Dunstone Primary School

"Making every day count; growing and achieving together."

Grammar Support By Year Group

By the end of Year 1 most children should know…


  • How words can combine to make sentences;
  • How to join words and clauses using and ;
  • How to sequence sentences to form short narratives;
  • How to separate words with spaces;
  • How to use capital letters, full stops, question marks and exclamation marks to demarcate sentences.
  • How to use capital letters for names and for the personal pronoun I
  • What nouns, verbs and adjectives are.


Words for pupils: letter, capital letter, word, singular, plural, sentence, punctuation, full stop, question mark, exclamation mark.



Write a sentence together. Print your writing out in big lettering including the full stop. Cut into individual words, including the full stop. Help the children to reproduce the sentence, by holding the cards in front of them. As you do more of these, collect them together and save for future use.


You can build up and develop sentences by asking questions.

Child: “It’s my birthday today.”

Adult: “How old are you?”

Child: “I am five.”

Adult: “It is your fifth birthday today.” … and so on…

Sentence Frames:

Can be used to develop understanding of simple sentence structures














Make sure that children have plenty of regular practice and that they use capital letters and full stops.


Transforming sentences:

Oral, then written changing the words in well-known sentences.

Jack and Jill went up the hill. … can become… Fred and Kath went down the path!


Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall; Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.

Humpty Dumpty ran on the road; Humpty Dumpty trod on a toad!


Try some of these online activities to support your child’s learning…

Capital letters

A range of relevant skills – capital letter, sentences, question marks etc.

Capital letters and full stops



By the end of Year 2 most children should understand…


  • What nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs are.
  • Subordination – using…when, if, that, because,.
  • Coordination – using…or, and , but;
  • How to expand noun phrases for description and specification; (e.g. the blue butterfly, plain flour, the man in The Moon. )
  • How the grammatical patterns in a sentence indicate its function as a statement, question, exclamation or command.
  • How to make the correct choice of present tense and past tense.
  • The use of the progressive form of verbs in the present and past tense to mark actions in progress; (e.g. she is drumming; he was shouting. )
  • The use of capital letters, full stops, question marks and exclamation marks to demarcate sentences. Commas to separate items in a list;
  • The use of apostrophes to mark where letters are missing in spelling and to mark singular possession in nouns. (e.g. the girl’s name. )


Words for pupils: noun, noun phrase, statement, question, exclamation, command, compound, adjective, verb, suffix, adverb, tense (past, present), apostrophe, comma.


Perfect punctuation

Write a short piece of text with full stops in the wrong place. Read it through together. Does it sound right? Alter it by reading through and listening to hear when the sentence is complete. Correct accordingly.


Punctuation spotter

Print off a piece of text from a book, magazine or the internet. Go through this, highlighting all of the capital letters and full stops. Make a chart to record, “When do we use capital letters?” Do the same with question marks, exclamation marks or verbs and adjectives.


Sentence frames – nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs

Use this to help develop your understanding of more complex sentences.
























Finish the sentence:

Give your child some sentence stems and conjunctions – e.g. The dog ran over the road… when, because, next, etc.

Children compose appropriate endings. Discuss. Are the endings interchangeable? Does the meaning change according to the conjunction being used?


Stretchy sentences: Can you stretch these sentences?

To make them longer you need to add more information.

e.g. The boy went to the park.

The happy, young boy went to play with his friends at the huge, exciting park.


The tall, brown haired boy was fed up so he went to the park to play with his friends on the fantastic, big climbing frame.

  • The fox had a tail.
  • The sea was calm.
  • The bat was squeaking.
  • We went on the slide.
  • The hedgehog has spikes.
  • I had an ice-cream.
  • The owl was flying.
  • At night time it is dark.
  • We played all day.


