Key Stage 2 (Years 3-6)

Skills and knowledge acquired during Key Stage 1 are consolidated and developed in Key Stage 2. Students continue to work individually, in groups and as a class, depending upon the task in hand. 

During the latter part of Key Stage 2, subject teaching becomes more defined, especially in the core subjects of English, Mathematics and Science and more extensive use is made of the science and ICT laboratories. Students are prepared for the subject-orientated approach evident in Year 7 and are expected to become more independent in planning and completing their studies.

By the beginning of year 3, students will be able to read books written at an age appropriate interest level. They should be able to read them accurately and at a speed that is sufficient for them to focus on understanding what they read rather than on decoding individual words. They should be able to decode most new words outside their spoken vocabulary, making a good approximation to the word’s pronunciation. As their decoding skills become increasingly secure, teaching should be directed more towards developing their vocabulary and the breadth and depth of their reading, making sure that they become independent, fluent and enthusiastic readers who read widely and frequently. They should be developing their understanding and enjoyment of stories, poetry, plays and non-fiction, and learning to read silently. They should also be developing their knowledge and skills in reading non-fiction about a wide range of subjects. They should be learning to justify their views about what they have read: with support at the start of year 3 and increasingly independently by the end of year 4.

Students should be able to write down their ideas with a reasonable degree of accuracy and with good sentence punctuation. Teachers are consolidating pupils’ writing skills, their vocabulary, their grasp of sentence structure and their knowledge of linguistic terminology. Teaching them to develop as writers involves teaching them to enhance the effectiveness of what they write as well as increasing their competence.

Students should be beginning to understand how writing can be different from speech. Joined handwriting should be the norm; students should be able to use it fast enough to keep pace with what they want to say. Students’ spelling of common words should be correct, including common exception words and other words that they have learnt. Students should spell words as accurately as possible using their phonic knowledge and other knowledge of spelling, such as morphology and etymology. Most students will not need further direct teaching of word reading skills: they are able to decode unfamiliar words accurately, and need very few repeated experiences of this before the word is stored in such a way that they can read it without overt sound-blending.

The principal focus of mathematics teaching in lower key stage 2 is to ensure that students become increasingly fluent with whole numbers and the four operations, including number facts and the concept of place value. This should ensure that pupils develop efficient written and mental methods and perform calculations accurately with increasingly large whole numbers. At this stage, students should develop their ability to solve a range of problems, including with simple fractions and decimal place value. Teaching should also ensure that students draw with increasing accuracy and develop mathematical reasoning so they can analyse shapes and their properties, and confidently describe the relationships between them. It should ensure that they can use measuring instruments with accuracy and make connections between measure and number. By the end of year 4, students should have memorised their multiplication tables up to and including the 12 multiplication table and show precision and fluency in their work. Students should read and spell mathematical vocabulary correctly and confidently, using their growing word reading knowledge and their knowledge of spelling.

Sport, dance, drama and music feature prominently in the curriculum with students engaged in team activities and competitions.