National Curriculum KS2 Y5 & Y6

By the beginning of year 5, pupils should be able to read aloud a wider range of poetry and books written at an age-appropriate interest level with accuracy and at a reasonable speaking pace. They should be able to read most words effortlessly and to work out how to pronounce unfamiliar written words with increasing automaticity. If the pronunciation sounds unfamiliar, they should ask for help in determining both the meaning of the word and how to pronounce it correctly.

They should be able to prepare readings, with appropriate intonation to show their understanding, and should be able to summarise and present a familiar story in their own words. They should be reading widely and frequently, outside as well as in school, for pleasure and information. They should be able to read silently, with good understanding, inferring the meanings of unfamiliar words, and then discuss what they have read. Pupils should be able to write down their ideas quickly. Their grammar and punctuation should be broadly accurate. Pupils’ spelling of most words taught so far should be accurate and they should be able to spell words that they have not yet been taught by using what they have learnt about how spelling works in English.

During years 5 and 6, teachers should continue to emphasise pupils’ enjoyment and understanding of language, especially vocabulary, to support their reading and writing. Pupils’ knowledge of language, gained from stories, plays, poetry, non-fiction and textbooks, will support their increasing fluency as readers, their facility as writers, and their comprehension. As in years 3 and 4, pupils should be taught to enhance the effectiveness of their writing as well as their competence.

It is essential that pupils whose decoding skills are poor are taught through a rigorous and systematic phonics programme so that they catch up rapidly with their peers in terms of their decoding and spelling. However, as far as possible, these pupils should follow the upper key stage 2 programme of study in terms of listening to books and other writing that they have not come across before, hearing and learning new vocabulary and grammatical structures, and having a chance to talk about all of these.

By the end of year 6, pupils’ reading and writing should be sufficiently fluent and effortless for them to manage the general demands of the curriculum in year 7, across all subjects and not just in English, but there will continue to be a need for pupils to learn subject-specific vocabulary. They should be able to reflect their understanding of the audience for and purpose of their writing by selecting appropriate vocabulary and grammar. Teachers should prepare pupils for secondary education by ensuring that they can consciously control sentence structure in their writing and understand why sentences are constructed as they are. Pupils should understand nuances in vocabulary choice and age-appropriate, academic vocabulary. This involves consolidation, practice and discussion of language.

Specific requirements for pupils to discuss what they are learning and to develop their wider skills in spoken language form part of this programme of study. In years 5 and 6, pupils’ confidence, enjoyment and mastery of language should be extended through public speaking, performance and debate.

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National Curriculum KS2 Y5 & Y6: Word Reading

Statutory requirements

Pupils should be taught to:

Notes and guidance (non-statutory)

At this stage, there should be no need for further direct teaching of word reading skills for almost all pupils. If pupils are struggling or failing in this, the reasons for this should be investigated. It is imperative that pupils are taught to read during their last two years at primary school if they enter year 5 not being able to do so.

Pupils should be encouraged to work out any unfamiliar word. They should focus on all the letters in a word so that they do not, for example, read ‘invitation’ for ‘imitation’ simply because they might be more familiar with the first word. Accurate reading of individual words, which might be key to the meaning of a sentence or paragraph, improves comprehension.

When teachers are reading with or to pupils, attention should be paid to new vocabulary – both a word’s meaning(s) and its correct pronunciation.

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National Curriculum KS2 Y5 & Y6: Reading Comprehension

Statutory requirements

Pupils should be taught to:

Notes and guidance (non-statutory)

Even though pupils can now read independently, reading aloud to them should include whole books so that they meet books and authors that they might not choose to read themselves.

The knowledge and skills that pupils need in order to comprehend are very similar at different ages. Pupils should continue to apply what they have already learnt to more complex writing.

Pupils should be taught to recognise themes in what they read, such as loss or heroism. They should have opportunities to compare characters, consider different accounts of the same event and discuss viewpoints (both of authors and of fictional characters), within a text and across more than one text.

They should continue to learn the conventions of different types of writing, such as the use of the first person in writing diaries and autobiographies.

Pupils should be taught the technical and other terms needed for discussing what they hear and read, such as metaphor, simile, analogy, imagery, style and effect.

