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Year 1 content

Spoken Language

At the end of the year most children should

  • Listen to adults and their peers and respond appropriately
  • Speak audibly to a range of audiences, and articulate clearly
  • Have a developing vocabulary and understanding in a range of contexts and topics
  • Ask some questions to extend their understanding and knowledge
  • Maintain attention and participate in conversations with groups of different sizes
  • Participate in discussions, role play and improvisations and present their ideas to others


At the end of the year most children should

  • Respond speedily with the correct sound to graphemes for each of the 40+ phonemes.
  • Apply their phonic knowledge to blending (reading) and segmenting (spelling) sounds including words with adjacent consonants (eg storm, blot and spring) and words of more than one syllable (eg thunder)
  • Recognise, read and spell the new graphemes   -ir, -er, -ur, -ue. –aw, -wh,

-ph, -ew, -oe, -au, -air, -ear, -ure, -a_e, -e_e, -i_e, -o_e, -u_e, -tch

  • Be aware of and recognise alternative graphemes eg -ai (as in sail), -ay (as in away) and -a_e (as in made). See Phase 5 in the “Letters and Sounds” programme
  • Be aware of and recognise the ve sound at the end of words
  • Know that adding –s and –es to nouns makes the plural
  • Be aware of and apply the endings –ing, -ed and –er to simple verbs
  • Be aware of and apply the endings –er and –est to adjectives
  • Read words with contractions (eg I’m, we’ll, it’s)
  • Read common exception words (“tricky” words), noting where there are unusual correspondences between spelling and sound


Word reading – the use of phonics and other strategies to decode unfamiliar words

Comprehension – the understanding of the text, increases pupils understanding vocabulary, broadens their knowledge and understanding of themselves and the world, fosters a love of reading,

Word reading

At the end of the year most children should:

  • Read aloud accurately books which closely match their growing word-reading knowledge
  • Re-read books to develop confidence and fluency
  • Sustain reading with phrasing and fluency to support meaning taking note of punctuation
  • Integrate phonic strategies with picture and context clues
  • Show an awareness when reading does not make sense and attempt to self correct

Some children could:

  • Make use of intonation, expression and punctuation to enhance reading
  • Appropriately apply a range of strategies to enable accurate silent reading


At the end of the year most children should, through their own reading and through books they listen to:

  • Draw on what they already know or on information or vocabulary provided by an adult
  • Check that the text makes sense to them as they read, and correct inaccurate reading
  • Discussing the significance of the title
  • Recall the main events or facts from the text
  • Locate key vocabulary and information in the text
  • Infer what characters might be like from the text
  • Predict what might happen next
  • Use organisational features to find their way around a text or web page e.g. a contents page or index

Through listening to stories, poems and other texts most children should:

  • Participate in discussions, taking turns and listening to others
  • Explain clearly their understanding

Children are encouraged to develop pleasure and motivation to read by:

  • Listening to and discussing a wide range of poems and stories at a level beyond that which they can read independently
  • Making links to their own experiences in what they read or hear
  • Becoming familiar with key stories and traditional tales, joining in with predictable phrases, and retelling familiar stories
  • Learn by heart and recite rhymes and poems


Transcription (handwriting and spelling)

At the end of the year most children should:

  • Sit correctly at a table, using an appropriate pencil hold
  • Form all letters with the correct sequence of movements, and correctly oriented (capital letters and lower case as well as numerals 0 - 9) Children understand that letters can be grouped in “families” – letters which can be formed in similar ways
  • Begin to join their letters to write with a fluent, cursive style
  • Spell accurately most of the first 100 high frequency words (see Appendix 1 in DfES “Letters and Sounds”)
  • Spell accurately the days of the week
  • Use their knowledge of  the 40+ graphemes to spell out other words they want to use
  • Name the letters of the alphabet and use the letter names to distinguish between alternative spellings of the same sound
  • Use the prefix – un (eg untie)
  • Use the suffixes  -ing, -ed, -er and –est, and using the spelling rule for adding –s or –es for plural nouns and for verbs in the third person singular (eg he runs; he carries)
  • Write from memory simple dictated sentences which include words using the graphemes taught so far as well as common exception words

Composition (articulating and structuring ideas)

At the end of the year most children should:

  • Write sentences by saying out loud what they are going to write about, and composing each sentence orally before writing it
  • Begin to write for different purposes and in different contexts
  • Sequence sentences to form short narratives
  • Re-read what they have written to check that it makes sense
  • Read aloud their writing, clearly enough to be heard by adults or their peers
  • Discuss what they have written with adults or their peers

Some children could:

  • Begin to adopt some features appropriate to a particular style or context
  • Begin to show awareness of the reader (for example using some varied vocabulary to create detail, or by writing in a lively way that holds the reader’s interest)

Composition (vocabulary, grammar and punctuation)

At the end of the year, most children should:

  • Leave clear spaces between words
  • Link ideas by joining words and clauses using “and”
  • Use capital letters and full stops consistently to demarcate sentences, and begin to use other punctuation marks such as question marks and exclamation marks
  • Use capital letters for names of people, places, days of the week, and the personal pronoun “I”
  • Use regular plural noun suffixes –s or –es (eg dog/ dogs; wish/ wishes)
  • Use suffixes that can be added to verbs where no change is needed in the spelling of root words (eg helping, helped, helper)
  • Know how words can combine to make sentences
  • Use “and” to join words and clauses
  • Begin to use features such as simple adjectives (eg big, red, fluffy) and adverbs (eg quickly, quietly) to add detail to their writing
  • Use the correct grammatical terminology when discussing their writing (letter, capital letter, word, singular, plural, sentence, punctuation, full stop, question mark, exclamation mark)

Some children could:

  • Begin to use features of more advanced sentence structures (eg “After they had finished breakfast, Tom and Jill went out to play in the garden.”)