Curriculum Vital

    Comma, comma, comma, comma, comma chameleon: Grammar and Punctuation in the new National Curriculum

    You can take the man out of grammar school, but you can't take grammar out of the man. Michael Gove's fascination with this most flummoxing of topics will see children learn all the nuts and bolts of the English language. Fear not! Below, we list the new statutory requirements for grammar and punctuation and the best resources to deal with them:

    Year 1

    Punctuation terms and concepts (statutory requirements)

    • Separation of words with spaces
    • Introduction to capital letters, full stops, question marks and exclamation marks to demarcate sentences
    • Capital letters for names and for the personal pronoun I

    Grammar terms and concepts (statutory requirements)

    • Letter
    • Capital letter
    • Word
    • Singular
    • Plural
    • Sentence
    • Punctuation
    • Full stop
    • Question mark
    • Exclamation mark

    Explore these grammar terms with our Storyteller Interactive Grammar Glossary.

    Related resources

    Year 2

    Punctuation terms and concepts (statutory requirements)

    • Use of capital letters, full-stops, question marks to demarcate sentences
    • Commas to separate items in a list
    • Apostrophes to mark where letters are missing spelling

    Grammar terms and concepts (statutory requirements)

    • Noun
    • Noun phrase
    • Statement
    • Question
    • Exclamation
    • Command
    • Compound
    • Adjective
    • Verb
    • Suffix
    • Tense (past/present)
    • Apostrophe
    • Comma

    Explore these grammar terms with our Storyteller Interactive Grammar Glossary.

    Related resources

    Year 3

    Punctuation terms and concepts (statutory requirements)

    • Introduction to inverted commas to punctuate direct speech
    • Use of 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)

    Grammar terms and concepts (statutory requirements)

    • Adverb
    • Preposition
    • Conjunction
    • Word family
    • Prefix
    • Clause
    • Subordinate clause
    • Direct speech
    • Consonant
    • Letter
    • Vowel
    • Inverted commas (or 'speech marks')

    Explore these grammar terms with our Storyteller Interactive Grammar Glossary.

    Related resources

    Year 4

    Punctuation terms and concepts (statutory requirements)

    • Use of inverted commas and other punctuation to indicate direct speech, e.g., a comma after the reporting clause; end punctuation within inverted commas (e.g., The conductor shouted, "Sit down!")
    • Apostrophes to mark singular and plural possession (e.g., the girl's name, the girls' names)
    • Use of commas after fronted adverbials

    Grammar terms and concepts (statutory requirements)

    • Determiner
    • Pronoun
    • Possessive
    • Pronoun
    • Adverbial

    Explore these grammar terms with our Storyteller Interactive Grammar Glossary.

    Related resources

    Year 5

    Punctuation terms and concepts (statutory requirements)

    • Brackets, dashes or commas to indicate parenthesis
    • Use of commas to clarify meaning or avoid ambiguity
    • Relative clauses beginning with who, which, where, when, whose, that, or an omitted relative pronoun

    Grammar terms and concepts (statutory requirements)

    • Modal verb
    • Relative pronoun
    • Relative clause
    • Parenthesis
    • Bracket
    • Dash
    • Cohesion
    • Ambiguity

    Explore these grammar terms with our Storyteller Interactive Grammar Glossary.

    Related resources

    Year 6

    Punctuation terms and concepts (statutory requirements)

    • Use of the semi-colon, colon and dash to mark the boundary between independent clauses (e.g., It's raining; I'm fed up.)
    • Use of the colon to introduce a list
    • Punctuation of bullet points to list information
    • How hyphens can be used to avoid ambiguity (e.g., man eating shark vs. man-eating shark, or recover vs. re-cover)

    Grammar terms and concepts (statutory requirements)

    • Subject
    • Object
    • Active
    • Passive
    • Synonym
    • Antonym
    • Ellipsis
    • Hyphen
    • Colon
    • Semi-colon
    • Bullet points

    Explore these grammar terms with our Storyteller Interactive Grammar Glossary.

    Related resources

    Related articles and pages

    Storyteller Interactive Grammar Glossary

    The new National Curriculum in England: Key Stages 1-2 English poetry

    The new National Curriculum in England: Key Stages 1-2 English spelling

    The new National Curriculum in England: Key Stage 3 English

    The new National Curriculum in England: Key Stage 4 English literature

    English lesson plans