Children aged 11-14 or in year 7, year 8 or year 9 are in key stage 3. The national curriculum for key stage 3 English is focused on reading and writing as well as spoken English.


Grammar and vocabulary

Grammar and vocabulary is important for reading comprehension as well as written and spoken English. It is expected that by the end of year 9, children can incorporate different grammatical techniques into their speech as well as their written work. They should also be able to recognise the difference between Standard English vocabulary and other varieties of English.



Key stage 3 English classes will be introducing your child to books and poems from different genres, time periods and authors. They will be looking at a variety of texts including prose, poetry and drama. The key stage 3 English curriculum is focused on analysing texts to determine the purpose and audience. Your child should be able to suggest reasons that the author chose to write in a particular way.



By this stage, your child should be confident at writing imaginatively. Practice at school may shift to writing for more formal purposes such as expository and narrative essays. By the end of key stage 3 English, your child should be able to write notes for presentations and be confident writing to get a particular response from their audience. Your child should be able to write in different styles and incorporate the vocabulary from texts they have read into their own pieces.



Unlike earlier years, key stage 3 English classes formally teach your child speaking techniques. Therefore, by the end of year 9 your child should be confident in using speaking in Standard English for both formal and informal situations. They should be able to give speeches and take part in debates. Knowledge of the effects of intonation, tone, volume and action should also be incorporated into your child’s spoken English to convey meaning.


Key Stage 3 English at Home

Key stage 3 English should challenge your child. Therefore, it is important that what is taught at school is supported and continued at home. You should provide your child with more varied and complex books as well as poems from different cultures to read. You could also encourage them to read the newspaper to practice reading texts, which have different purposes and styles. Reading the newspaper also allows you to have discussions with your children about important topics, which will help them to practice their debating skills.

Encouraging your child to write and recite poems or write and perform scripts will support both their written and spoken English. They will be able to practice writing for different purposes and for different styles. When they perform they should be using the correct intonation and tone to reinforce what they have learnt at school.

At this stage, it is essential that your child is confident with English grammar rules. This is because grammar will allow your child to understand key stage 3 English texts as well as enable them to produce a high level of written and spoken English. A guide sheet for grammar and a guide sheet for punctuation are attached below. It might be helpful for your child to use these sheets when they are planning and checking their work.

Additionally, workbooks may help your child to practise all these essential English skills.

Key stage 3 English Grammar Guide

KS3 Grammar Guide

Key Stage 3 Punctuation Sheet

KS3 Punctuation Sheet