We are currently dispatching orders as normal, but delivery times may be affected Find a rep
Free tools and resources for primary and secondary to support mental and physical wellbeing Find out more

Preparing for the new Year 6 Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling Test in 2016

English Adviser Shareen Mayers shares some quick top tips and ideas to support Year 6 teachers.

Four Top Tips for the Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling Test in 2016

1. Read through the questions carefully and consider the context of the sentence.

For example, the word ‘orange,’ can be an adjective (the orange room) or a noun (Hardeep ate a small orange) depending on the context.

2.    Accuracy is extremely important.

Make sure the children put the apostrophe for contraction where the letters have been omitted. For example, ‘can’t.’ Also, ensure they put the full stop (or punctuation mark) inside the inverted commas at the end of a sentence. For example, ‘I am here.’ They will lose marks if these are not accurate.

3.    Use the correct terminology for the test.

Terminology used in the test

Terminology not used in the test

Inverted commas

Speech marks or quotation marks

Main clause

Independent clause

Subordinate clause

 ‘Dropped-in’ clause, embedded clause or dependent clause


Co-ordinating conjunctions (e.g. or, and, but, so)

Subordinating conjunctions (e.g. when, if, because)


Co-ordinating connectives

Subordinating connectives

Adverbs (of time)

Time connectives (e.g. next, first, second)


4.    Teach the new areas of the test

Below outlines areas that were not previously a focus for the main grammar test or were a part of the Level 6 test which will not continue in 2016.



subject and object

relative clauses

noun phrases

modal verbs

present and past progressive

subjunctive verb forms

passive and active



possessive pronoun

relative pronoun




Quick ‘little and often’ grammar activity ideas

Idea no.1

Revise the apostrophe for possession by using pictures so that the children can practise and then apply their knowledge.

Is this correct?

Idea no. 2

The children can be given a jumbled up complex sentence with the main clause in one colour and the subordinate clause in another colour. They can then hold up their answer at the front of the class. For example:

Remember: subordinate clauses in the middle of a sentence usually have relative pronouns (who, which or that etc).

Shareen Mayers
Adviser for Keen Kite
About the author

Shareen Mayers – Experienced Primary Teacher and Primary English Specialist.

Shareen is an experienced primary school teacher and senior leader. Currently, Shareen is the Lead Primary English Consultant/Adviser for a successful and high performing local authority and still regularly teaches in the classroom. She has a proven and extensive track record of raising standards in English and leadership across a number of schools and local authorities.

Most recently, Shareen was on the Department for Education’s expert review group for statutory tests in the new primary curriculum for key stages 1 and 2. She is a published educational author and editor for leading publishers.