Try some of these online activities to support your child’s learning…

Punctuating sentences:

Joining words:

Making sentences:



By the end of Year 3 most children should know…


  • How to express time, place and cause using conjunctions – (e.g. when, before, after, while, so, because), adverbs (e.g. then, next, soon, therefore), or prepositions (e.g. before, after, during, in, because of).
  • The basics of using paragraphs as a way of grouping related material;
  • How to use headings and sub headings to aid presentation;
  • How to use the present perfect form of verbs instead of the simple past (e.g. He has gone out to play. contrasted with… He went out to play ).
  • How to use inverted commas to punctuate direct speech.


Words for pupils: adverb, preposition, conjunction, word family, prefix, clause, direct speech, consonant, vowel, inverted commas (or ‘speech marks’).


Useful activities for year 3…


Read! Read! Read!


Take a page of writing (fiction or non-fiction):

 How many sentences are there?

What type of sentences can you see?

What sort of sentence does the author use first?

How does that make you feel?

What is the page about?

What types of words are used?


Punctuation police

Look at a selection of magazines, advertisements, newspapers or leaflets. Highlight the punctuation marks you can see.

How many of each type can you see?

Why are they there?

Can you think of a rule?

Can you find any exclamation marks? Why are they where they are?

What emotion are they showing – surprise, anger, fear or anything else?



Look at a short piece of film with the sound turned down (not too many characters). Look at the action and discuss what the characters might be saying to each other.

What sort of mood are they in?

How would they be talking? – shouting, whispering, grunting etc.?

Write out the dialogue using speech marks and the correct punctuation. Try to avoid using ‘said ‘all of the time.

“I want to be the top man! “bellowed the Godfather.

“Why is that? “ enquired his son.


Try these…Can you spot the conjunctions in these sentences?

Underline them:

 1. I put on my shoes and I went out to play.

2. I can’t eat my sweets until after dinner.

3. I can’t go out tonight because I have to stay in and do my homework.

4. It had been a long time since I had last played football.

5. I was going to eat the sweets but I saved them for my sister.

6. She was nice to me although she wouldn’t let me play with the lego.


Use conjunctions to make these sentences more interesting.


7. I can’t go swimming. I have forgotten my swimming trunks.

8. I’d like to go to the park. My mum won’t let me.

9. The old woman wanted to feed her dog. There was nothing in the cupboard. 



Punctuation marks:

Adjectives etc.


By the end of Year 4 most children should know…


  • How to expand noun phrases by the addition of modifying adjectives, nouns and preposition phrases (e.g. the teacher expanded to: the strict teacher with curly red hair ),
  • About fronted adverbials (e.g. Later that day, I heard the bad news).
  • Use of commas after fronted adverbials.
  • How to use paragraphs to organise ideas around a theme.
  • How to choose the correct pronoun or noun within and across sentences to aid cohesion and avoid repetition;
  • How to use inverted commas and other punctuation to indicate direct speech (e.g. a comma after the reporting clause; end punctuation within inverted commas: The conductor shouted, “Sit down!”).
  • Apostrophes to mark singular and plural possession (e.g. the girl’s name, the girls’ names ) 

Words for pupils: determiner, pronoun, possessive pronoun, adverbial


Useful Activities for Year 4

  • Make as many as you can… root words

    The challenge is to find as many words as you can from one root …e.g. wind – windy, windier, windfall, windpipe, windscreen, window etc.



    happy… and so on and so on.


    Poetry please…

    Work together to write fantastic descriptive poetry…

    Select a topic … the sea.

    Player 1 - thinks of three adjectives to describe the sea – raging, crashing, sparkling… write them on pieces of card.

    Player 2 – collects three more words – encourage use of thesaurus (online or otherwise)

    Carry taking it in turns to collect words and record on card.

    When you have enough – arrange and rearrange them to build your poems;

    Try this with other types of topic

    Try some of these online activities to support learning…


    Contractions in apostrophes:



    More sentences:



    By the end of Year 5 most children should know…


  • How to use relative clauses, beginning with who, which, where, when, whose, that, or an omitted relative pronoun.
  • How to indicate degrees of possibility using adverbs (e.g. perhaps, surely) or modal verbs (e.g. might, should, will, must).
  • How to link ideas across paragraphs using adverbials of time (e.g. later , before, then), place (e.g. nearby, far away) and number (e.g. secondly, finally) or tense choices (e.g. he had seen her before)
  • How to use brackets, dashes or commas to indicate parenthesis This is used to offset additional information in your sentence (called parenthesis) (e.g. While on holiday in London, Simon Schmidt, a fireman from New York, rescued a cat from a tree.


