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Year 6 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 (morphology and etymology), as listed in English Appendix 1, both to read aloud and to understand the meaning of new words that they meet.

Pupils should be taught to:

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

continuing to read and discuss an increasingly 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

increasing their familiarity with a wide range of books, including myths, legends and traditional stories, modern fiction, fiction from our literary heritage, and books from other cultures and traditions recommending books that they have read to their peers, giving reasons for their choices

identifying and discussing themes and conventions in and across a wide range of writing

making comparisons within and across books

learning a wider range of poetry by heart

preparing poems and plays to read aloud and to perform, showing understanding through intonation, tone and volume so that the meaning is clear to an audience

understand what they read by:

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

asking questions to improve their understanding

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

summarising the main ideas drawn from more than one paragraph, identifying key details that support the main ideas

identifying how language, structure and presentation contribute to meaning


discuss and evaluate how authors use language, including figurative language, considering the impact on the reader

distinguish between statements of fact and opinion

retrieve, record and present information from non-fiction

participate in discussions about books that are read to them and those they can read for themselves, building on their own and others’ ideas and challenging views courteously

explain and discuss their understanding of what they have read, including through formal presentations and debates, maintaining a focus on the topic and using notes where necessary

provide reasoned justifications for their views.

Spelling (see English Appendix 1)

Pupils should be taught to:

use further prefixes and suffixes and understand the guidance for adding them

spell some words with ‘silent’ letters [for example, knight, psalm, solemn]

continue to distinguish between homophones and other words which are often confused

use knowledge of morphology and etymology in spelling and understand that the spelling of some words needs to be learnt specifically, as listed in English Appendix 1

use dictionaries to check the spelling and meaning of words

use the first three or four letters of a word to check spelling, meaning or both of these in a dictionary

use a thesaurus.

Pupils should be taught to:

write legibly, fluently and with increasing speed by:

choosing which shape of a letter to use when given choices and deciding whether or not to join specific little

choosing the writing implement that is best suited for a task.

Pupils should be taught to:

plan their writing by:

identifying the audience for and purpose of the writing, selecting the appropriate form and using other similar writing as models for their own

noting and developing initial ideas, drawing on reading and research where necessary

in writing narratives, considering how authors have developed characters and settings in what pupils have read, listened to or seen performed

draft and write by:

selecting appropriate grammar and vocabulary, understanding how such choices can change and enhance meaning

in narratives, describing settings, characters and atmosphere and integrating dialogue to convey character and advance the action

précising longer passages

using a wide range of devices to build cohesion within and across paragraphs

using further organisational and presentational devices to structure text and to guide the reader [for example, headings, bullet points, underlining]

evaluate and edit by:

assessing the effectiveness of their own and others’ writing

proposing changes to vocabulary, grammar and punctuation to enhance effects and clarify meaning

ensuring the consistent and correct use of tense throughout a piece of writing

ensuring correct subject and verb agreement when using singular and plural, distinguishing between the language of speech and writing and choosing the appropriate register

proof-read for spelling and punctuation errors

perform their own compositions, using appropriate intonation, volume, and movement so that meaning is clear.

Pupils should be taught to:

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

recognising vocabulary and structures that are appropriate for formal speech and writing, including subjunctive forms

using passive verbs to affect the presentation of information in a sentence

using the perfect form of verbs to mark relationships of time and cause

using expanded noun phrases to convey complicated information concisely

using modal verbs or adverbs to indicate degrees of possibility

using relative clauses beginning with who, which, where, when, whose, that or with an implied (i.e. omitted) relative pronoun

learning the grammar for years 5 and 6 in English Appendix 2

indicate grammatical and other features by:

using commas to clarify meaning or avoid ambiguity in writing

using hyphens to avoid ambiguity

using brackets, dashes or commas to indicate parenthesis

using semi-colons, colons or dashes to mark boundaries between independent clauses

using a colon to introduce a list

punctuating bullet points consistently

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

Y6 - Vocabulary, Grammar and Punctuation


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].


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]


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]


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