National Curriculum KS2 Y3 & Y4: Vocabulary, Grammar and Punctuation

Statutory requirements

Pupils should be taught to:

Y3: Detail of content to be introduced
Word Formation of nouns using a range of prefixes [for example super–, anti–, auto–].
Use of the forms a or an according to whether the next word begins with a consonant or a vowel [for example, a rock, an open box].
Word families based on common words, showing how words are related in form and meaning [for example, solve, solution, solver, dissolve, insoluble].
Sentence Expressing time, place and cause using conjunctions [for example, when, before, after, while, so, because], adverbs [for example, then, next, soon, therefore], or prepositions [for example, before, after, during, in, because of].
Text Introduction to paragraphs as a way to group related material.
Headings and sub-headings to aid presentation.
Use of the present perfect form of verbs instead of the simple past [for example, He has gone out to play contrasted with He went out to play].
Punctuation Introduction to inverted commas to punctuate direct speech.
Terminology for pupils preposition, conjunction, word family, prefix, clause, subordinate clause, direct speech, consonant, consonant letter, vowel, vowel letter, inverted commas (or ‘speech marks’).


Y4: Detail of content to be introduced
Word The grammatical difference between plural and possessive –s.
Standard English forms for verb inflections instead of local spoken forms [for example, we were instead of we was, or I did instead of I done].
Sentence Noun phrases expanded by the addition of modifying adjectives, nouns and preposition phrases (e.g. the teacher expanded to: the strict maths teacher with curly hair).
Fronted adverbials [for example, Later that day, I heard the bad news.]
Text Use of paragraphs to organise ideas around a theme.
Appropriate choice of pronoun or noun within and across sentences to aid cohesion and avoid repetition.
Punctuation Use of inverted commas and other punctuation to indicate direct speech [for example, a comma after the reporting clause; end punctuation within inverted commas: The conductor shouted, “Sit down!”].
Apostrophes to mark plural possession [for example, the girl’s name, the girls’ names].
Use of commas after fronted adverbials.
Terminology for pupils determiner, pronoun, possessive pronoun, adverbial.

Notes and guidance (non-statutory)

Grammar should be taught explicitly: pupils should be taught the terminology and concepts set out in English Appendix 2 [see the table above on this page], and be able to apply them correctly to examples of real language, such as their own writing or books that they have read.

At this stage, pupils should start to learn about some of the differences between Standard English and non-Standard English and begin to apply what they have learnt [for example, in writing dialogue for characters].


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