English for children aged 5-7 | Key Stage 1 English
English for children aged 5-7 should follow the guidelines set by the national curriculum. Children aged 5-6 will be in year 1 whilst children aged 6-7 will be in year 2. Both year 1 and year 2 are known as key stage 1 (KS1). The national curriculum expects progress and development in reading and writing from the beginning of year 1 to the end of year 2.
Reading English for children in KS1
Learning to read is an important part of English for children this age. By the end of KS1 your child should be confident in reading common words. They should be applying learnt grapheme-phoneme correspondences (GPCs: relationship between the sounds and the letters representing each sound) to words they are unfamiliar with. You child should also be able to read words with common suffixes (–s, -es, -ing, -ed, -er and –est) as well as be able to read common contractions (such as “can’t”) with ease.
Not only should children be enjoying reading but they should also be able to understand the context and discuss what that they have read. At this stage, children should be beginning to express their own opinions about texts and be linking new words to similar ones already in their vocabulary. Learning to read a variety of texts is a crucial part of English for children in KS1. Your child should be introduced to non-fiction texts as well as poems and scripts.
How to support your child at home
The best way to support your child’s reading at home is to read with them regularly. Books should be at an appropriate level so you it is a good idea to use an early reading scheme such as the Oxford Reading Tree or the Rigby Star guided. You should give children a variety of books and non-fiction books on topics that they enjoy, such as animals, so they begin to enjoy reading.
Writing for Children in KS1
English for children at this age is based on the expectation that your child knows at least 40 phonemes (meaningful sound units). Using these phonemes and graphemes (written representation of a phoneme), your child should be able to spell common words. Children should recognise common root words and expand on them using common suffixes (–ing, -ed, -ly) and prefixes (e.g. –un). As your child becomes confident with spellings they should be able to distinguish between alternative spellings of the same sound (called homophones, such as “won” and “one”) and write simple sentences from memory.
By the end of KS1, children should be writing lower case letters in a similar size to each other but with an appropriate size difference to upper case letters. It is also expected that children will begin to join up the letters that they write.
English for children in KS1 should be teach effective planning and strategies to spot mistakes in their own work. English for children at this key stage will introduce them to writing in different styles, such as personal experiences, stories and poetry. As children read a variety of texts, they should become increasingly confident at writing in different styles.
Vocabulary, grammar and punctuation
Grammar is an area that many children struggle with during the year 2 SATs. Children’s written work should resemble Standard English, with use of a variety of punctuation (e.g. commas, apostrophes, exclamation marks and question marks). English for children this age, should also be capitalising proper nouns, using subordination (e.g. “when”, “since”) and conjunction words (e.g. “and”, “because”).
How to support your child at home
It is important to practice writing skills at home. Lists of spellings given by school should be revised and tested at home. It can be helpful to have a magnetic alphabet on the fridge as this can encourage children to practice spelling common words. There are also a variety of workbooks that you can use to support your child’s spelling, handwriting and grammar. However, you should also give your children lots of opportunities to write and practice the skills they have learnt at school. This could be through writing lists or letters to relatives.