KS2 English: Years 5 and 6
Key stage 2 (KS2) English is separated into two bands. Children aged 9-11 or in years 5-6 are in upper KS2 whilst children in years 3 and 4 (ages 7-9) are in lower key stage 2. The reading and writing skills developed in lower KS2 should be consolidated in upper KS2 English classes, to prepare children for SATs in year 6.
Upper KS2 English Reading
Children should not be formally taught how to read words at this stage. Key stage 1 (KS1) and lower KS2 English classes should have introduced children to common root words. Children in years 5 and 6 should be able to apply their knowledge of root words to new words that they meet, allowing them to be fluent readers and find enjoyment through reading .
It is important that your child is able to read and understand a variety of sources, including poems and texts from other cultures and traditions. Upper KS2 2 English lessons will be encouraging your child to find themes in what they have read, such as loss or heroism. Your child will also be taught to identify the effect that the author is trying to have on the audience. Children should develop a deeper understanding about texts by comparing characters as well as identifying similes, metaphors and analogies. Upper KS2 English tasks should also give children opportunities to use the contents and index pages of reference books. This may be through giving children a topic to research.
How to support your child
The best way to encourage your child’s reading development is to give them more books and texts to read. A list of book ideas for children this age is available below. Taking your children to the library allows them to read a wider range of books and gives them practice searching for items using a reference.
Upper KS2 Writing
Your child should be becoming more confident in their ability to spell complex words with silent letters. Children should be following the Standard English spelling rules, with confidence. They should also be able to check their spellings in a dictionary and be able to use a thesaurus.
By the end of year 6, your child should have legible handwriting and a personal writing style, handwriting is a core part of KS2 English. Children should know when and how to join specific letters. Your child should also be confident in adapting their handwriting for different situations, such as writing in capitals when filling a form, for example.
KS2 English will also teach children to write for specific purposes and audiences. In year 5 and year 6, children should be confident at writing creatively as well as writing factual information. They should be making detailed plans about what they are going to write to allow good flow and cohesion between sentences. Pieces of writing that your child produces should have consistent tenses and correct subject verb agreement, showing evidence of proofreading.
Vocabulary, grammar and punctuation
At this stage, your child should be selecting appropriate vocabulary, sentence structure and grammar to meet the purpose of their writing. Children should understand how the use of grammar could change the meaning of what they have written. Additionally, more varied punctuation should be used at this stage such as colons, semi-colons, hyphens and dashes.
How to support your child at home
Having your child conduct and write up research projects supports both their reading and writing development. They should be using reference books to do their research, such research will help them to practice writing for a different purpose, a prominent feature of kS2 English. There are also workbooks that you can use to improve your child’s writing skills in preparation for SATs tests in year 6.