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English - Key Stage 2

In Key Stage 2 we aim to consolidate, reinforce, build on and extend the skills and knowledge the children have learned in KS1, then, by introducing new learning, help to prepare them for End of Key Stage Tests (sometimes called SATs) and be ready for the challenges of English at secondary school.

The starting point for our English planning is the National Curriculum. Our mixed age class means we have to personalise each lesson to ensure the range of abilities in the class are being accommodated and that each child can access the lessons and feel challenged by the work they are doing.

We can separate English into three distinct topics, each of which are addressed during a typical English lesson. These are:

  • Reading;
  • Writing;
  • Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar.


Each week there is a different class text for the children to read. The texts are picked or written specifically to address a particular teaching point e.g. an instruction text can be used to teach time-related connectives. These texts are based on the guidance in the National Curriculum and our Key Stage 2 text plan can be seen as Appendix 1. Each day the children read the text aloud starting with the more able so by the end of the week all the children are familiar with the text and can access it. The text is discussed in terms of its key elements (tense, person, layout, style / tone) and the vocabulary in the text is discussed and defined. The text will then be used as a chance to see specific examples of different types of sentence level work (see later).

Every week there will be a reading comprehension session, normally on a Thursday and this will be followed up on Friday when we discuss the answers and correct or finish the task.

There will also be many opportunities for reading during the week in other lessons and in other circumstances (see later).


Every week the children will be tasked with a writing exercise based on the text they have been reading in class – continue the story, reply to the letter, write the next day’s newspaper article and so on. Using cues, scaffolds, models and templates, they will plan a draft text in their ‘rough’ writing book and have chances to edit, correct mistakes and improve what they have written, before producing a finished ‘neat’ copy which is added to their Writing book.

During the course of the week there are also opportunities for writing sentence level work based on a particular element of writing – connectives, pronouns, active and passive, conditional tense etc. The different elements of writing that are addressed each term can be found as Appendix 2. Misconceptions will be addressed in the form of ‘Next Steps’ the following day.

An element of self-assessment is included with a ‘Next Time I Will’ cue in their English books. This is a chance for the children to think about what they need to do to improve and make a note for themselves.

Peer assessment happens in the form of a ‘green pencil’ session. The children swap books and underline in green pencil a part of their partner’s work that they like. Then using normal pencil they will suggest one thing their partner could do to improve their writing.

Each year from October to December we have a Writing Club after school which is a chance for the children to work on some of the texts we have covered in the lessons during the term.

Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar (SPAG)

Each week the children will work on a different spelling pattern based on the recommendations in the National Curriculum – the spelling list for the year can be found as Appendix 3. Every day, as part of the ‘20 minute’ session, the children will practise writing the spelling pattern for the week. They also work on spelling sheets which are taken from the National Curriculum word lists. There is then a whole class spelling session each Thursday based on the same spelling pattern.

Children are asked to write spelling corrections from the previous day’s work into their desk dictionary.

If a child does not know how to spell a word they have various options – they could independently use a dictionary or ask a friend to help. Staff will help once these options have been exhausted.

Elements of punctuation and grammar are covered during English lessons as part of sentence level work. We work on a ‘parsing’ activity each day where the children write a sentence and identify any elements of grammar therein e.g. word types, punctuation, clauses etc.

The children each have a grammar book which contains an element of grammar from the National Curriculum. We define the grammar type and then provide an example of how it works – see Appendix 4 for an example page from the grammar book.


Assessment in English is managed in a variety of ways: as well as the self-assessment and peer-assessments mentioned above, there is constant summative assessment taking place in all lessons as staff move around the classroom, watching what the children are doing. Sometimes it is a case of correcting misconceptions, other times it may be verbal feedback, encouragement, praise or ‘please do better!’

We also formally assess the children regularly. All children are tested annually in Reading, Writing and SPAG  - the Y6s have End of Key Stage tests and the Y3s, Y4s and Y5s take age appropriate tests at the same time.

Booster Club (see below) is a chance to help children with gaps in learning as we work through Reading Comprehension tests, praising successes and helping with questions the children find hard. We also work on whole class misconceptions that arise from these assessments.


Teachers mark all the children’s books the same day. This is important as it allows misconceptions and problems to be addressed quickly and effectively. Marking usually takes the form of praise and reward for good work and suggestions as to what the children could do to improve. For more information, see our Marking Policy.


Every year, from January to May we hold 2 Booster sessions a week, one of which focuses on Reading Comprehension. This gives the children the chance to familiarise themselves with the type of questions that come up in the End of Key Stage tests as well as allowing staff to work on areas for development.


We are fortunate that we have some volunteers who come to school and listen to children read one to one. This provides a chance for children to share some reading, particularly those who struggle with reading.

Group Reading

We have organised the children into 5 different reading groups. Each week they will work in their group, reading a text which is appropriate for their level, and answering a set of questions based on the text they have read.


Children are given targeted homework every week in English. This may relate to sentence level work or to the text they are working on that week.

Some children are asked to take reading books home – these are targeted at the ability level.


All the children have a set of targets on their desk, some of which relate to English. This may include a target based on presentation or aim to increase a particular element of writing their texts e.g. speech marks or relative clauses. There is also a spelling target. There is a reward system which works on completing 5 of their target.


We encourage our parents to be involved in their children’s learning. This may include helping with homework, having formal meetings to discuss progress, chatting informally at drop-off and home time or through letters and other forms of communication. While we like parents to help, we are clear about how independent the children should be when completing homework.