In using reference books, pupils need to know what information they need to look for before they begin and need to understand the task. They should be shown how to use contents pages and indexes to locate information.

The skills of information retrieval that are taught should be applied, for example, in reading history, geography and science textbooks, and in contexts where pupils are genuinely motivated to find out information, for example, reading information leaflets before a gallery or museum visit or reading a theatre programme or review. Teachers should consider making use of any library services and expertise to support this.

Pupils should have guidance about and feedback on the quality of their explanations and contributions to discussions.

Pupils should be shown how to compare characters, settings, themes and other aspects of what they read.

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National Curriculum KS2 Y5 & Y6: Spelling

Statutory requirements

Pupils should be taught to:

Statutory requirements Rules and guidance (non-statutory) Example words (non-statutory)
Endings which sound like /ʃəs/ spelt –cious or –tious Not many common words end like this. If the root word ends in –ce, the /ʃ/ sound is usually spelt as c – e.g. vice – vicious, grace – gracious, space – spacious, malice – malicious. Exception: anxious. vicious, precious, conscious, delicious, malicious, suspicious, ambitious, cautious, fictitious, infectious, nutritious
Endings which sound like /ʃəl/ –cial is common after a vowel letter and –tial after a consonant letter, but there are some exceptions.
Exceptions: initial, financial, commercial, provincial (the spelling of the last three is clearly related to finance, commerce and province).
official, special, artificial, partial, confidential, essential
Words ending in –ant, –ance/–ancy, –ent, –ence/–ency Use –ant and –ance/–ancy if there is a related word with a /æ/ or /eɪ/ sound in the right position; –ation endings are often a clue. Use –ent and –ence/–ency after soft c (/s/ sound), soft g (/dʒ/ sound) and qu, or if there is a related word with a clear /ɛ/ sound in the right position. observant, observance, (observation), expectant (expectation), hesitant, hesitancy (hesitation), tolerant, tolerance (toleration), substance (substantial)
There are many words, however, where the above guidance does not help. These words just have to be learnt. innocent, innocence, decent, decency, frequent, frequency, confident, confidence (confidential), assistant, assistance, obedient, obedience, independent, independence
Words ending in –able and –ible
Words ending in –ably and –ibly
The –able/–ably endings are far more common than the –ible/–ibly endings. As with –ant and –ance/–ancy, the –able ending is used if there is a related word ending in –ation. adorable/adorably (adoration), applicable/applicably (application), considerable/considerably (consideration), tolerable/tolerably (toleration)
If the –able ending is added to a word ending in –ce or –ge, the e after the c or g must be kept as those letters would otherwise have their ‘hard’ sounds (as in cap and gap) before the a of the –able ending. changeable, noticeable, forcible, legible
The –able ending is usually but not always used if a complete root word can be heard before it, even if there is no related word ending in –ation. The first five examples opposite are obvious; in reliable, the complete word rely is heard, but the y changes to i in accordance with the rule. dependable, comfortable, understandable, reasonable, enjoyable, reliable
The –ible ending is common if a complete root word can’t be heard before it but it also sometimes occurs when a complete word can be heard (e.g. sensible). possible/possibly, horrible/horribly, terrible/terribly, visible/visibly, incredible/incredibly, sensible/sensibly
Adding suffixes beginning with vowel letters to words ending in –fer The r is doubled if the –fer is still stressed when the ending is added. referring, referred, referral, preferring, preferred, transferring, transferred
The r is not doubled if the –fer is no longer stressed. reference, referee, preference, transference
Use of the hyphen Hyphens can be used to join a prefix to a root word, especially if the prefix ends in a vowel letter and the root word also begins with one. co-ordinate, re-enter, co-operate, co-own
Words with the /i:/ sound spelt ei after c The ‘i before e except after c’ rule applies to words where the sound spelt by ei is /i:/.
Exceptions: protein, caffeine, seize (and either and neither if pronounced with an initial /i:/ sound).
deceive, conceive, receive, perceive, ceiling
Words containing the letter-string ough ough is one of the trickiest spellings in English – it can be used to spell a number of different sounds. ought, bought, thought, nought, brought, fought, rough, tough, enough, cough, though, although, dough, through, thorough, borough, plough, bough
Words with ‘silent’ letters (i.e. letters whose presence cannot be predicted from the pronunciation of the word) Some letters which are no longer sounded used to be sounded hundreds of years ago: e.g. in knight, there was a /k/ sound before the /n/, and the gh used to represent the sound that ‘ch’ now represents in the Scottish word loch. doubt, island, lamb, solemn, thistle, knight
Homophones and other words that are often confused In the pairs of words opposite, nouns end –ce and verbs end –se. Advice and advise provide a useful clue as the word advise (verb) is pronounced with a /z/ sound – which could not be spelt c. advice/advise, device/devise, licence/license, practice/practise, prophecy/prophesy
More examples:
aisle: a gangway between seats (in a church, train, plane). isle: an island.
aloud: out loud. allowed: permitted.
affect: usually a verb (e.g. The weather may affect our plans). effect: usually a noun (e.g. It may have an effect on our plans). If a verb, it means ‘bring about’ (e.g. He will effect changes in the running of the business).
altar: a table-like piece of furniture in a church. alter: to change.
ascent: the act of ascending (going up). assent: to agree/agreement (verb and noun).
bridal: to do with a bride at a wedding. bridle: reins etc. for controlling a horse.
cereal: made from grain (e.g. breakfast cereal). serial: adjective from the noun series – a succession of things one after the other.
compliment: to make nice remarks about someone (verb) or the remark that is made (noun). complement: related to the word complete – to make something complete or more complete (e.g. her scarf complemented her outfit).
descent: the act of descending (going down). dissent: to disagree/disagreement (verb and noun).
desert: as a noun – a barren place (stress on first syllable); as a verb – to abandon (stress on second syllable) dessert: (stress on second syllable) a sweet course after the main course of a meal.
draft: noun – a first attempt at writing something; verb – to make the first attempt; also, to draw in someone (e.g. to draft in extra help). draught: a current of air.
farther: further. father: a male parent
guessed: past tense of the verb guess. guest: visitor
heard: past tense of the verb hear. herd: a group of animals
led: past tense of the verb lead. lead: present tense of that verb, or else the metal which is very heavy (as heavy as lead)
morning: before noon. mourning: grieving for someone who has died
past: noun or adjective referring to a previous time (e.g. In the past) or preposition or adverb showing place (e.g. he walked past me). passed: past tense of the verb ‘pass’ (e.g. I passed him in the road)
precede: go in front of or before. proceed: go on
principal: adjective – most important (e.g. principal ballerina) noun – important person (e.g. principal of a college). principle: basic truth or belief
profit: money that is made in selling things. prophet: someone who foretells the future
stationary: not moving. stationery: paper, envelopes etc.
steal: take something that does not belong to you. steel: metal
wary: cautious. weary: tired
who’s: contraction of who is or who has. whose: belonging to someone (e.g. Whose jacket is that?)

