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Statutory Requirements - Year 6

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Upper key stage 2 - years 5 and 6

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.

Reading - word reading

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

Reading - comprehension

·         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

·         Understanding 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 

Writing - transcription

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

·         spell  some words with 'silent' letters (eg. 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 Appendix 1

·         use dictionaries to check 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

Handwriting and presentation

·         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 letters

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

Writing - composition

·         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 (eg. 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 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

Writing - vocabulary, grammar and punctuation

·         Develop their understanding of the concepts set out in 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, when, whose, that or with an implied (i.e. omitted) relative pronoun

·         learning the grammar for years 5 and 6 in 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 Appendix 2 accurately and appropriately in discussing their writing and reading