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English: Age 7–8 (Year 3)


Year 3 marks your child’s first year in Key Stage 2 as a Junior!

 Most children will have finished their phonics courses and will be focussing on learning specific spellings and spelling patterns. They will read a greater range of genres – both fiction and non-fiction. They will be learning more complicated grammar and punctuation and will be putting it all together as they write a range of text types.   

How to help at home

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

1. Continue to make time to read to your child as often as you can, or listen to books read aloud. This will support their vocabulary and comprehension skills. Talk about any new vocabulary that you come across – and use it together later.

Take a look at our free eBook library.

2. Encourage your child to read as much as possible – seeing words in print really helps children to absorb correct spelling and grammar and punctuation. Talk about the books your child reads. Have they liked them? What might happen next?

3. Listen to your child read as often as possible. 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 conjunctions or adverbs, and the punctuation for speech. When reading non-fiction, ask your child to point out headings, captions and key words.

4. Practise spellings. Play games with your child to help them learn their weekly spelling words. See our Twelve tips for weekly spellings page for more ideas. Print out and work on the Spelling word list for Year 3 and Year 4.

5. Create writing opportunities, such as mini non-fiction books, chapter books or a graphic novel. Encourage your child to write the story of a favourite film or television series.

Ask them to tell you stories they have made up or to retell favourite or well-known tales or personal anecdotes. Get them to write with pencil and paper or on the computer – playing around with fonts and pictures. Find unusual objects or facts that your child could use as a story starting point.

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, after, where and to choose a or an correctly. Challenge them to use new vocabulary and to retell stories to you or tell you anecdotes about their life.

7. Keep talking to your child and use interesting vocabulary when doing so. Try to use precise nouns, descriptive adjectives and adverbs.

8. Keep practising handwriting – support your child as they start to join letters correctly.

What your child will learn

Follow the links below to find out more about how English is taught in Year 3:

Grammar & punctuation in Year 3 (age 7–8)

In Year 3, your child will learn to:
    • Use a and an correctly, for example ‘a rock’, ‘an ice-cream’
    • Use conjunctions to talk about time, place and cause, for example, ‘I went to play football after I finished dinner’ (time), ‘I asked him to move so I could see the sign’ (cause) or ‘I went back to the chair where I left my coat’ (place)
    • Use adverbs to talk about time, place and cause, for example, ‘I’ll tidy my bedroom tomorrow’ (time), ‘The man waited outside’ (place), ‘The bus broke down therefore I was late’ (cause)
    • Use prepositions to talk about time, place and cause, for example, ‘We met at 2pm’ (time), ‘The school was next to the shops’ (place) or ‘We ran home because of the rain’ (cause)
    • Put sentences together into paragraphs
    • Use heading and subheadings in non-fiction texts
    • Use the present perfect form of verbs, for example, ‘Bella has lost her keys’ or ‘I have lived in London for fifteen years’ to talk about events that started in the past and are still happening
    • Use inverted commas for speech, for example:

      “It’s pizza for dinner,” said Dad.
      “We’re going to win! said Bill.

Grammar books for age 7-8:

Spelling in Year 3 (age 7–8)

In Year 3, your child will learn:
    • how to use a dictionary to check their spelling
    • to spell many homophones correctly:

Year 3 and 4 Homophones list

accept/except, affect/effect, ball/bawl, berry/bury, brake/break, fair/fare, grate/great, groan/grown, here/hear, heel/heal/he’ll, knot/not, mail/male, main/mane, meat/meet, medal/meddle, missed/mist, peace/piece, plain/plane, rain/rein/reign, scene/seen, weather/whether, whose/who’s

    • spelling more words with prefixes including words beginning dis-, mis-, in-, re-, im-, sub-, inter-, super-, anti-, auto-
    • spelling more words with suffixes and other endings, including words ending -ation, -ly, -sure, -ture, -sion, -ion, -ous, -tion,
    • words with unusual spelling such as ch for /k/, gue for /g/ and que for /k/, sc for /s/ and ei, eigh, and ey for /ay/
    • using the possessive apostrophe with regular and irregular plurals, for example, the children’s lunch, the girls’ shoes
    • spelling words that are often misspelt (see our Spelling word list for Year 3 and Year 4)
Spelling books for age 7-8:

Writing in Year 3 (age 7–8)

In Year 3, your child will learn:
    • to talk about similar pieces of writing, and using these to help them plan their own
    • to plan their writing by talking about it or writing down key words
    • to use a rich vocabulary and a range of sentence structures to make their writing interesting
    • to create settings, characters, and plots for stories
    • to use simple organisational devices (for example, headings and sub-headings) when writing non-fiction
    • to proof-reading their writing for spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors
    • to read their writing out loud.

More information and writing activity ideas for Year 3

Handwriting in Year 3 (age 7–8)

In Year 3, your child will start developing fluent handwriting skills, making their writing more consistent and easier to read. They will practise:
    • writing neatly and legibly with letters that are all a similar size
    • joining some letters
    • deciding which letters to join and which letters not to join
    • keeping their writing lines horizontal and keeping the space between lines parallel and consistent
    • keeping the downstrokes of their writing upright and parallel
    • making sure that descenders of one line do not touch the ascenders of the line below.
Handwriting practise actvities:
Handwriting activity books:

For more information on skills taught throughout Primary School, check out our vocabulary page.