In 2013, The Department of Education released a new 'English Programme of Study: Key Stages 1 and 2'. They believe, 'a high-quality education in English will teach pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them'.


The English National Curriculum aims to provide children with the following:

  • the ability to read easily, fluently and with good understanding
  • to develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
  • to acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
  • to be able to appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
  • to be able to write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
  • to use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
  • to ensure they are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.


The teaching of English in Primary schools in the U.K generally comprises of 4 main areas:

  • Speaking
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Spelling, Vocabulary, Grammar and Punctuation

How schools deliver the English curriculum is down to the individual school or academy. The DfE states, 'Schools are, however, only required to teach the relevant programme of study by the end of the key stage. Within each key stage, schools therefore have the flexibility to introduce content earlier or later than set out in the programme of study. In addition, schools can introduce key stage content during an earlier key stage if appropriate. All schools are also required to set out their school curriculum for English on a year-by-year basis and make this information available online'.

In terms of attainment, the DfE expects, 'By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the relevant programme of study'.


What should an English display look like? Have a look here for ideas!