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English in Year 2


As children move through Key Stage 1, the new curriculum intends that almost all children will secure the basic skills of decoding so that they can become fluent readers. As their reading confidence grows they can begin to write their own ideas down.


Decoding is the ability to read words aloud by identifying the letter patterns and matching them to sounds. Once children are able to ‘decode’ the writing, they can then start to make sense of the words and sentences in context. Watch out for hard-to-decode words such as ‘one’ and ‘the’. These just have to be learned by heart.


Speaking and Listening

The Spoken Language objectives are set out for the whole of primary school, and teachers will cover many of them every year as children’s spoken language skills develop.


In Year 2 some focuses may include:

• Articulate and justify answers and opinions

• Give well-structured explanations and narratives, for example in show-and-tell activities


Reading Skills

• Read words aloud confidently, without obvious blending or rehearsal

• Learn letter patterns so that decoding becomes fluent and secure by the end of Year 2

• Blend letter sounds, including alternative patterns, e.g. recognising ‘ue’ as the ‘oo’ sound

• Read aloud words which contain more than one syllable

• Recognise common suffixes, such as –ing and –less

• Read words which don’t follow phonetic patterns, such as ‘one’ and ‘who’

• Become familiar with a wide range of fairy stories and traditional tales

• Discuss favourite words and the meaning of new words

• Check that what has been read makes sense, and self-correct reading where necessary

• Make predictions about what might happen next in a story


Children will be expected to read aloud books which are appropriate for their reading ability. During Year 2 their increasing knowledge of decoding should allow them to read a wide range of children’s books.

What is comprehension?

An introduction to reading comprehension, exploring how children build their understanding of a text using a combination of background knowledge, vocabulary, language structures and inference.

Supporting your child's reading comprehension

Understand how to develop your child's reading comprehension. 

Writing Skills

• Form letters of the appropriate size, using capital letters where appropriate

• Use appropriate spaces between words when writing

• Begin to use joins between letters where needed 17

• Spell longer words by breaking them into their sound parts

• Learn to spell some common homophones, recognising the difference between them

• Use the possessive apostrophe in simple phrases, such as ‘the boy’s football’.

• Write about real events and personal experiences

• Plan out writing in advance, including by writing down key words

• Re-read writing to check that it makes sense and to make corrections, including punctuation

• Use question marks, exclamation marks, apostrophes and commas in lists

• Use the present and past tenses correctly in writing

• Begin to write longer sentences by using conjunctions, such as ‘and’,’ but’, ‘if’ or ‘because’


Homophones are words which sound the same, such as ‘blue’ and ‘blew’, or ‘one’ and ‘won’

What are sentences?

An animated introduction to different sentence types, including statements, questions and commands. 

What are nouns?

Watch this fun animated introduction to nouns, and learn the difference between common, concrete and abstract nouns.

This information has been derived from a guide developed for schools by Michael Tidd and Rising Stars

© Rising Stars 2014


For more information on the National Curriculum please visit:

Reading Parent Tip:

Reading aloud at home continues to be vitally important at this age. You may even get your child to read their own writing aloud, attempting to add expression appropriate to the sentence.