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Year Three


To understand the function of verbs in sentences:

  • Noticing that sentences cannot make sense without them;
  • Identify the verb(s) in a sentence.

To understand the term noun and use appropriately. To understand that common nouns are names of objects and that proper nouns name particular people, places etc.:

  • Identify nouns in shared reading and own writing;
  • Pick out proper nouns and capitalise in own writing;
  • Discuss proper nouns as they occur across the curriculum, e.g. rivers and counties;
  • Introduce the term ‘noun phrase’ e.g. the blue butterfly.

To use the term adjective appropriately and to understand the function of adjectives in sentences through:

  • Identifying adjectives in shared reading and own writing;
  • Understanding that adjectives describe nouns and identifying in a sentence which adjective relates to which noun;
  • Forming adjectives using suffixes such as –ful, -less e.g. helpful/helpless.

To develop a basic understanding of adverbs through their knowledge of verbs.

To extend knowledge and understanding of pluralisation:

  • To understand terms plural and singular;
  • Recognising the use of singular and plural forms (regular and irregular) in speech and through shared writing.

Noticing which nouns can be pluralised and which cannot, e.g. trousers, rain, deer.


  • To understand that adverbs give more information about verbs (focus on adverbs of manner);
  • To look at how common adverbs (of manner) are often formed by adding the ly suffix to adjectives e.g. careful- carefully;
  • To use subordinating conjunctions (when, before, because, if, after, while etc.) to form complex sentences and to use co-ordinating conjunctions (but, and, or) to make compound sentences. To introduce the term subordinate clause;
  • To begin to use the term preposition in terms of position (under, below, on) and time (during).


  • To develop consistent use of present and past tenses in own writing. To use the progressive forms of verbs to mark actions in progress (present and past tense) she is running, he was shouting and to use the present perfect form of verbs as well as the simple past (‘He has gone out to play’ contrasted with ‘he went out to play’);
  • To introduce paragraphs as a way to group related material and also headings and sub-headings to aid presentation.


To secure knowledge of full stops, question marks and exclamation marks in reading and to understand their purpose and use appropriately in own writing.

To understand the function of commas in lists and to attempt to use in own work.

To understand the basic conventions of speech punctuation through:

  • identifying speech marks (inverted commas) in reading;
  • beginning to use speech marks in own writing;
  • using capital letters to mark the start of direct speech;
  • to use the term “speech marks” and “ inverted commas”;
  • to start to understand the term “direct speech” as repeating the exact words spoken.

Use the apostrophe correctly in contractions to signify missing letters (omission) and to mark singular possession e.g. ‘the boy’s bike’.


  • preposition, conjunction;
  • word family, prefix;
  • clause, subordinate clause;
  • direct speech;
  • consonant, consonant letter vowel, vowel letter;
  • inverted commas (or ‘speech marks’).

Year Four


To continually revise and develop knowledge of word classes (verbs, nouns, adverbs, adjectives, prepositions etc).

  • To introduce the term “determiner”;
  • To be aware of the use of standard English e.g. I was, we were etc.;
  • To identify determiners and look at where they appear in sentences.


To expand noun phrases e.g. the teacher to: the strict maths teacher with curly hair

To extend knowledge and understanding of adverbs :

  • To understand and use the term “adverb” to include not just adverbs of manner (how – quietly, hesitantly), but also adverbs relating to time (later, soon, earlier, yesterday, now, last year), place (here, there) and frequency (often, never, rarely, regularly);
  • Introduce the phrase fronted adverbials (adverbs or adverb phrases that come at the beginning of a sentence). Introduce the idea of using a comma after a fronted adverbial e.g. Later that day, the children went to the pool.

Use the term clause as appropriate.

  • Main clause (can stand alone as a sentence e.g. The man was angry);
  • Subordinate clause (cannot stand alone – needs to be attached to a main clause e.g. because he had banged his elbow);
  • BOTH TYPES OF CLAUSE HAVE A VERB (a phrase has no verb e.g. The hairy beast under the table).

To identify and use categories of sentence: statement, command, exclamation and question.


To understand and use the term “tense” in relation to verbs.

To know that tense refers to time.

To know that one test of whether a word is a verb is whether or not its tense can be changed.

To use the term “pronoun” appropriately and to understand the function of pronouns in sentences through:

  • Noticing in speech and reading how they stand in place of nouns;
  • Substituting pronouns for common and proper nouns in own writing to avoid repetition;
  • Distinguishing personal pronouns, e.g. I, you, him, it  and possessive pronouns, e.g. my, yours, hers.

