my class we have a broad spectrum of abilities. I currently differentiate by grouping children into ‘near ability’ pairs whereby there isn’t a big difference in ability but both children can help each other and ask questions in order to progress. This peer to peer learning and correction works really well, and if we don’t have enough computers to go round they can pair up to have a go at the practice games.
I also really like the self-assessment angle of the writing exercise for children. Getting children to review their own writing is such a key skill.
Peer to peer learning and correction works really well.
What parts of Grammar and Spelling Bug do you use the most?
The three things I use the most are the diagnostic checks, the summative tests and the teaching guidance. The diagnostic checks are great for knowing where children are before we begin an objective. The summative tests let me know which children are ready to move on, and which need further consolidation.
The summative tests let me know which children are ready to move on, and which need further consolidation.
The outcome — “Grammar and Spelling Bug is incredible.”
Using Grammar and Spelling Bug we have noticed the difference in children’s writing – children are able to identify key parts of a sentence. It is also great for engaging the boys with grammar – both the gaming element, and the humour in the games! I’ve also found that the requirement for children to self-evaluate has helped with their feedback on their writing.
The diagnostic checks are now used to allow for those confident children to move onto the next objective, while others take the time to recover the same objective. To sum up, I would say Grammar and Spelling Bug is incredible – it really has been a fantastic tool for us!