Notes and guidance (non-statutory)

As in earlier years, pupils should continue to be taught to understand and apply the concepts of word structure so that they can draw on their knowledge of morphology and etymology to spell correctly.

Word list – years 5 and 6

  • accommodate
  • accompany
  • according
  • achieve
  • aggressive
  • amateur
  • ancient
  • apparent
  • appreciate
  • attached
  • available
  • average
  • awkward
  • bargain
  • bruise
  • category
  • cemetery
  • committee
  • communicate
  • community
  • competition
  • conscience*
  • conscious*
  • controversy
  • convenience
  • correspond
  • criticise (critic + ise)
  • curiosity
  • definite
  • desperate
  • determined
  • develop
  • dictionary
  • disastrous
  • embarrass
  • environment
  • equip (–ped, –ment)
  • especially
  • exaggerate
  • excellent
  • existence
  • explanation
  • familiar
  • foreign
  • forty
  • frequently
  • government
  • guarantee
  • harass
  • hindrance
  • identity
  • immediate(ly)
  • individual
  • interfere
  • interrupt
  • language
  • leisure
  • lightning
  • marvellous
  • mischievous
  • muscle
  • necessary
  • neighbour
  • nuisance
  • occupy
  • occur
  • opportunity
  • parliament
  • persuade
  • physical
  • prejudice
  • privilege
  • profession
  • programme
  • pronunciation
  • queue
  • recognise
  • recommend
  • relevant
  • restaurant
  • rhyme
  • rhythm
  • sacrifice
  • secretary
  • shoulder
  • signature
  • sincere(ly)
  • soldier
  • stomach
  • sufficient
  • suggest
  • symbol
  • system
  • temperature
  • thorough
  • twelfth
  • variety
  • vegetable
  • vehicle
  • yacht

