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Grammar subject knowledge

Our research shows that children benefit from explicit grammar teaching that uses examples from authentic texts, makes connections between reading and writing, explores the effects of language choices and encourages language play and risk-taking. We know that some children, especially avid readers, will automatically pick up different linguistic structures and be able to use them in their writing. However, explicit teaching which involves discussion, exploration and experimentation can lead students to deeper understanding of how language works, helping them to consciously craft and control their writing.

The grammar for writing pedagogy needs teachers to be confident in their own subject knowledge, in order to:

  • analyse texts grammatically
  • explain grammar to children
  • talk about the impact of language choices in specific and meaningful ways
  • help students transfer grammar knowledge into their writing
  • know how to consolidate and build on students’ knowledge about language

Yet many teachers, including English specialists, have never been taught grammar in their own education – or if they have, it may have been through grammar rules and exercises that were disconnected from the craft of writing. If you do lack confidence in your own knowledge about language, you are definitely not alone!

The resources here are designed as support for your own grammar subject knowledge, rather than for direct use in the classroom. You can follow links to Learning objectives and text examples and Sample lesson plans and schemes to find resources for use with students. 

You might want to start with a ‘test’ of your grammar subject knowledge and then download resources relevant to any aspects of grammar that you feel less confident about. Links provides details of publications and websites that are helpful for boosting linguistic subject knowledge.

Download a grammar test for teachers (.doc)

Download the National Curriculum Vocabulary and Grammar Appendix(.pdf)

Download the National Curriculum Grammar Glossary (.pdf)

Sentence Grammar

Nouns and noun phrases

Adverbs and Adverbials

Grammar talk in the classroom