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Medlar-With-Wesham Church of England Primary School

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English Curriculum



Year 1 - pupils start to:

• Sound and blend unfamiliar printed words quickly and accurately.
• Continue to learn new grapheme-phoneme correspondences (GPCs) and revise and consolidate those learnt earlier. Understanding that the letter(s) on the page represent the sounds in spoken words should underpin pupils’ reading and spelling of all words.
• Develop the skill of blending the sounds into words for reading and establish the habit of applying this skill whenever they encounter new words.
• Hear, share and discuss a wide range of high quality books to develop a love of reading and broaden their vocabulary.

Writing in 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.


Year 2 - pupils should:

• Be able to read all common graphemes.
• 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.
• Be able to read many common words containing GPCs taught so far without needing to blend the sounds out loud first.
• Be secure reading common exception words.
• Increase their fluency by being able to read these words easily and automatically.
• 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.

Pupils will listen to and discuss a wide range of stories, poems, plays and information books, including whole books.

Writing at the beginning of year 2  - pupils should be able to compose individual sentences orally and then write them down. They should be able to spell correctly many of the words covered in year 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, so establishing good handwriting habits from the beginning.
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.



Year 3 - pupils should:

• Be able to read books written at an age appropriate interest level.
• 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.
• Be able to decode most new words outside their spoken vocabulary, making a good approximation to the word’s pronunciation.
• Be developing their understanding and enjoyment of stories, poetry, plays and non-fiction, and learning to read silently.
• Be developing their knowledge and skills in reading non-fiction about a wide range of subjects.
• 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.
• Be able to write down their ideas with a reasonable degree of accuracy and with good sentence punctuation.
• Begin 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.

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


Year 5 - pupils should:

  •  Be able to read aloud a wider range of poetry and books written at an age-appropriate interest level with accuracy and at a reasonable speaking pace.
  • Be able to read most words effortlessly and to work out how to pronounce unfamiliar written words with increasing automaticity.
  • Be able to prepare readings, with appropriate intonation to show their understanding,

   • Be able to summarise and present a familiar story in their own words.
   • Be reading widely and frequently, outside as well as in school, for pleasure and information. 
   • Be able to read silently, with good understanding, inferring the meanings of unfamiliar words, and then discuss what they have read.
   • Be able to write down their ideas quickly. Their grammar and punctuation should be broadly accurate. Pupils’ spelling of most words taught so far should be accurate and they should be able to spell words that they have not yet been taught by using what they have learnt about how spelling works in English.


By the end of year 6, pupils’ reading and writing should be sufficiently fluent and effortless for them to manage the general demands of the curriculum in year 7, across all subjects and not just in English, but there will continue to be a need for pupils to learn subject specific vocabulary.

Pupils should:

• Be able to reflect their understanding of the audience for and purpose of their writing by selecting appropriate vocabulary and grammar. 
• Understand nuances in vocabulary choice and age-appropriate, academic vocabulary. This involves consolidation, practice and discussion of language.

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 5 and 6, pupils’ confidence, enjoyment and mastery of language should be extended through public speaking, performance and debate.

Most people read words more accurately than they spell them. The younger pupils are, the truer this is.