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Year 4 English


Spoken Word

Word Reading


Writing – transcription

Writing – Handwriting

Writing – Composition

Writing – Grammar, Vocabulary and Punctuation

Pupils should be taught to:

listen and respond appropriately to adults and their peers

ask relevant questions to extend their understanding and knowledge

use relevant strategies to build their vocabulary

articulate and justify answers, arguments and opinions

give well-structured descriptions, explanations and narratives for different purposes, including for expressing feelings

maintain attention and participate actively in collaborative conversations, staying on topic and initiating and responding to comments

use spoken language to develop understanding through speculating, hypothesising, imagining and exploring ideas

speak audibly and fluently with an increasing command of Standard English

participate in discussions, presentations, performances, role play, improvisations and debates

gain, maintain and monitor the interest of the listener(s)

consider and evaluate different viewpoints, attending to and building on the contributions of others

select and use appropriate registers for effective communication.

Pupils should be taught to:

apply their growing knowledge of root words, prefixes and suffixes (etymology and morphology) as listed in English Appendix 1, both to read aloud and to understand the meaning of new words they meet

read further exception words, noting the unusual correspondences between spelling and sound, and where these occur in the word.

Pupils should be taught to:

develop positive attitudes to reading and understanding of what they read by:

listening to and discussing a wide range of fiction, poetry, plays, non-fiction and reference books or textbooks

reading books that are structured in different ways and reading for a range of purposes

using dictionaries to check the meaning of words that they have read

increasing their familiarity with a wide range of books, including fairy stories, myths and legends, and retelling some of these orally

identifying themes and conventions in a wide range of books preparing poems and play scripts to read aloud and to perform, showing understanding through intonation, tone, volume and action

discussing words and phrases that capture the reader’s interest and imagination

recognising some different forms of poetry [for example, free verse, narrative poetry]

understand what they read, in books they can read independently, by:

checking that the text makes sense to them, discussing their understanding and explaining the meaning of words in context

asking questions to improve their understanding of a text

drawing inferences such as inferring characters’ feelings, thoughts and motives from their actions, and justifying inferences with evidence

predicting what might happen from details stated and implied

identifying main ideas drawn from more than one paragraph and summarising these

identifying how language, structure, and presentation contribute to meaning

retrieve and record information from non-fiction

participate in discussion about both books that are read to them and those they can read for themselves, taking turns and listening to what others say.

Spelling (see English Appendix 1)

Pupils should be taught to:

use further prefixes and suffixes and understand how to add them (English Appendix 1)

spell further homophones

spell words that are often misspelt (English Appendix 1)

place the possessive apostrophe accurately in words with regular plurals [for example, girls’, boys’] and in words with irregular plurals [for example, children’s]

use the first two or three letters of a word to check its spelling in a dictionary

write from memory simple sentences, dictated by the teacher, that include words and punctuation taught so far.

Pupils should be taught to:

use the diagonal and horizontal strokes that are needed to join letters and understand which letters, when adjacent to one another, are best left unjoined

increase the legibility, consistency and quality of their handwriting [for example, by ensuring that the downstrokes of letters are parallel and equidistant; that lines of writing are spaced sufficiently so that the ascenders and descenders of letters do not touch].

Pupils should be taught to:

plan their writing by:

discussing writing similar to that which they are planning to write in order to understand and learn from its structure, vocabulary and grammar

discussing and recording ideas

draft and write by:

composing and rehearsing sentences orally (including dialogue), progressively building a varied and rich vocabulary and an increasing range of sentence structures (English Appendix 2)

organising paragraphs around a theme

in narratives, creating settings, characters and plot

in non-narrative material, using simple organisational devices [for example, headings and sub-headings]

evaluate and edit by:

assessing the effectiveness of their own and others’ writing and suggesting improvements

proposing changes to grammar and vocabulary to improve consistency, including the accurate use of pronouns in sentences

proof-read for spelling and punctuation errors

read aloud their own writing, to a group or the whole class, using appropriate intonation and controlling the tone and volume so that the meaning is clear.

Pupils should be taught to:

develop their understanding of the concepts set out in English Appendix 2 by:

extending the range of sentences with more than one clause by using a wider range of conjunctions, including when, if, because, although

using the present perfect form of verbs in contrast to the past tense

choosing nouns or pronouns appropriately for clarity and cohesion and to avoid repetition

using conjunctions, adverbs and prepositions to express time and cause

using fronted adverbials

learning the grammar for years 3 and 4 in English Appendix 2

indicate grammatical and other features by:

using commas after fronted adverbials

indicating possession by using the possessive apostrophe with plural nouns

using and punctuating direct speech

use and understand the grammatical terminology in English Appendix 2 accurately and appropriately when discussing their writing and reading.

Y4 - Vocabulary, Grammar and Punctuation


The grammatical difference between plural and possessive –s

Standard English forms for verb inflections instead of local spoken forms [for example, we were instead of we was, or I did instead of I done]


Noun phrases expanded by the addition of modifying adjectives, nouns and preposition phrases (e.g. the teacher expanded to: the strict maths teacher with curly hair)

Fronted adverbials [for example, Later that day, I heard the bad news.]


Use of paragraphs to organise ideas around a theme

Appropriate choice of pronoun or noun within and across sentences to aid cohesion and avoid repetition


Use of inverted commas and other punctuation to indicate direct speech [for example, a comma after the reporting clause; end punctuation within inverted commas: The conductor shouted, “Sit down!”]

Apostrophes to mark plural possession [for example, the girl’s name, the girls’ names]

Use of commas after fronted adverbials

Terminology for pupils


pronoun, possessive pronoun