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What to expect in Year 2


Welcome to Year 2! Your child has now entered an important stage of their primary school experience: this is the year of the Key Stage 1 (KS1) end-of-year attainment tests known as SATs, which mark the end of their KS1 journey.

For many parents, this can feel like an emotional time, as their child prepares for their first formal testing and reaches the end of their stage as an infant. While you do need to be mindful of the end goal for this year, it is also important to see it for the wonderful year that it is.

The final year of KS1 will see your child being encouraged to work more independently. At this age, most children will have improved their ability to coordinate movement and their language/speech will be increasingly complex and grammatically correct, so it’s an exciting year for children, parents and teachers. This guide will help you to understand what your child will be learning and suggest helpful ways in which you can support them at home.


What will my child do in Year 2?

1. Developing literacy skills

In English, the children will continue to work on the phonics they started in Year 1, aiming to read words by sight without having to sound them out. They will learn further spelling patterns and rules, and begin to apply those in their writing. There will be a more detailed focus on handwriting, with children encouraged to form their letters correctly, learn which letters are to be joined and make letters a consistent size. Children will learn to write for a range of purposes including stories, poetry and real events.

2. Grammar

Grammar is a hot topic in Year 2 and children this age are expected to understand the following terms, to be able to spot them in their reading and apply them in their writing: Noun, adjective, adverb, suffix, subordination, noun phrase, past tense, present tense, statement, question, exclamation, command, capital letter, full stop, question mark, exclamation mark, compound sentence, and expanded noun phrase.

3. Maths

Mathematics in Year 2 focuses on the 2, 5, and 10 times tables, and they will learn multiplication and division facts for these tables. Children in Year 2 will also learn to add and subtract with two-digit and one-digit numbers.

In fractions, they will find ⅓, ¼, ½, and ¾ of a shape or a quantity of objects. They will study measures, including weight, capacity, and length, and they will learn to tell the time to five minutes. They will also study properties of 2D and 3D shapes, as well as a range of data-handling methods such as bar charts and pictograms.

By the end of Year 2, pupils will be expected to know the number bonds to 20 and be precise in using place value. The new curriculum ‘mastery’ style of teaching concentrates on breadth of knowledge, and children will be encouraged to use their understanding of the new concepts to solve challenges, which will deepen their understanding.

4. Science

Science in Year 2 is engaging and fun. Expect your child to learn about living things and their habitats, plants, animals (including humans), and uses of everyday materials. They will also learn how to work scientifically, how to observe closely, and how to record their observations.


What do the KS1 SATs entail?

At the end of Year 2, all pupils will take SATs in reading, SPaG (spelling, punctuation, and grammar), and maths.

The chances are that your child will be completely oblivious to the SATs process. Some schools prepare for the tests without ever using the word ‘test’ or ‘exam’. You can find more information about the tests on our Key Stage 1 SATs page.


How can I help my child in Year 2?

1. Help them understand what they read

As reading comprehension is so important in this year, checking your child’s understanding of the book they are reading is an excellent way to support them. You can help them engage with their reading on a deeper level by asking questions about the plot such as:

What might happen next?

Why do you think the character is feeling sad?

What sort of mood is being created?

You can also do this when you are reading to them, which is still so important at this age. Children learn a lot from the way we read aloud and we can encourage them to see how the author’s use of punctuation changes the way we read their work. Think about pointing out statements, commands, questions, or exclamations when reading with your child. You might want to use a range of voices to show how types of sentences and punctuation can be read in different ways.

2. Explore real-life maths

Any opportunity to use maths in a real-life context is really useful. For example, ask them to help you pay for goods or calculate change when shopping. This will help to develop their reasoning and problem-solving skills. Learning to tell the time, especially to five minutes, is another great way to support your child’s learning at home; this also links neatly to their counting in 5s in the 5 times-table.

3. Encourage independence

Finally, you can develop their independence at home by encouraging your child to get dressed on their own or organise their belongings more independently. This will help enormously as they move up through the school!

Useful resources on Oxford Owl

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Free eBook library

Find a huge selection of free eBooks to encourage your child to read and support their reading journey in our library. 

Take a look

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Help your child become a confident reader

Support your child’s development into a confident reader at home with our best tips to encourage reading development.

Take a look

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How grammar is taught at school

Find out more about how grammar and punctuation are taught at primary school.

Find out more

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Make learning times tables fun

Find our best tips for helping your child learn those all-important times tables and how to make the process fun.

Find out more

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Free activities

Find a wide range of activities aimed at children aged 6-7 in our Kids’ Activities section.

Find out more

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Key Stage 1 SATs

Find out more about the Key Stage 1 SATs and how to best help your child prepare. Take a look >

National Curriculum for England, Scotland, and Wales

All information on Oxford Owl for Home is aligned with the National Curriculum for England. Much of this information is also relevant for children in Scotland and Wales.