Year 6

English in Year 5 and Year 6


In upper Key Stage 2, your child will increasingly meet a wider range of texts and types of writing, and will be encouraged to use their skills in a broader range of contexts. Their knowledge of grammar will also increase as they prepare for the National Curriculum Tests to be taken in the summer term of Year 6.


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 Years 5 and 6, some focuses may include:

  • Speak clearly in a range of contexts, using Standard English where appropriate
  • Monitor the reactions of listeners and react accordingly
  • Consider different viewpoints, listening to others and responding with relevant views
  • Use appropriate language, tone and vocabulary for different purposes


Reading Skills
  • Read a wide range of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, plays and reference books
  • Learn a range of poetry by heart
  • Perform plays and poems using tone, volume and intonation to convey meaning
  • Use knowledge of spelling patterns and related words to read aloud and understand new words
  • Make comparisons between different books, or parts of the same book
  • Read a range of modern fiction, classic fiction and books from other cultures and traditions
  • Identify and discuss themes and conventions across a wide range of writing
  • Discuss understanding of texts, including exploring the meaning of words in context
  • Ask questions to improve understanding of texts
  • Summarise ideas drawn from more than one paragraph, identifying key details
  • Predict future events from details either written in a text or by ‘reading between the lines’
  • Identify how language, structure and presentation contribute to meaning
  • Discuss how authors use language, including figurative language, to affect the reader
  • Make book recommendations, giving reasons for choices
  • Participate in discussions about books, building on and challenging ideas
  • Explain and discuss understanding of reading
  • Participate in formal presentations and debates about reading
  • Provide reasoned justifications for views
Writing Skills
  • Write with increasing speed, maintaining legibility and style
  • Spell some words with silent letters, such as knight and solemn
  • Recognise and use spellings for homophones and other often-confused words from the Y5/6 list
  • Use a dictionary to check spelling and meaning
  • Identify the audience and purpose before writing, and adapt accordingly
  • Select appropriate grammar and vocabulary to change or enhance meaning
  • Develop setting, atmosphere and character, including through dialogue
  • Write a summary of longer passages of writing
  • Use a range of cohesive devices
  • Use advanced organisational and presentational devices, such as bullet points
  • Use the correct tense consistently throughout a piece of writing
  • Ensure correct subject and verb agreement
  • Perform compositions using appropriate intonation, volume and movement
  • Use a thesaurus
  • Use expanded noun phrases to convey complicated information concisely
  • Use modal verbs or adverbs to indicate degrees of possibility
  • Use relative clauses
  • Recognise vocabulary and structures that are appropriate for formal use
  • Use passive verbs to affect the presentation of information
  • Use the perfect form of verbs to mark relationships of time and cause
  • Recognise the difference in informal and formal language
  • Use grammatical connections and adverbials for cohesion
  • Use ellipses, commas, brackets and dashes in writing
  • Use hyphens to avoid ambiguity
  • Use semi-colons, colons and dashes between independent clauses
  • Use a colon to introduce a list
  • Punctuate bullet points consistently