Primary English: Year 3 and Year 4
Primary English in key stage two (KS2) is separated into two bands, upper KS2 and lower KS2. Children in lower KS2 are aged 7-9 and in years 3-4. Spoken language become more complex as children progress through this stage. The reading and writing skills learnt in key stage 1 (KS1) should be developed and built upon in year 3 english classes. It is important that children are confident at reading and writing by the end of the year 4 english curriculum before they are challenged further in upper key stage 2.
Primary English Reading Skills
By the end of year 4, your child should be an independent reader and should be able to read different styles of writing (such as plays, poetry and non-fiction) confidently. They should also be to read both silently and aloud, at a reasonable pace. Primary English lessons expect a development of vocabulary throughout the key stages, therefore vocabulary in years 3 and 4 should be wider that vocabulary in years 1 and 2. Therefore it is increasingly important for your child to be reading different styles of poems and texts as well s more complex books that in KS1. This will allow them to have a greater library of root words and learn more words that have exceptions to rules.
Lower KS2 primary English, places a greater emphasis on your child’s comprehension than their word reading. It is important that your child has a clear understanding of different styles of writing, including figurative language. You child should also know the difference between writing and speaking styles. As your child progresses through years 3 and 4, they should begin to be able to give a summary of what they have read, in their own words.
How to support your child at home
The best way to support your child’s reading at home, is to have them read to you. Having your child read out loud to you will not only improve their spoken English but they will begin to learn how intonation and volume can covey meaning. A suggested reading list for children aged 7-9 is attached below. As your child reads to you, ask them questions about the characters and the plot to test their comprehension or you could ask for a summary at the end.
Primary Writing Skills
Handwriting and Spelling
In KS2, children learn how to use diagonal and horizontal lines to join writing to develop legible and consistent writing. It is also expected at this stage that more sentences will be able to be written from memory. Therefore, common words should be spelt correctly, using phonic knowledge learnt in KS1. Your child should also be able to use a primary English dictionary in order to find the correct spellings of unfamiliar words.
Primary English classes at this level, will begin to teach your child to write for different situations and audiences. As they move through years 3 and 4, your child should be planning what they are going to write as well as proof reading what they have written.
Vocabulary, grammar and punctuation
It is expected that, by the end of year 4, your child is able to write down their ideas using accurate grammar. They should be using a wider vocabulary than in earlier years as well as writing in the present perfect and past tenses. As your child’s knowledge of punctuation has increased, they should be using fronted adverbials (words or phrases that describe the action, positioned at the start of a sentence) and sentences with more than one clause.
How to support your child at home
Handwriting practice should support spelling and grammar practice. Giving children opportunities to write things down at home is a good way to support their writing skills. There are lots of workbooks you could use. Alternatively, you could encourage your children to have a pen pal that they can regularly write to, or to write in a personal diary. You could also encourage your children to make up games and write the rules down. Such writing tasks will help your child to plan and organise their writing and write in a variety of styles.