Use paragraphs to organise ideas around a theme.


Using apostrophes to mark singular and plural possession (the girl’s name, the girls’ names).


  • Determiner;
  • pronoun, possessive pronoun;
  • adverbial.

Year Five


To continually revise and extend knowledge of word classes (verbs, nouns, adverbs, adjectives, prepositions, determiners, pronouns etc.)

To understand the basic conventions of standard English and consider when and why standard English is used:

  • Agreement between nouns and verbs;
  • Consistency of tense and subject;
  • Avoidance of non-standard dialect words unless in dialogue.

Convert nouns and or adjectives to verbs using suffixes: -ate, -ise, -ify e.g. note to notify.


To use the term “preposition” appropriately and to understand the function of prepositions in sentences.

Introduce the term relative pronoun: who, which, where, when, whose, that.

Use these to form relative clauses e.g. The boat, which was old and battered, had been on the beach for years. The relative pronoun can be omitted e.g. The boat, old and battered, had been on the beach for years.

Indicate degrees of possibility using adverbs (perhaps, surely, maybe, certainly) or modal verbs: might, should, will, must.

To investigate clauses through:

  • Identifying the main clause in a long sentence;
  • Investigating sentences which contain more than one clause;
  • Understand how clauses are connected (e.g. combining 3 short sentences into 1);
  • To use conjunctions to link clauses within sentences and to link sentences in longer texts;
  • To be aware of subordinate clauses and relative clauses.


  • Build cohesion within paragraphs ( then, after, firstly and use of pronouns);
  • Link ideas across paragraphs: ‘as I stated earlier’, ‘secondly’, ‘another point that I would like to make’;
  • To explore ambiguities that can arise  e.g. through signs and headlines: “police shot man with knife”.


  • To use the conventions of speech, punctuating accurately and starting a new line for a different speaker.
  • To understand the difference between direct and reported speech (e.g. She said, “I am going,” and “She said she was going”.
  • Discussing contexts and reasons for using particular forms and their effects.
  • Transforming direct into reported speech and vice versa, noting changes in punctuation and words that have to be changed or added.
  • Use brackets, dashes or commas to indicate parenthesis.
  • Use commas to clarify meaning, mark off opening phrases or avoid ambiguity.


  • Modal verb, relative pronoun;
  • relative clause;
  • parenthesis, bracket, dash;
  • cohesion, ambiguity.

Year Six


To use and identify synonyms (similar) and antonyms (opposite).

To understand the term ‘adverbial’ (an adverb or adverb phrase) and be aware that they can be used to start a sentence e.g. “During the afternoon…”

To understand the function of a determiner and how they are used to ‘limit’ nouns.

To be aware of the articles: a, an, and, the.

To be confident in using language of word classes learned in previous years.


To understand and use the terms “active” and “passive” when referring to verbs, and to be able to apply their knowledge in their own writing:

  • Transforming a sentence from active to passive and vice-versa;
  • To note and discuss how changes from active to passive affect the word order and sense of a sentence and to consider how the passive voice can conceal the agent of a sentence, e.g. The window was broken…

To identify, understand and form complex sentences and be able to identify main and subordinate clauses:

  • To understand the difference between a phrase and a clause.

To be able to deliberately use combinations of different kinds of sentences for effect.

To be aware that there are different kinds of phrases e.g.:

  • Noun phrases – battered, old shoes;
  • Prepositional phrases – beside the gate.


To understand the term “impersonal voice” and to be able to write in this style  e.g. when writing a science investigation.

To understand features of formal and informal language:

  • Use of question tags: He’s your friend isn’t he?;
  • Recognise subjunctive forms that may be used in very formal writing, e.g. I wish it were summer;
  • If Roger were an honest spy, he would not reveal the atomic secret.

To use a wider range of cohesive devices to link ideas across paragraphs e.g. On the other hand … As I have previously mentioned … However, … As a consequence…


To use the colon to introduce a list, give explanation or suggest options.

To use semi-colon and dash to mark the boundary between independent clauses.

To use semi-colons within complicated lists.

To use hyphens to avoid ambiguity: man eating shark versus man-eating shark


  • Subject, object
  • active, passive
  • synonym, antonym
  • ellipsis, hyphen, colon, semi-colon, bullet points