Words used by pupils… modal verb, relative pronoun, relative clause, parenthesis, bracket, dash, cohesion, ambiguity.



By the end of Year 6 most children should know…


  • The use of the passive to affect the presentation of information in a sentence (e.g. I broke the window in the greenhouse - instead of… The window in the greenhouse was broken [by me].
  • The difference between the use of informal speech or slang and that of a formal type of speech and writing (e.g. the use of question tags… He’s your friend, isn’t he).
  • How to link ideas across paragraphs using a wider range of cohesive devices: repetition of a word or phrase, grammatical connections (e.g. the use of adverbials such as …on the other hand, in contrast or as a consequence), and ellipsis…
  • How to use layout devices (e.g. headings, subheadings, columns, bullets or tables, to structure text).
  • Use of the semi-colon, colon and dash to mark the boundary between independent clauses (e.g. It’s raining; I’m fed up).
  • The use of the colon to introduce a list and the use of semi-colons within lists.
  • The punctuation of bullet points to list information.
  • How hyphens can be used to avoid ambiguity, (e.g. man eating shark or man-eating shark, recover or re-cover )


Words used by pupils… subject, object, active, passive, synonym, antonym, ellipsis, hyphen, colon, semi-colon, bullet points.




Useful activities for Years 5 and 6…


Read! Read! Read!

 Choose a quality text to share. Discuss the type of language being used and how it works within a sentence. Talk about the dialogue being used. Take parts … reading it like a play – getting into character, mood etc.


Poetic licence!

Practice making /writing alliterative sentences. Who can make the longest sentence? When might we use alliteration?

 Rabbit… The ravishing rabbit rowed over the river and replaced his roller boots with red rock and roll rattles. Dictionaries help here!!


Complete the simile…

Practise sharing similes. Start with the most basic…as hot as…, as tall as…, the moon is like….

Now … extend the sentences – five words, six words and so on. Who can come up with the most complicated?

as hot as the underground in July!


Keep extending…

…as slow as an old tortoise whose battery has run down…


 Crazy clauses

You need to put together a collection of about ten completely unconnected nouns – custard, hippo, sausage, Skegness, pimple, pencil, sunflower, photocopier, firework, slug.

Tell them that they are going to write a sentence that is going to begin with either… although, because of, after, instead of, or despite of.

At random give them two of the nouns.

Now write your sentence, make sure that it is correctly punctuated and that it makes sense… Although the custard was hot and sweet, the hippo still managed to take a bath in it. or… Despite of eating a large slug for breakfast, the man cycled to Skegness.


The comma - what it is and when to use it

Lots of people get confused about using the comma. But here is one simple rule that covers all of these examples:

Use a comma when it will make it easier for your reader to understand what you are writing about. In other words, use a comma when, if you didn’t use one, your reader might get confused.

Is it really as simple as that? Well, let’s test it out.

With your adult, work out where commas are needed in these sentences:

1 Everyone brought flour milk eggs and sugar to class.

2 The Head teacher wants to see Jodie, Jamal Tom and Nafissa.

3 Come here Hilary.

4 My dog a black and white terrier is called Roxy.

5 Whitstable a small town in Kent is five miles from Canterbury.

6 “Sit down here” she said.

7 Jane said “I think it's going to rain.”

8 Hetal one of the brightest girls in the class got 100% in the test.

9 If at first you don't succeed try try again.

10 I think I’ve learned to use full stops question marks exclamation marks and commas correctly.



I beg your pardon…what did you say?

Put in the speech marks and any commas, exclamation marks, question marks or capital letters that are needed in these sentences.


don't do that he shouted.

why not I asked him.

because I don't like it he replied.

tough luck I laughed.

that's not an answer he screamed

I told him don't shout like that.

he asked why not?

