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Year 2 English: what your child learns

Close up of boy practising writing
Are you keen to keep up with what your child is learning in English lessons? You can, with this guide to classes in Year 2.

Literacy is a daily lesson, made up of three aspects:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Speaking and listening

Across these areas, the children will be working with a range of material, including stories, non-fiction and poetry. They will be looking at stories with familiar settings, traditional tales, and different stories by the same author.

Reading in Year 2

Your child will:

  • become more fluent in reading as their phonic knowledge increases
  • read words of two or more syllables accurately
  • read words containing common suffixes (-ed, -ing, -y, -ness, -ful, -ment)
  • read a range of poetry, stories and non-fiction
  • self-correct inaccurate reading
  • predict what will happen in a story on the basis of what has been read so far

Children should be allowed to choose a book at school to take home with them to read. You may be given an exercise book in order to write your comments in when you read with them. Children will be reading with their teacher in groups once a week (this is called guided reading).

Try this at home:

  • Read books together, taking turns and talking about the parts you liked
  • Encourage your child to look at and discuss non-fiction books, for example encyclopedias, dictionaries or an atlas.
  • If your child develops a liking for a certain author, find as many of their books as possible. Encourage them to write a book review of their favourite book.
  • If you have a blackboard, write simple messages for your child to read

Writing in Year 2

Your child will:

  • learn to spell words with suffixes, words in the contracted form (don't, can't, etc.), words with the possessive apostrophe (the girl's book) and homophones (words that sound the same, but are spelt differently).
  • start joining lower-case letters and write words where the capitals and lower-case letters are proportional to each other
  • use a variety of punctuation, including: capitals, full stops, exclamation marks, question marks, commas for lists, apostrophes for the contracted form and the possessive
  • use conjunctions (when, if, that, because, or, and, but) to join two clauses
  • write stories, poetry and accounts of personal experiences
  • evaluate and improve their work

Try this at home:

  • Make writing part of a game: play shops, schools or cafes and make writing fun
  • Buy your child their own notebook to write stories or make a fact file about their favourite animal or football team
  • Start a scrapbook and encourage your child to have a go at captions and labels

In the run-up to KS1 SATs at-home practice and support is important; our Year 2 English worksheets will help your child revise what they're learning at school with some fun activities. You can also download KS1 SATs English papers to check your child's progress and help boost their confidence about the Y2 tests or follow our KS1 SATs Learning Journey.

Check your Y2 child's progress in English with our free Y2 English Progress checks, three mini-tests for the autumn, spring and summer terms.

Explore the Year 2 English and Maths Learning Journey programmes.

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