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What your child learns in Key Stage 1 English

Little boy writing
Your guide to what your child will learn in Years 1 and 2 in English and literacy.

English is made up reading, writing, and speaking and listening. During Key Stage 1 the material they will be using may include:

  • Stories and poems with familiar settings
  • Imaginary worlds
  • Fairy tales
  • Strories from other cultures
  • Poems
  • Plays
  • Non-fiction and information books


Your school will probably have a reading scheme which your child will follow and they will bring books home to read. At school they will read with their teacher, or in small groups, known as ‘guided reading’.

You child will learn:

  • to sound and name the letters of the alphabet
  • groups of letters
  • letters which can make different sounds
  • to use phonics to help them read unfamiliar words
  • how to identify syllables
  • to read around 150 familiar words automatically
  • how to describe characters and plot
  • to read non-fiction books for information


Children will create their own versions of familiar stories as well as pieces of non-fiction. By the end of KS1 they will be planning their work and writing longer pieces with a beginning, middle and end.

Your child will learn to:

  • hold a pencil correctly
  • form upper and lower case letters correctly
  • join some letters
  • use capital letters, full stops and question marks
  • begin to use commas
  • write familiar words correctly and attempt new words

Speaking and listening

This will include telling stories and reading aloud. As the children progress, they will put on short performances and speak in front of an audience.

Your child will learn to:

  • speak clearly
  • listen carefully to others
  • join in class discussions
  • take part in drama activities

Find out more about Year 1 English and Year 2 English.

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