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English: Age 6–7 (Year 2)

In their English lessons in Year 2, your child will develop their knowledge of grammar and punctuation, as well as their speaking, reading, and writing skills.

Your child will become more familiar with spelling words using their phonics skills, and will learn to recognise and spell many common and tricky words such as because. They will be encouraged to explore their own ideas through creative writing and poetry, and will be taught how to use apostrophes correctly. Much of their learning will come from reading, talking, and listening.


How to help at home

There are lots of simple things you can do at home to support your child’s English skills.

1. Practising phonics with your child as much as possible – all your child’s English skills are underpinned by their reading skills. Make sure you pronounce the sounds correctly.

2. Read to your child as often as you can, or listen to books read aloud. This will increase your child’s vocabulary and comprehension skills, particularly if you talk about the book. Get your child to follow a story you are reading with their eyes – this will help them to absorb grammar, punctuation and spelling rules without realising it.

Take a look at our free eBook library.

3. Encourage your child to read as much as possible – seeing words in print really helps children to absorb correct spelling and grammar. Try to read their school reading book as well as other books they have chosen for themselves.

Occasionally, without slowing the story too much, point out words with suffixes (such as -less, -ness) or prefixes (such as un-).

4. Practise spellings. Play games with your child to help them learn their weekly spelling words. You could play hangman, make up silly sentences for your child to write, ‘hide’ the spelling words in a string of letters, play pairs using two word cards for each word, or make a set of bingo cards for the words.

See our Twelve tips for weekly spellings page for more ideas.

5. Create writing opportunities, such as writing notes or lists. Make up stories orally together. Draw stories with captions. Get your child to write their own simple stories, such as cartoons, and information books.

For more ideas on writing stories, look at the Creative Writing section on the Kids Activities pages.

6. Encourage your child to talk to you. Gently correct any grammar mistakes, and help them to extend what they say with conjunctions such as ‘because’. Challenge them to use new vocabulary and to retell stories to you or tell you anecdotes about their life.

7. Use interesting vocabulary when talking to your child. Try to use precise nouns and descriptive adjectives.

8. Keep practising handwriting – create lots of opportunity to get those good habits in place. If helpful, provide your child with handwriting practise lines.

What your child will learn

Follow the links below to find out more about how English is taught in Year 2:

Grammar & punctuation in Year 2 (age 6–7)

In Year 2, your child will learn to:
    • Use capital letters for the start of a sentence and for proper nouns (names of people and places)
    • Choose the right punctuation mark at the end of a sentence: a full stop, a question mark or an exclamation mark (to show emphasis, humour or strong emotion)
    • Use conjunctions such as and, but and because, to join clauses. For example, ‘Stav cannot play because he has hurt his knee.’
    • Spot the four types of sentences: statements, questions, exclamations and commands
    • Use the present tense and past tense in the correct way
    • Use the progressive (or continuous) form of a verb such as ‘he was singing’, or ‘the class were singing’
    • Use the suffixes ness or –er to turn adjectives into nouns, for example ‘kindness’ and ‘teacher’
    • Write noun phrases (phrases that work like a noun), for example ‘that parcel’, ‘three cows’ or something longer such as ‘the porridge that I cooked earlier’
    • Use the suffixes –ful or –less to turn nouns into adjectives, for example ‘hopeful’ or ‘helpless
    • Use the suffixes -er or -est or -ly, for example, ‘louder’, ‘hardest’ or ‘quickly
    • Use commas when writing a list, for example, ‘He bought bread, butter, jam and milk.’
    • Use apostrophes to show when letters are missing, for example, I’m, don’t, she’ll
    • Use apostrophes to show possession, for example ‘The girl’s voice’, ‘Ravi’s bag’.
Grammar books for age 6-7:

Spelling in Year 2 (age 6–7)

In Year 2, your child will learn:
    • new graphemes (letter groups to spell sounds) to represent the phonemes (sounds) they have already learnt
    • to spell words with suffixes including words ending in -ment-ness-ful-less, and-ly
    • to use an apostrophe to mark where a letter is missing, for example don’t, he’ll
    • to use an apostrophe to show possession for single nouns, for example, George’s hat, the lady’s car
    • to spell the Year 2 common exception words (see our list of Common exception words for Year 2)
Spelling books for age 6-7:

Writing in Year 2 (age 6–7)

In Year 2, your child will learn:
    • to write about things that have happened to them
    • to make up simple stories
    • to write about real events
    • to write simple poems
    • to write non-fiction for different purposes
    • to plan their writing by either talking about what they want to write or by writing down key words
    • to read their own writing and make changes to it
    • to read their writing out loud.

More information and writing activity ideas for Year 2

Handwriting in Year 2 (age 6–7)

In Year 2, your child will learn to:
    • form lowercase letters of the correct size relative to one another
    • start using some of the diagonal and horizontal strokes needed to join letters
    • understand which letters, when next to one another, are best left unjoined
    • write capital letters and digits in a size that matches the size of any lowercase letters
    • understand which letters are formed in similar ways
    • use the correct spacing between words.
Handwriting practise activities:
Handwriting activity books:

For more information on skills taught throughout Primary School, check out our phonics and vocabulary pages.