Martin Galway

English Teaching and Learning Adviser for Herts for Learning


Primary Grammar – what really matters across the transition to KS3

The shift to a Primary English curriculum more heavily led by prescribed grammar, punctuation and spelling elements has been hotly debated. Many myths have been generated along the bumpy road of the past three years as teachers and students adjust to new priorities and in some cases entirely new learning.

This session will sidestep controversies around primary accountability systems, and writing assessment, and will take a streamlined look at those aspects of the primary curriculum that have great utility across the KS2/KS3 transition. The session draws upon extensive work in Upper KS2 classrooms across Hertfordshire and its surrounding areas, coupled with the early indicators from the launch of a small-scale project exploring the use of grammar teaching techniques, together with contextualised approaches, in KS3 classrooms.
Given the extensive primary English curriculum (set against its physically slimmer KS3 counterpart) this session will look to support KS3 colleagues in unpicking which technical aspects of writing are going to carry the greatest weight in developing students’ writing across the curriculum. It will also share some of the more painful lessons learned along the way since the earlier inception of the GPS test in Primary schools.


Martin is an English Teaching and Learning Adviser at Herts for Learning and blogs regularly for them on the shifting sands of primary English. He chiefly works in Herts, but is increasingly working further afield usually in relation to reading comprehension, grammar instruction and/or the teaching of writing. He has sat on expert review panels for the statutory Grammar, Punctuation & Spelling test for both KS1 and KS2.
He loves books and writing. He loves exploring grammar(s). He thinks the two pursuits can work together quite beautifully.
Martin has previously taught across the primary phase, led English in a very successful school, and in a much earlier guise lectured in film.

Twitter: @HertsEnglish