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Year 3 English: What your child learns

Girl reading at her desk
Your guide to what your child will be taught in English lessons in Year 3 as they move into KS2.

Literacy is still a daily lesson in Year 3, made up of:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Speaking and listening

Topics the children may cover include:

Reading in Year 3 – your child will:

  • apply their growing knowledge of root words, prefixes and suffixes to read aloud and understand the meaning of new words they meet
  • read a range of fiction, poetry, plays and non-fiction texts
  • re-tell stories orally
  • perform poems and play scripts, showing understanding through intonation and action
  • infer characters' feelings though their actions, justifying their inference with evidence
  • identify main ideas drawn and summarise these

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

Try this at home:

  • Keep reading together: even if your child is fluent, you can share stories and talk about themes
  • Branch out – children develop favourite authors or themes at this age, but it’s good to broaden their choices by offering alternatives. Ask at your local library for ideas for new authors to try
  • Word puzzles can be fun – encourage them to try a simple wordsearch

Writing in Year 3 – your child will:

  • understand how to spell words with a variety of prefixes and suffixes
  • become more confident in joining their handwriting, increasing its legibility and quality
  • use a wider range of connectives (when, before, after, while, so, because)
  • start using inverted commas to punctuate speech
  • create settings, characters and plot in narratives using a range of descriptive language
  • use organisational devices such as bullet points and sub-headings
  • assess and improve their writing

Try this at home:

  • Play ‘hangman’ – it’s a simple game but it reinforces spelling and letters
  • Let your child send an email or help them find a penpal – typing a letter to a friend or relative is good spelling and keyboard practice
  • Make up stories together – gather together some favourite toys and make up an adventure for them (put your child in the story, too)

If you want to consolidate your child's learning at home, try our Year 3 English worksheets for spelling, grammar, punctuation and handwriting practice. 

Check your Y3 child's progress in English with our free Y3 English Progress checks, three mini-tests for the autumn, spring and summer terms.

Explore the Year 3 English and Maths Learning Journey programmes

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