St Luke's C of E Primary School

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Understanding and using four-word sentences

Why is this important?
As language develops, children need to understand increasingly more
complex instructions and use longer sentences to describe and explain.
This helps expand vocabulary and link words together using ‘a’ and ‘the’
as sentences become more like the mature adult form.

What to do
• Ask the child to find two favourite toys

(e.g. Spiderman and Batman, Fifi and Dora).
• Find a toy table and chair (or use a real one if necessary).
• Explain that the toys are being naughty by hiding all over the place. Tell the child
where to put them – try to make this as fun and outrageous as you can!
• The child will need to understand four different parts of the sentence to get the
instruction correct:

Person (Spiderman or Batman) Action (‘jump’/‘sit’/‘stand’/‘lie’)
Preposition (‘on’/‘under’) Place (‘table’/‘chair’)
• Ask the child to:

‘Make Fifi sit under the chair.’ ‘Make Batman jump on the table.’
‘Make Dora lie under the table.’
• If a child gets part of the instruction wrong, repeat the instruction emphasising the key words where the correction needs to be made (e.g. if the child places the toy ‘on’ the table instead of ‘under’, you would say ‘Dora’s lying on the table. Make Dora lie under the table.’ If the child doesn’t correct the error, move the toy to the right place and then repeat the instruction.
• When the child has put the toy in the right place, ask ‘What did you do?’ Encourage all four keys words to describe the placement of the toy.

  • Through our Christian school and ethos, we all aim to believe in ourselves, each other, our teachers, leaders and parents. With reflection and prayer, we trust in God that our prayers will be heard. We know that every child is a child of Jesus, treating everyone with respect and dignity that they deserve.

    Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.
    Matthew 7:7


  • We aim to build our pupils’ and teachers’ confidence, delight in their teaching & learning and discipline in seeking wisdom; gaining the truth, knowledge, understanding and skills they will need in their everyday lives. We offer a broad and inspiring curriculum that nurtures emotional intelligence, creativity and remembering of important knowledge. We teach and learn collaboratively leading to our pupils developing the life skills of learning.

    For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;
    Proverbs 2:6


  • We aim to be the best we can be. Whilst nurturing our pupils’ and staff, we encourage and drive them to aspire to achieve their hopes and dreams. We are honest in the fact that this will take hard work, perseverance and resilience.

    For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
    Jeremiah 29:11


  • Above all we aim to show compassion to ourselves and each other. By developing strong relationships and friendships we develop a true understanding of each other.

    ‘Love thy neighbour…’
    Luke 10:28


  • We are a family. We show compassion for all members of our community irrespective of gender, ethnicity, religion or sexuality. We strive to be ‘courageous advocates’ for our local, national and global community.

    There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.
    Galatians 3:28



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