Blog

Why Are SPAG (Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar) Lessons So Important for Primary Prep Students?

a British teacher offering an online SPAG lesson to his students

As the parent of a primary prep student, you should have a strong focus on your child’s academic development. However, parents often double down on generalised academic growth, as opposed to diving deep into different subjects, topics, and subtopics. While your child may progress academically, the range and extent of knowledge they receive may not be as comprehensive and rigorous as it should be.

Instead of letting your chosen institution take the reins, we strongly recommend looking into their curriculum. Are they teaching a handful of subjects using a generalised approach? Or are they exploring different subtopics in depth as well? A strong focus on varied subtopics will help your child receive an academic edge as they continue their studies. As your child progresses from primary prep school to lower school, and from lower school to upper school, they’ll secure top grades and perform exceptionally well.

As you focus on math, science, literacy, and topic, make sure you pay close attention to SPAG (spelling, punctuation, and grammar). In this blog, we’ll explore the importance of SPAG lessons for primary prep students. We’ll also provide insight into the benefits of strengthening your child’s spelling, punctuation, grammar, syntax, reading, writing, textual comprehension, and textual elaboration skills.

It may sound odd for 8–10-year-old primary prep students to be taught such complex facets of the English language. However, an introductory approach plays a big role in establishing a firm foundation from the get-go.

As children are taught primary lessons in the aforementioned subtopics, they develop a strong footing that helps them build on their language skills in lower school, upper school, and sixth form. Over the years, they achieve a high level of language proficiency, which helps them achieve their academic milestones and excel in their chosen profession.

Why Do Primary Prep Students Need SPAG Lessons?

a young girl working on her SPAG homework with her mom

Children between the ages of 8 and 10 have an exceptionally high knowledge absorption and retention capacity. You may have heard the adage, “children are like sponges.” There’s a lot of truth to it that has been backed up by scientific research time and again.

As a parent, providing your child a quality primary prep education is imperative. As they absorb and retain knowledge during their formative years, your child will progress exceptionally well during the rest of their academic years.

The importance of language can never be undermined, especially during a child’s primary learning stage. SPAG lessons help young children understand and retain the basics of spelling, punctuation, and grammar.

At Cambridge Home School, our MA and PhD qualified subject specialist teachers work assiduously to build each child’s interest in the English language from a young age. By providing enriching spelling lessons, covering basic grammar rules, and breaking down punctuation patterns in an easy-to-understand manner, our teachers help young students build a strong foundation. This foundation is imperative for their reading, writing, and overall language progression.

Children who don’t receive comprehensive SPAG lessons perform poorly in their lower school English classes. Consequently, their language skills are weaker than those of their counterparts. They’re prone to making more grammatical errors, spelling words incorrectly and slowly, and making common punctuation mistakes.

a young girl writing in a notebook

It’s important to note that SPAG skills are the foundation of strong English language skills. Whether students are sitting their exams, filling an application for grad school, or applying to a part-time job or internship, subpar language skills reflect poorly on their education. As a result, examiners may deduct marks, admission committees may reject their application, and managers may refuse to offer them jobs or internships.

Many parents wonder whether skipping primary prep SPAG lessons will affect their child’s language development in the long run. Unfortunately, it will, and it does. More often than not, an older student’s poor language skills can be linked to:

  • Informal and incorrect language usage in their household
  • Inadequate English and SPAG lessons in their childhood
  • Inattentiveness during their primary prep English lessons
  • A developmental disorder

As a parent, make sure you carefully choose an institution that offers quality SPAG lessons to primary prep students. At Cambridge Home School, we teach spelling, punctuation, grammar, and handwriting lessons to children. Our teachers assiduously mark coursework, assignments, and summative tests to help children progress from lower SPAG proficiency levels to higher SPAG proficiency levels.

Children are provided weekly spelling lessons, which are followed by a quiz the next week. From learning new spellings to writing neatly, accurately, and concisely to punctuating their sentences properly, children can get the head start they need to master the English language during the latter half of their academic journey.

Recommended Read: 7 Benefits of Choosing Online Primary Schooling for Your Child

The Correlation between SPAG Lessons and Comprehension Skills

a child reading a book in a library

The development of strong comprehension skills is extremely important among children. It’s important to note that young children are still grappling with the nuances of the English language. There’s a lot that they need to cover, and it all starts with comprehension. If a child is unable to comprehend the English language, they will struggle to follow spelling, punctuation, and grammar rules. They’ll also struggle to write.

SPAG lessons help children develop strong comprehension skills from a young age. Our teachers use a strategic and incremental approach. They start with the basics, and spend a sufficient amount of time helping children get a good grasp on the foundational rules of English. This enables them to understand the language.

Their analytical and comprehension skills become significantly stronger as they learn new words, spellings, tenses, sentence structures, and rules. As a result, children are able to follow and understand the text better. This ability makes it easier for them to develop their own sentences, short stories, and poems.

Instead of simply making corrections, our teachers help each child understand their errors and improve them. Owing to the small classroom size, teachers are able to meticulously track each student’s performance. By helping them work on their specific mistakes, our teachers are able to strengthen their language skills at a young age.

