Developing Classroom Practice

National Curriculum


In order to ensure the curriculum and the delivery of the curriculum at key stage 3 builds on prior learning and challenges students appropriately, it is vitally important that secondary English departments are fully aware of the demands of the key stage 2 national curriculum for English and of key stage 2 SATS.

Key Stage 2 English SATS

In the summer term of year 6, as well as three externally marked mathematics tests, students take two externally marked English papers.

Writing is teacher assessed via a portfolio of different writing responses as being one of the following:

- working towards the expected standard

- working at the expected standard

- working at greater depth.

Each final piece in the portfolio must be written independently.

Exemplification of the key stage 2 standards for writing

Assessment arrangements for writing

1. Reading Paper

(1 hour - including reading time)

Click on the images below to link to the assessments:

Students read three passages of text, and then respond to a variety of short questions, which assess the reading domains (see below).

Question types could include:
• Find and copy e.g. Find and copy one word that shows how essential flowers are to bees.
• Tick one e.g. Using information from the text, tick one box in each row to show whether each statement is true or false.
• Short closed responses e.g. What work has Micah done to the music box before showing it to Piper?
• Short open ended responses e.g. Explain why the flowers that are not bee-friendly do not attract bees.

​The reading domains for assessment are:

Here are two succinct summaries from the PiXL Club Ltd and Hachette UK regarding what secondary teachers can expect students to have covered by the end of KS2:

Reading - Teacher Guidance

Writing - Teacher Guidance

Students do not have to write lengthy responses to show their understanding. The majority of questions are worth 1 mark.

2. Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling Paper

(45 mins grammar & punctuation,15 minutes twenty spellings)

Click on the images below to link to the assessments:

The grammar and punctuation questions are worth about 1 mark each and involve limited writing. Typical questions invite students to tick, draw lines to match definitions and insert the correct punctuation into sentences. Some short developed responses are required.

The following appendices to the national curriculum outline key guidance regarding the spelling rules and spellings to be taught at key stage 2, as well as key grammatical terms that key stage 2 students will be introduced to and expected to know:
• National curriculum English glossary
• National curriculum spelling appendix
• National curriculum vocabulary, grammar and punctuation appendix

GCSE English Specifications

Click on the links below for GCSE English specifications.