Notes and guidance (non-statutory)

Teachers should continue to emphasis to pupils the relationships between sounds and letters, even when the relationships are unusual. Once root words are learnt in this way, longer words can be spelt correctly if the rules and guidance for adding prefixes and suffixes are also known. Many of the words in the list above can be used for practice in adding suffixes.

Understanding the history of words and relationships between them can also help with spelling.

Examples:

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National Curriculum KS2 Y5 & Y6: Handwriting

Statutory requirements

Pupils should be taught to:

Notes and guidance (non-statutory)

Pupils should continue to practise handwriting and be encouraged to increase the speed of it, so that problems with forming letters do not get in the way of their writing down what they want to say. They should be clear about what standard of handwriting is appropriate for a particular task, for example, quick notes or a final handwritten version. They should also be taught to use an unjoined style, for example, for labelling a diagram or data, writing an email address, or for algebra and capital letters, for example, for filling in a form.

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National Curriculum KS2 Y5 & Y6: Composition

Statutory requirements

Pupils should be taught to:

Notes and guidance (non-statutory)

Pupils should understand, through being shown, the skills and processes essential for writing: that is, thinking aloud to generate ideas, drafting, and re-reading to check that the meaning is clear.

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National Curriculum KS2 Y5 & Y6: Vocabulary, Grammar and Punctuation

Statutory requirements

Pupils should be taught to:

Y5: Detail of content to be introduced
Word Converting nouns or adjectives into verbs using suffixes [for example, –ate; –ise; –ify].
Verb prefixes [for example, dis–, de–, mis–, over– and re–].
Sentence Relative clauses beginning with who, which, where, when, whose, that, or an omitted relative pronoun.
Indicating degrees of possibility using adverbs [for example, perhaps, surely] or modal verbs [for example, might, should, will, must].
Text Devices to build cohesion within a paragraph [for example, then, after that, this, firstly].
Linking ideas across paragraphs using adverbials of time [for example, later], place [for example, nearby] and number [for example, secondly] or tense choices [for example, he had seen her before].
Punctuation Brackets, dashes or commas to indicate parenthesis.
Use of commas to clarify meaning or avoid ambiguity.
Terminology for pupils modal verb, relative pronoun, relative clause, parenthesis, bracket, dash, cohesion, ambiguity.

 

Y6: Detail of content to be introduced
Word The difference between vocabulary typical of informal speech and vocabulary appropriate for formal speech and writing [for example, find out – discover; ask for – request; go in – enter].
How words are related by meaning as synonyms and antonyms [for example, big, large, little].
Sentence Use of the passive to affect the presentation of information in a sentence [for example, I broke the window in the greenhouse versus The window in the greenhouse was broken (by me)].
The difference between structures typical of informal speech and structures appropriate for formal speech and writing [for example, the use of question tags: He’s your friend, isn’t he?, or the use of subjunctive forms such as If I were or Were they to come in some very formal writing and speech].
Text Linking ideas across paragraphs using a wider range of cohesive devices: repetition of a word or phrase, grammatical connections [for example, the use of adverbials such as on the other hand, in contrast, or as a consequence], and ellipsis.
Layout devices [for example, headings, sub-headings, columns, bullets, or tables, to structure text].
Punctuation Use of the semi-colon, colon and dash to mark the boundary between independent clauses [for example, It’s raining; I’m fed up].
Use of the colon to introduce a list and use of semi-colons within lists.
Punctuation of bullet points to list information.
How hyphens can be used to avoid ambiguity [for example, man eating shark versus man-eating shark, or recover versus re-cover].
Terminology for pupils subject, object, active, passive, synonym, antonym, ellipsis, hyphen, colon, semi-colon, bullet points.

Notes and guidance (non-statutory)

Pupils should continue to add to their knowledge of linguistic terms, including those to describe grammar, so that they can discuss their writing and reading.

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