The English Curriculum

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Below are excerpts from the new National Curriculum which is due to be taught from September 2014:

Purpose of Study

"English has a pre-eminent place in education and in society. A high-quality education in English will teach pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others, and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. Through reading in particular, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Literature, especially, plays a key role in such development. Reading also enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know. All the skills of language are essential to participating fully as a member of society; pupils who do not learn to speak, read and write fluently and confidently are effectively disenfranchised."

Aims

The national curriculum for english aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • read easily, fluently and with good understanding
  • develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
  • acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
  • appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
  • write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
  • use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
  • are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate
Spoken language – years 1 to 6
  • listen and respond appropriately to adults and their peers
  • ask relevant questions to extend their understanding and knowledge
  • use relevant strategies to build their vocabulary
  • articulate and justify answers, arguments and opinions
  • give well-structured descriptions, explanations and narratives for different purposes, including for expressing feelings
  • maintain attention and participate actively in collaborative conversations, staying on topic and initiating and responding to comments
  • use spoken language to develop understanding through speculating, hypothesising, imagining and exploring ideas
  • speak audibly and fluently with an increasing command of Standard English
  • participate in discussions, presentations, performances, role play/improvisations and debates
  • gain, maintain and monitor the interest of the listener(s)
  • consider and evaluate different viewpoints, attending to and building on the contributions of others
  • select and use appropriate registers for effective communication

Foundation Stage

Year R - Programme of Study

The EYFS Framework defines the prime areas and specific areas of learning for children aged 0-5. One of the specific areas is Literacy and the children need to be given the opportunity to:

  • to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children must be given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to ignite their interest.
  • to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.

The Early Learning Goals for Literacy are:

  • Reading: children read and understand simple sentences. They use phonic knowledge to decode regular words and read them aloud accurately. They also read some common irregular words. They demonstrate understanding when talking with others about what they have read.
  • Writing: children use their phonic knowledge to write words in ways which match their spoken sounds. They also write some irregular common words. They write simple sentences which can be read by themselves and others. Some words are spelt correctly and others are phonetically plausible.
The characteristics in which these ideas are taught effectively to young children are through:
  • • playing and exploring - children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’;
  • • active learning - children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements; and
  • • creating and thinking critically - children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.

Year 1 - Programme of Study

Most children in UK primary schools are taught to read using synthetic phonics and during a week in the middle of June, children in Year One will be taking the Phonics Screening Check. The phonics screening check is a short, simple assessment to make sure that all pupils have learned phonic decoding to an appropriate standard by the age of 6. All year 1 pupils in maintained schools, academies and free schools must complete the check.

For more information on the test please check out the following links:
Phonics screening check: sample materials and training video
The Year 1 Phonics Screening Check

During year 1, teachers should build on work from the early years foundation stage, making sure that pupils can sound and blend unfamiliar printed words quickly and accurately using the phonic knowledge and skills that they have already learnt. Teachers should also ensure that pupils continue to learn new grapheme-phoneme correspondences (GPCs) and revise and consolidate those learnt earlier. The understanding that the letter(s) on the page represent the sounds in spoken words should underpin pupils’ reading and spelling of all words. This includes common words containing unusual GPCs. The term ‘common exception words’ is used throughout the programmes of study for such words.

Alongside this knowledge of GPCs, pupils need to develop the skill of blending the sounds into words for reading and establish the habit of applying this skill whenever they encounter new words. This will be supported by practice in reading books consistent with their developing phonic knowledge and skill and their knowledge of common exception words. At the same time they will need to hear, share and discuss a wide range of high-quality books to develop a love of reading and broaden their vocabulary.

Pupils should be helped to read words without overt sounding and blending after a few encounters. Those who are slow to develop this skill should have extra practice.

Pupils’ writing during year 1 will generally develop at a slower pace than their reading. This is because they need to encode the sounds they hear in words (spelling skills), develop the physical skill needed for handwriting, and learn how to organise their ideas in writing.

Pupils entering year 1 who have not yet met the early learning goals for literacy should continue to follow their school’s curriculum for the Early Years Foundation Stage to develop their word reading, spelling and language skills. However, these pupils should follow the year 1 programme of study in terms of the books they listen to and discuss, so that they develop their vocabulary and understanding of grammar, as well as their knowledge more generally across the curriculum. If they are still struggling to decode and spell, they need to be taught to do this urgently through a rigorous and systematic phonics programme so that they catch up rapidly.

Teachers should ensure that their teaching develops pupils’ oral vocabulary as well as their ability to understand and use a variety of grammatical structures, giving particular support to pupils whose oral language skills are insufficiently developed.

Reading - word reading
Pupils should be taught to:
  • apply phonic knowledge and skills as the route to decode words
  • respond speedily with the correct sound to graphemes (letters or groups of letters) for all 40+ phonemes, including, where applicable, alternative sounds for graphemes
  • read accurately by blending sounds in unfamiliar words containing GPCs that have been taught
  • read common exception words, noting unusual correspondences between spelling and sound and where these occur in the word
  • read words containing taught GPCs and –s, –es, –ing, –ed, –er and –est endings
  • read other words of more than one syllable that contain taught GPCs
  • read words with contractions [for example, I’m, I’ll, we’ll], and understand that the apostrophe represents the omitted letter(s)
  • read books aloud, accurately, that are consistent with their developing phonic knowledge and that do not require them to use other strategies to work out words
  • reread these books to build up their fluency and confidence in word reading
Reading - comprehension
Pupils should be taught to:
  • develop pleasure in reading, motivation to read, vocabulary and understanding by:
    • listening to and discussing a wide range of poems, stories and non-fiction at a level beyond that at which they can read independently
    • being encouraged to link what they read or hear to their own experiences
    • becoming very familiar with key stories, fairy stories and traditional tales, retelling them and considering their particular characteristics
    • recognising and joining in with predictable phrases
    • learning to appreciate rhymes and poems, and to recite some by heart
    • discussing word meanings, linking new meanings to those already known
  • understand both the books they can already read accurately and fluently and those they listen to by:
    • drawing on what they already know or on background information and vocabulary provided by the teacher
    • checking that the text makes sense to them as they read, and correcting inaccurate reading
    • discussing the significance of the title and events
    • making inferences on the basis of what is being said and done
    • predicting what might happen on the basis of what has been read so far
  • participate in discussion about what is read to them, taking turns and listening to what others say
  • explain clearly their understanding of what is read to them
Writing - transcription
Pupils should be taught to:
  • spell:
    • words containing each of the 40+ phonemes already taught
    • common exception words
    • the days of the week
  • name the letters of the alphabet:
    • naming the letters of the alphabet in order
    • using letter names to distinguish between alternative spellings of the same sound
  • add prefixes and suffixes:
    • using the spelling rule for adding –s or –es as the plural marker for nouns and the third person singular marker for verbs
    • using the prefix un–
    • using –ing, –ed, –er and –est where no change is needed in the spelling of root words [for example, helping, helped, helper, eating, quicker, quickest]
  • apply simple spelling rules and guidance, as listed in English appendix 1

  • write from memory simple sentences dictated by the teacher that include words using the GPCs and common exception words taught so far
Handwriting
Pupils should be taught to:
  • sit correctly at a table, holding a pencil comfortably and correctly
  • begin to form lower-case letters in the correct direction, starting and finishing in the right place
  • form capital letters
  • form digits 0-9
  • understand which letters belong to which handwriting ‘families’ (ie letters that are formed in similar ways) and to practise these
Writing - composition
Pupils should be taught to:
  • write sentences by:
    • saying out loud what they are going to write about
    • composing a sentence orally before writing it
    • sequencing sentences to form short narratives
    • re-reading what they have written to check that it makes sense
  • discuss what they have written with the teacher or other pupils
  • read their writing aloud, clearly enough to be heard by their peers and the teacher
Writing - vocabulary, grammar and punctuation
Pupils should be taught to:
  • develop their understanding of the concepts set out in English appendix 2 by:
    • leaving spaces between words
    • joining words and joining clauses using ‘and’
    • beginning to punctuate sentences using a capital letter and a full stop, question mark or exclamation mark
    • using a capital letter for names of people, places, the days of the week, and the personal pronoun ‘I’
    • learning the grammar for year 1 in English appendix 2
  • use the grammatical terminology in English English appendix 2 in discussing their writing

Year 2 - Programme of Study

From Summer 2016 most children in Year 2 will have to take the Key stage 1 English grammar, punctuation and spelling test and the Reading Test. This will probably take place in mid May and will consist of 5 papers: SPAG- 1: Grammar and Punctuation Short Written Task, 2: Grammar, Punctuation and Vocabulary Questions 3: Spelling Task and Reading 1:Reading Test 1 and 2: Reading Test 2. These tasks won't take longer than an 2 hours in total, each test taking from between 15-30 mins and will most likely be performed during 1 week. The tests will be marked by the child's teacher.
For more information:
Key stage 1: English grammar, punctuation and spelling test framework
Key stage 1 English reading test framework

By the beginning of year 2, pupils should be able to read all common graphemes. They should be able to read unfamiliar words containing these graphemes, accurately and without undue hesitation, by sounding them out in books that are matched closely to each pupil’s level of word-reading knowledge. They should also be able to read many common words containing GPCs taught so far [for example, shout, hand, stop, or dream], without needing to blend the sounds out loud first. Pupils’ reading of common exception words [for example, you, could, many, or people], should be secure. Pupils will increase their fluency by being able to read these words easily and automatically. Finally, pupils should be able to retell some familiar stories that have been read to and discussed with them or that they have acted out during year 1.

During year 2, teachers should continue to focus on establishing pupils’ accurate and speedy word-reading skills. They should also make sure that pupils listen to and discuss a wide range of stories, poems, plays and information books; this should include whole books. The sooner that pupils can read well and do so frequently, the sooner they will be able to increase their vocabulary, comprehension and their knowledge across the wider curriculum.

In writing, pupils at the beginning of year 2 should be able to compose individual sentences orally and then write them down. They should be able to spell many of the words covered in year 1 correctly - see English appendix 1. They should also be able to make phonically plausible attempts to spell words they have not yet learnt. Finally, they should be able to form individual letters correctly, establishing good handwriting habits from the beginning.

It is important to recognise that pupils begin to meet extra challenges in terms of spelling during year 2. Increasingly, they should learn that there is not always an obvious connection between the way a word is said and the way it is spelt. Variations include different ways of spelling the same sound, the use of so-called silent letters and groups of letters in some words and, sometimes, spelling that has become separated from the way that words are now pronounced, such as the ‘le’ ending in table. Pupils’ motor skills also need to be sufficiently advanced for them to write down ideas that they may be able to compose orally. In addition, writing is intrinsically harder than reading: pupils are likely to be able to read and understand more complex writing (in terms of its vocabulary and structure) than they are capable of producing themselves.

For pupils who do not have the phonic knowledge and skills they need for year 2, teachers should use the year 1 programmes of study for word reading and spelling so that pupils’ word-reading skills catch up. However, teachers should use the year 2 programme of study for comprehension so that these pupils hear and talk about new books, poems, other writing, and vocabulary with the rest of the class.

Reading - word reading
Pupils should be taught to:
  • continue to apply phonic knowledge and skills as the route to decode words until automatic decoding has become embedded and reading is fluent
  • read accurately by blending the sounds in words that contain the graphemes taught so far, especially recognising alternative sounds for graphemes
  • read accurately words of two or more syllables that contain the same graphemes as above
  • read words containing common suffixes
  • read further common exception words, noting unusual correspondences between spelling and sound and where these occur in the word
  • read most words quickly and accurately, without overt sounding and blending, when they have been frequently encountered
  • read aloud books closely matched to their improving phonic knowledge, sounding out unfamiliar words accurately, automatically and without undue hesitation
  • reread these books to build up their fluency and confidence in word reading
Reading - comprehension
Pupils should be taught to:
  • develop pleasure in reading, motivation to read, vocabulary and understanding by:
    • listening to, discussing and expressing views about a wide range of contemporary and classic poetry, stories and non-fiction at a level beyond that at which they can read independently
    • discussing the sequence of events in books and how items of information are related
    • becoming increasingly familiar with and retelling a wider range of stories, fairy stories and traditional tales
    • being introduced to non-fiction books that are structured in different ways
    • recognising simple recurring literary language in stories and poetry
    • discussing and clarifying the meanings of words, linking new meanings to known vocabulary
    • discussing their favourite words and phrases
    • continuing to build up a repertoire of poems learnt by heart, appreciating these and reciting some, with appropriate intonation to make the meaning clear
  • understand both the books that they can already read accurately and fluently and those that they listen to by:
    • drawing on what they already know or on background information and vocabulary provided by the teacher
    • checking that the text makes sense to them as they read, and correcting inaccurate reading
    • making inferences on the basis of what is being said and done
    • answering and asking questions
    • predicting what might happen on the basis of what has been read so far
  • participate in discussion about books, poems and other works that are read to them and those that they can read for themselves, taking turns and listening to what others say
  • explain and discuss their understanding of books, poems and other material, both those that they listen to and those that they read for themselves
Writing - transcription
Pupils should be taught to:
  • spell by:
    • segmenting spoken words into phonemes and representing these by graphemes, spelling many correctly
    • learning new ways of spelling phonemes for which 1 or more spellings are already known, and learn some words with each spelling, including a few common homophones
    • learning to spell common exception words
    • learning to spell more words with contracted forms
    • learning the possessive apostrophe (singular) [for example, the girl’s book]
    • distinguishing between homophones and near-homophones
  • add suffixes to spell longer words including –ment, –ness, –ful, –less, –ly
  • apply spelling rules and guidance, as listed in English appendix 1
  • write from memory simple sentences dictated by the teacher that include words using the GPCs, common exception words and punctuation taught so far
Handwriting
Pupils should be taught to:
  • form lower-case letters of the correct size relative to one another
  • start using some of the diagonal and horizontal strokes needed to join letters and understand which letters, when adjacent to one another, are best left unjoined
  • write capital letters and digits of the correct size, orientation and relationship to one another and to lower-case letters
  • use spacing between words that reflects the size of the letters
Writing - composition
Pupils should be taught to:
  • develop positive attitudes towards and stamina for writing by:
    • writing narratives about personal experiences and those of others (real and fictional)
    • writing about real events
    • writing poetry
    • writing for different purposes
  • consider what they are going to write before beginning by:
    • planning or saying out loud what they are going to write about
    • writing down ideas and/or key words, including new vocabulary
    • encapsulating what they want to say, sentence by sentence
  • make simple additions, revisions and corrections to their own writing by:
    • evaluating their writing with the teacher and other pupils
    • rereading to check that their writing makes sense and that verbs to indicate time are used correctly and consistently, including verbs in the continuous form
    • proofreading to check for errors in spelling, grammar and punctuation (for example, ends of sentences punctuated correctly)
  • read aloud what they have written with appropriate intonation to make the meaning clear
Writing - vocabulary, grammar and punctuation
Pupils should be taught to:
  • develop their understanding of the concepts set out in English appendix 2 by:
    • learning how to use both familiar and new punctuation correctly - see English appendix 2, including full stops, capital letters, exclamation marks, question marks, commas for lists and apostrophes for contracted forms and the possessive (singular)
    • learn how to use:
    • sentences with different forms: statement, question, exclamation, command
    • expanded noun phrases to describe and specify [for example, the blue butterfly]
    • the present and past tenses correctly and consistently, including the progressive form
    • subordination (using when, if, that, or because) and co-ordination (using or, and, or but)
    • the grammar for year 2 in English appendix 2
    • some features of written standard English
  • use and understand the grammatical terminology in English appendix 2 in discussing their writing

Years 3 & 4 - Programme of Study

By the beginning of year 3, pupils should be able to read books written at an age-appropriate interest level. They should be able to read them accurately and at a speed that is sufficient for them to focus on understanding what they read rather than on decoding individual words. They should be able to decode most new words outside their spoken vocabulary, making a good approximation to the word’s pronunciation. As their decoding skills become increasingly secure, teaching should be directed more towards developing their vocabulary and the breadth and depth of their reading, making sure that they become independent, fluent and enthusiastic readers who read widely and frequently. They should be developing their understanding and enjoyment of stories, poetry, plays and non-fiction, and learning to read silently. They should also be developing their knowledge and skills in reading non-fiction about a wide range of subjects. They should be learning to justify their views about what they have read: with support at the start of year 3 and increasingly independently by the end of year 4.

Pupils should be able to write down their ideas with a reasonable degree of accuracy and with good sentence punctuation. Teachers should therefore be consolidating pupils’ writing skills, their vocabulary, their grasp of sentence structure and their knowledge of linguistic terminology. Teaching them to develop as writers involves teaching them to enhance the effectiveness of what they write as well as increasing their competence. Teachers should make sure that pupils build on what they have learnt, particularly in terms of the range of their writing and the more varied grammar, vocabulary and narrative structures from which they can draw to express their ideas. Pupils should be beginning to understand how writing can be different from speech. Joined handwriting should be the norm; pupils should be able to use it fast enough to keep pace with what they want to say.

By the end of year 4, pupils should have memorised their multiplication tables up to and including the 12 multiplication table and show precision and fluency in their work.

Pupils’ spelling of common words should be correct, including common exception words and other words that they have learnt - see English appendix 1. Pupils should spell words as accurately as possible using their phonic knowledge and other knowledge of spelling, such as morphology and etymology.

Most pupils will not need further direct teaching of word reading skills: they are able to decode unfamiliar words accurately, and need very few repeated experiences of this before the word is stored in such a way that they can read it without overt sound-blending. They should demonstrate understanding of figurative language, distinguish shades of meaning among related words and use age-appropriate, academic vocabulary.

As in key stage 1, however, pupils who are still struggling to decode need to be taught to do this urgently through a rigorous and systematic phonics programme so that they catch up rapidly with their peers. If they cannot decode independently and fluently, they will find it increasingly difficult to understand what they read and to write down what they want to say. As far as possible, however, these pupils should follow the year 3 and 4 programme of study in terms of listening to new books, hearing and learning new vocabulary and grammatical structures, and discussing these.

Specific requirements for pupils to discuss what they are learning and to develop their wider skills in spoken language form part of this programme of study. In years 3 and 4, pupils should become more familiar with and confident in using language in a greater variety of situations, for a variety of audiences and purposes, including through drama, formal presentations and debate.

Reading - word reading
  • apply their growing knowledge of root words, prefixes and suffixes (etymology and morphology) as listed in - see English appendix 1 , both to read aloud and to understand the meaning of new words they meet
  • read further exception words, noting the unusual correspondences between spelling and sound, and where these occur in the word
Reading - comprehension
Pupils should be taught to:
  • develop positive attitudes to reading, and an understanding of what they read, by:
    • listening to and discussing a wide range of fiction, poetry, plays, non-fiction and reference books or textbooks
    • reading books that are structured in different ways and reading for a range of purposes
    • using dictionaries to check the meaning of words that they have read
    • increasing their familiarity with a wide range of books, including fairy stories, myths and legends, and retelling some of these orally
    • identifying themes and conventions in a wide range of books
    • preparing poems and play scripts to read aloud and to perform, showing understanding through intonation, tone, volume and action
    • discussing words and phrases that capture the reader’s interest and imagination
    • recognising some different forms of poetry [for example, free verse, narrative poetry]
  • understand what they read, in books they can read independently, by:
    • checking that the text makes sense to them, discussing their understanding, and explaining the meaning of words in context
    • asking questions to improve their understanding of a text
    • drawing inferences such as inferring characters’ feelings, thoughts and motives from their actions, and justifying inferences with evidence
    • predicting what might happen from details stated and implied
    • identifying main ideas drawn from more than 1 paragraph and summarising these
    • identifying how language, structure, and presentation contribute to meaning
  • retrieve and record information from non-fiction
  • participate in discussion about both books that are read to them and those they can read for themselves, taking turns and listening to what others say
Writing - transcription
Pupils should be taught to:
  • use further prefixes and suffixes and understand how to add them - see English appendix 1
  • spell further homophones
  • spell words that are often misspelt - see English appendix 1
  • place the possessive apostrophe accurately in words with regular plurals [for example, girls’, boys’] and in words with irregular plurals [for example, children’s]
  • use the first 2 or 3 letters of a word to check its spelling in a dictionary
  • write from memory simple sentences, dictated by the teacher, that include words and punctuation taught so far
Handwriting
Pupils should be taught to:
  • use the diagonal and horizontal strokes that are needed to join letters and understand which letters, when adjacent to one another, are best left unjoined
  • increase the legibility, consistency and quality of their handwriting, [for example, by ensuring that the downstrokes of letters are parallel and equidistant, and that lines of writing are spaced sufficiently so that the ascenders and descenders of letters do not touch]
Writing - composition
Pupils should be taught to:
  • plan their writing by:
    • discussing writing similar to that which they are planning to write in order to understand and learn from its structure, vocabulary and grammar
    • discussing and recording ideas
  • draft and write by:
    • composing and rehearsing sentences orally (including dialogue), progressively building a varied and rich vocabulary and an increasing range of sentence structures English appendix 2
    • organising paragraphs around a theme
    • in narratives, creating settings, characters and plot
    • in non-narrative material, using simple organisational devices [for example, headings and sub-headings]
  • evaluate and edit by:
    • assessing the effectiveness of their own and others’ writing and suggesting improvements
    • proposing changes to grammar and vocabulary to improve consistency, including the accurate use of pronouns in sentences
  • proofread for spelling and punctuation errors
  • read their own writing aloud to a group or the whole class, using appropriate intonation and controlling the tone and volume so that the meaning is clear
Writing - vocabulary, grammar and punctuation
Pupils should be taught to:
  • develop their understanding of the concepts set out in English appendix 2 by:
    • extending the range of sentences with more than one clause by using a wider range of conjunctions, including: when, if, because, although
    • using the present perfect form of verbs in contrast to the past tense
    • choosing nouns or pronouns appropriately for clarity and cohesion and to avoid repetition
    • using conjunctions, adverbs and prepositions to express time and cause
    • using fronted adverbials
    • learning the grammar for years 3 and 4 in English appendix 2
  • indicate grammatical and other features by:
    • using commas after fronted adverbials
    • indicating possession by using the possessive apostrophe with plural nouns
    • using and punctuating direct speech
  • use and understand the grammatical terminology in English appendix 2 accurately and appropriately when discussing their writing and reading

Years 5 & 6 - Programme of Study

Reading - word reading
Pupils should be taught to:
  • apply their growing knowledge of root words, prefixes and suffixes (morphology and etymology), as listed in English appendix 1, both to read aloud and to understand the meaning of new words that they meet
Reading - comprehension
Pupils should be taught to:
  • maintain positive attitudes to reading and an understanding of what they read by:
    • continuing to read and discuss an increasingly wide range of fiction, poetry, plays, non-fiction and reference books or textbooks
    • reading books that are structured in different ways and reading for a range of purposes
    • increasing their familiarity with a wide range of books, including myths, legends and traditional stories, modern fiction, fiction from our literary heritage, and books from other cultures and traditions
    • recommending books that they have read to their peers, giving reasons for their choices
    • identifying and discussing themes and conventions in and across a wide range of writing
    • making comparisons within and across books
    • learning a wider range of poetry by heart
    • preparing poems and plays to read aloud and to perform, showing understanding through intonation, tone and volume so that the meaning is clear to an audience
  • understand what they read by:
    • checking that the book makes sense to them, discussing their understanding and exploring the meaning of words in context
    • asking questions to improve their understanding
    • drawing inferences such as inferring characters’ feelings, thoughts and motives from their actions, and justifying inferences with evidence
    • predicting what might happen from details stated and implied
    • summarising the main ideas drawn from more than 1 paragraph, identifying key details that support the main ideas
    • identifying how language, structure and presentation contribute to meaning
  • discuss and evaluate how authors use language, including figurative language, considering the impact on the reader
  • distinguish between statements of fact and opinion
  • retrieve, record and present information from non-fiction
  • participate in discussions about books that are read to them and those they can read for themselves, building on their own and others’ ideas and challenging views courteously
  • explain and discuss their understanding of what they have read, including through formal presentations and debates, maintaining a focus on the topic and using notes where necessary
  • provide reasoned justifications for their views
Writing - transcription
Pupils should be taught to:
  • use further prefixes and suffixes and understand the guidance for adding them
  • spell some words with ‘silent’ letters [for example, knight, psalm, solemn]
  • continue to distinguish between homophones and other words which are often confused
  • use knowledge of morphology and etymology in spelling and understand that the spelling of some words needs to be learnt specifically, as listed in English appendix 1
  • use dictionaries to check the spelling and meaning of words
  • use the first 3 or 4 letters of a word to check spelling, meaning or both of these in a dictionary
  • use a thesaurus
Handwriting and presentation
Pupils should be taught to:
  • write legibly, fluently and with increasing speed by:
    • choosing which shape of a letter to use when given choices and deciding whether or not to join specific letters
    • choosing the writing implement that is best suited for a task
Writing - composition
Pupils should be taught to:
  • plan their writing by:
    • identifying the audience for and purpose of the writing, selecting the appropriate form and using other similar writing as models for their own
    • noting and developing initial ideas, drawing on reading and research where necessary
    • in writing narratives, considering how authors have developed characters and settings in what pupils have read, listened to or seen performed
  • draft and write by:
    • selecting appropriate grammar and vocabulary, understanding how such choices can change and enhance meaning
    • in narratives, describing settings, characters and atmosphere and integrating dialogue to convey character and advance the action
    • précising longer passages
    • using a wide range of devices to build cohesion within and across paragraphs
    • using further organisational and presentational devices to structure text and to guide the reader [for example, headings, bullet points, underlining]
  • evaluate and edit by:
    • assessing the effectiveness of their own and others’ writing
    • proposing changes to vocabulary, grammar and punctuation to enhance effects and clarify meaning
    • ensuring the consistent and correct use of tense throughout a piece of writing
    • ensuring correct subject and verb agreement when using singular and plural, distinguishing between the language of speech and writing and choosing the appropriate register
  • proofread for spelling and punctuation errors
  • perform their own compositions, using appropriate intonation, volume, and movement so that meaning is clear
Writing - vocabulary, grammar and punctuation
Pupils should be taught to:
  • develop their understanding of the concepts set out in English appendix 2 by:
    • recognising vocabulary and structures that are appropriate for formal speech and writing, including subjunctive forms
    • using passive verbs to affect the presentation of information in a sentence
    • using the perfect form of verbs to mark relationships of time and cause
    • using expanded noun phrases to convey complicated information concisely
    • using modal verbs or adverbs to indicate degrees of possibility
    • using relative clauses beginning with who, which, where, when, whose, that or with an implied (ie omitted) relative pronoun
    • learning the grammar for years 5 and 6 in English appendix 2
  • indicate grammatical and other features by:
    • using commas to clarify meaning or avoid ambiguity in writing
    • using hyphens to avoid ambiguity
    • using brackets, dashes or commas to indicate parenthesis
    • using semicolons, colons or dashes to mark boundaries between independent clauses
    • using a colon to introduce a list
    • punctuating bullet points consistently
  • use and understand the grammatical terminology in English appendix 2 accurately and appropriately in discussing their writing and reading