As a parent, you can rest assured that your child will receive a quality English education. Whether they’re working on a qualitative research report as an anthropologist, writing an article in a renowned magazine, or grading papers as a professor, your child will excel in their chosen career as an adult.

However, we strongly recommend ensuring that your child continues to receive a quality education from a reputable institution in the long run. If you provide them with quality SPAG lessons and switch to a substandard lower school right after, your child will fail to systematically strengthen their language skills.

SPAG lessons aren’t the be-all and end-all of developing impressive English language skills; they’re the starting point. Make sure that your child attends an illustrious institution for their remaining academic years as well.

Organisation, Structure, and Attention-to-Detail

children analysing grammar rules in a SPAG book

tention to detail goes a long way in helping young children become well-rounded, responsible, and attentive individuals. Students who don’t have a detail-oriented mindset aren’t as particular about identifying and correcting potential mistakes in their academic life. These mistakes can often cost them a high grade, acceptance in a prestigious university, or their dream job as an adult.

If you want your child to receive a stellar education and develop a strong sense of conscientiousness and meticulousness, SPAG lessons are a great starting point. They help children structure their writing and incorporate that methodisation into their life.

Your child will still retain their creativity and critical thinking skills. However, they’ll also recognise that structure, routineness, and systematisation are extremely important in life. Instilling this perception in your child from a young age is imperative.

Recommended Read: 8 Ways Online Schooling Benefits Both Students and Parents

A Passion for Reading and Writing

a student writing a short story

Children who don’t understand the English language often fail to develop a strong passion for reading and writing. Let’s say you’re a native English speaker who has been taking Dutch classes for two years. If you still don’t have a strong command of the language, you probably won’t be reaching for a Dutch book in your spare time. Unless you’re adept at understanding a certain language, you won’t enjoy reading or writing it.

As creatures of habit, we generally steer clear of anything that doesn’t come naturally to us. If you’re not a great dancer, you may feel tempted to dip your toes in the dancing waters every now and then. However, if you perform poorly, you’ll probably decide to give it a wide berth for good.

We’d rather explore passions and interests that we’re fairly good at. How do you become “fairly good” at something? Through practice and learning.

SPAG lessons serve as the framework for a strong interest in reading and writing. As children enter their teenage years, they feel more compelled to read and write if they have a strong command of the English language. This command is developed over time, beginning with SPAG lessons during primary prep school.

At Cambridge Home School, we use some of the best SPAG books, resources, and guides to help students start off on the right foot. We also work on expanding their vocabulary. By the time primary school students are promoted to lower school, they have a good grasp on the fourteen punctuation marks that are used in English grammar, namely, the period, comma, exclamation point, question mark, colon, semicolon, hyphen, dash, apostrophe, quotation marks, parentheses, braces, brackets, and ellipsis. They are able to use these punctuation marks correctly, and identify incorrect usage in text.

In addition, children are able to communicate effectively through their writing. They are encouraged to practice their SPAG skills by working on varied reading, writing, and speaking assignments. We also present a wide range of texts to students, including newspaper reports, fiction and non-fiction excerpts from books, comics, and graphic novels for children. These are presented in addition to the texts that are already provided in their coursebooks and assignments.

Confidence in Their Language Skills

a child confidently reading a text out loud to his grandparents

At Cambridge Home School, we help children become confident in their language skills from a young age. This is achieved by delivering focused and comprehensive SPAG lessons. In order for children to feel passionate about a subject, they should be confident in their capabilities. Conventional schooling doesn’t have a strong focus on helping each child feel confident about their language progression journey.

Owing to the large classroom size and high teacher-to-student ratio, students don’t receive the individualised attention, support, validation, and affirmation they need to feel confident about the knowledge they’re gaining and utilising on a regular basis. With little to no encouragement, a pat on the back, or a proverbial round of applause, young children don’t feel excited and enthusiastic about their learning process.

Our MA/PhD qualified subject specialist teachers understand that a lack of confidence can affect a child’s academic performance. It can also make them feel hesitant about exploring their language skills through speaking and writing.

We have a strong focus on helping each student develop confidence in their language skills. Our teachers use words of affirmation and motivating gestures to ensure each child knows how well they’re doing. SPAG lessons can be challenging for children. By making them fun, engaging, and rewarding, our teachers help students perform exceptionally well.

As a result, children are able to:

  • Strengthen their SPAG skills
  • Write and speak confidently
  • Explore the English language without feeling apprehensive in the least

This confidence goes a long way in helping them develop a strong liking for English lessons, and consequently excel at them.

Recommended Read: 3 Useful Soft Skills Students Develop Through Online Schooling

a British teacher offering an online SPAG lesson to her students

Looking for a reputable online international school that provides SPAG lessons to primary school students? We should be your top consideration. At Cambridge Home School, we provide a quality British online education to students across the UK, Europe (including Western Russia), Africa, and the Middle East.

Parents can choose from one of our four esteemed schools: Primary Prep/Key Stage 2 (ages 8 to 10), Lower School/Key Stage 3 (ages 11 to 13), Upper School/IGCSEs (ages 14 to 16), and Sixth Form/AS & A Levels (ages 17 to 19).

Click here to browse through our admissions process and get started. For more insight about best schools in Cambridge UK, explore our online reviews, term dates, scholarships and bursaries, and fee structure.