I replied because I don't like it.

he laughed tough luck then.

we both laughed and said enough let's go home



Read this with a parent and use an apostrophe to leave out a letter or letter where you can in some of the words.


If you do not understand something, it is always best to ask for help. What would you do if you broke a finger? You would go to the doctor. He would treat the finger. He would give you good advice. If you did not listen to the doctor, you would be very silly. It is the same in school. We are here to learn things. So when we do not understand something, we should ask for help. That makes sense, does it not?


Possessive apostrophes

We also use an apostrophe – an upstairs comma – to show that something belongs to someone or to something. In other words, they possess it, so we call it the possessive apostrophe.

Put the apostrophes in the correct place in each sentence.

1) Heres that boys pencil.

2) Thats my mothers best friend.

3) Both cars bumpers got dented.

4) Sallys jacket needs mending.

5) The birds wing is broken.

6) The childrens minibus has arrived.

7) Why is Davids sister crying?

8) The mices tails were cut off.

9) Jamess answer is correct.

10) Who took the boys bicycles?

11) This books last page is missing.

12) The ladies room is over there.


All in good time…

Adverbs of time… describe when something happens.

Here are some of the ones we often use: recently, finally, eventually, today, yesterday, tomorrow, now, soon, then, just, later, first, last, after, already, during.

Choose an adverb of frequency to complete each of these sentences.


1. Do it today or you will have to do it ……….?

2. It took us 24 hours but we ……….. got there.

3. “When are we gonna get there?” - “………..

4. Clare finished the race first; her sister finished ………... .

5. Stop nagging. I’ve ……… tidied my room up.

6. Andy left school early; Darren got home a little ………… .

7. I’m sorry you’ve missed the head teacher. She’s ……… just left the building.

8. There’s been a lot of rain …………. Even the ducks are fed up of it.

9. Don’t let the children play in the park ………… dark.

10. Year 5 ………… understood adverbs – or so they claimed.




 How many adverbs can you find in this story?

 Tom and Sally Jones had just put little Tommy to bed when suddenly they heard him crying hysterically. They rushed anxiously into the bedroom where they found five-year-old Tommy sitting up in bed. Tears were flowing down his cheeks. This was unusual because Tommy seldom cried.

Tommy had accidentally swallowed a 5p piece and was sure he was going to die immediately. It wasn’t really serious because the 5p had gone all the way down, but no amount of explaining could change Tommy’s mind.

To calm him down, Tom palmed a 5p piece from his pocket and pretended to find it behind his son’s ear.

Before he could stop him, the little lad grabbed the 5p from his dad’s hand, immediately swallowed it, and demanded cheerfully: “Do it again, Dad!”

Unfortunately for Tommy, all his dad had left in his pocket was a 50p piece!


Semi colon - things to note

  • The semi-colon separates two complete sentences;
  • The second sentence has a strong relation to the first sentence;
  • The semi-colon can be used in the place of a connective;
  • Do not use a capital letter after a semi-colon unless it would have one anyway; for example ‘I’ or a proper noun such as a name.



Add semi-colons where appropriate and explain why they are there.


1. We missed the last bus we had to walk all the way home.

2. Dogs are pack animals cats are solitary creatures.

3. Gabe has taken up the guitar I pity his poor neighbours.

4. A smile is the shortest distance between friends smile a lot.

5. Girls are from Venus boys are from Mars that’s a scientific fact.

6. Amber wore a white dress for the wedding Archie wore his kilt.

7. You said robbing the bank would be easy why are we in prison then?

8. I beg your pardon I didn’t promise you a rose garden.

9. Suzie stayed out in the sun too long she looks like a greasy chip.

10. I thought semi-colons were difficult they’re actually quite easy!



Some students are so thrilled by semi-colons that they splatter them all over their writing. Do not do this. Use only two or three in any piece of writing. If you use too many, it just looks silly – and you’ll probably get them wrong.

Try some of these online activities to support learning…

Punctuation marks:



Apostrophes for possession:


All round tips about grammar and punctuation: