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National Curriculum Primary Keystage 1 Year 2 English

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Spoken language

Statutory requirements

Pupils should be taught to:

  • 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.

Notes and guidance (non-statutory)

These statements apply to all years. The content should be taught at a level appropriate to the age of the pupils. Pupils should build on the oral language skills that have been taught in preceding years.

Pupils should be taught to develop their competence in spoken language and listening to enhance the effectiveness with which they are able to communicate across a range of contexts and to a range of audiences. They should therefore have opportunities to work in groups of different sizes – in pairs, small groups, large groups and as a whole class. Pupils should understand how to take turns and when and how to participate constructively in conversations and debates.

Attention should also be paid to increasing pupils’ vocabulary, ranging from describing their immediate world and feelings to developing a broader, deeper and richer vocabulary to discuss abstract concepts and a wider range of topics, and to enhancing their knowledge about language as a whole.

Pupils should receive constructive feedback on their spoken language and listening, not only to improve their knowledge and skills but also to establish secure foundations for effective spoken language in their studies at primary school, helping them to achieve in secondary education and beyond.

Reading – word reading

Statutory requirements

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
  • re-read these books to build up their fluency and confidence in word reading.

Notes and guidance (non-statutory)

Pupils should revise and consolidate the GPCs and the common exception words taught in year 1. The exception words taught will vary slightly, depending on the phonics programme being used. As soon as pupils can read words comprising the year 2 GPCs accurately and speedily, they should move on to the years 3 and 4 programme of study for word reading.

When pupils are taught how to read longer words, they should be shown syllable boundaries and how to read each syllable separately before they combine them to read the word.

Pupils should be taught how to read suffixes by building on the root words that they have already learnt. The whole suffix should be taught as well as the letters that make it up.

Pupils who are still at the early stages of learning to read should have ample practice in reading books that are closely matched to their developing phonic knowledge and knowledge of common exception words. As soon as the decoding of most regular words and common exception words is embedded fully, the range of books that pupils can read independently will expand rapidly. Pupils should have opportunities to exercise choice in selecting books and be taught how to do so.

Reading – comprehension

Statutory requirements

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.

Notes and guidance (non-statutory)

Pupils should be encouraged to read all the words in a sentence and to do this accurately, so that their understanding of what they read is not hindered by imprecise decoding [for example, by reading ‘place’ instead of ‘palace’].

Pupils should monitor what they read, checking that the word they have decoded fits in with what else they have read and makes sense in the context of what they already know about the topic.

The meaning of new words should be explained to pupils within the context of what they are reading, and they should be encouraged to use morphology (such as prefixes) to work out unknown words.

Pupils should learn about cause and effect in both narrative and non-fiction (for example, what has prompted a character’s behaviour in a story; why certain dates are commemorated annually). ‘Thinking aloud’ when reading to pupils may help them to understand what skilled readers do.

Deliberate steps should be taken to increase pupils’ vocabulary and their awareness of grammar so that they continue to understand the differences between spoken and written language.

Discussion should be demonstrated to pupils. They should be guided to participate in it and they should be helped to consider the opinions of others. They should receive feedback on their discussions.

Role-play and other drama techniques can help pupils to identify with and explore characters. In these ways, they extend their understanding of what they read and have opportunities to try out the language they have listened to.

Writing – transcription

Statutory requirements

Spelling (seeEnglish Appendix 1)

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 one 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, includingment, –ness, –ful,less, –ly
  • apply spelling rules and guidance, as listed inEnglish 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.

Notes and guidance (non-statutory)

In year 2, pupils move towards more word-specific knowledge of spelling, including homophones. The process of spelling should be emphasised: that is, that spelling involves segmenting spoken words into phonemes and then representing all the phonemes by graphemes in the right order. Pupils should do this both for single-syllable and multi-syllabic words.

At this stage children’s spelling should be phonically plausible, even if not always correct. Misspellings of words that pupils have been taught to spell should be corrected; other misspelt words can be used as an opportunity to teach pupils about alternative ways of representing those sounds.

Pupils should be encouraged to apply their knowledge of suffixes from their word reading to their spelling. They should also draw from and apply their growing knowledge of word and spelling structure, as well as their knowledge of root words.

Statutory requirements

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.

Notes and guidance (non-statutory)

Pupils should revise and practise correct letter formation frequently. They should be taught to write with a joined style as soon as they can form letters securely with the correct orientation.

Writing – composition

Statutory requirements

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
  • re-reading to check that their writing makes sense and that verbs to indicate time are used correctly and consistently, including verbs in the continuous form
  • proof-reading 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.

Notes and guidance (non-statutory)

Reading and listening to whole books, not simply extracts, helps pupils to increase their vocabulary and grammatical knowledge, including their knowledge of the vocabulary and grammar of Standard English. These activities also help them to understand how different types of writing, including narratives, are structured. All these can be drawn on for their writing.

Pupils should understand, through being shown these, the skills and processes essential to writing: that is, thinking aloud as they collect ideas, drafting, and re-reading to check their meaning is clear.

Drama and role-play can contribute to the quality of pupils’ writing by providing opportunities for pupils to develop and order their ideas through playing roles and improvising scenes in various settings.

Pupils might draw on and use new vocabulary from their reading, their discussions about it (one-to-one and as a whole class) and from their wider experiences.

Writing – vocabulary, grammar and punctuation

Statutory requirements

Pupils should be taught to:

  • 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.

Notes and guidance (non-statutory)

The terms for discussing language should be embedded for pupils in the course of discussing their writing with them. Their attention should be drawn to the technical terms they need to learn.