Writing sentences: Key Stage 2 English
At this stage, children should already be using more complex punctuation when writing sentences. As children progress through key stage 2 (KS2) they should be using a wider range of punctuation and appropriate grammar to make sure that writing is clear and easy to understand. Children will also be taught to check their writing for inaccuracies.
Full stops, question marks and exclamation marks
These forms of punctuations should have been introduced when your child was writing sentences and stories in key stage 1 (KS1). By the end of year 3, children should be confident in using a full stop, question mark or exclamation mark to end a sentence. A question mark is used when a question is being asked whilst an exclamation mark is used to indicate surprise, excitement or force.
As your child enters KS2, they will be encouraged to use commas to elongate their sentences. There are various ways that commas can be used.
Children will be taught how a comma can be used to form a list. Each item is followed by a comma except before the final item where you use “and”. For example: Amy bought apples, oranges, pears and bananas.
Your child should also begin to use commas instead of brackets when writing sentences, since this makes work easier to read. Two commas can separate the extra information that is enclosed in a bracket instead. Joshua bought a blue jumper, which is his favourite colour, to wear to his grandmother’s birthday party.
In KS2, your children will be forming more compound sentences. They will be encouraged to use a comma between each clause to make their work easier to read.
Children should also begin writing from different perspectives and writing speech. They will be taught to use inverted commas, or speech marks, when they write this way.
As children progress through KS2, they will be taught to use apostrophes to make their writing easier to read.
Your child will learn to use an apostrophe to show that one thing belongs to another, called possession. Therefore they will be writing sentences such as: “The dog’s bed was very dirty”. The ’s after the word dog shows the reader that the bed belongs to the dog.
Children will also learn how to show omission using an apostrophe. This will allow them to form contractions so that they can write, “couldn’t” rather than could not. The apostrophe shows that the “o” has been left out.
As your child moves into upper KS2 (years 5 and 6) they should be writing sentences that include semi-colons. If your child is aiming for a level 5, they should use semi-colons confidently. Semi colons can be used to link two sentences on the same theme, instead of a comma or full stop. When children are writing long lists, instead of commas, they should begin to use semi-colons.
Writing Sentences: Resources
In order for children to become more confident with the different forms of punctuation to use when writing sentences, they need to practice. There are a variety of online games, workbooks and worksheets that are available to use. Here are some free worksheets, which you can print out and use at home.
Your children might like to use this punctuation guide to help them include different forms of punctuation in their writing.
This worksheet helps children to practice proof reading. The sentences do not have correct punctuation; children have to re-write the sentences with the correct punctuation added.