What English Is Taught In Year Three?

Written by Dan

In Year 3, students in England begin a critical phase of their education known as Key Stage 2 (KS2), where the focus on English is designed to nurture literacy skills that are fundamental for their academic development.

The National Curriculum in England stipulates that the purpose of studying English is to support students in acquiring a high standard of language skills which are necessary for participating fully as a member of society.

The curriculum places significant emphasis on reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills as part of a comprehensive literacy education.

Related: For more, check out our article on  What English Is Taught In Year Two?

A classroom with children learning English in Year Three. Books, posters, and a whiteboard with vocabulary words and grammar rules

During the year, pupils are engaged in deepening their understanding of written and spoken English.

A balanced English programme introduces Year 3 pupils to a wider vocabulary, developing reading skills , and effective writing techniques. They explore different genres of writing and texts, such as myths, legends, and poems, to enhance their creative and analytical thinking.

Additionally, speaking and listening activities are pivotal in this stage, encouraging pupils to communicate ideas clearly and to listen with understanding in various contexts.

Key Takeaways

  • English in Year 3 covers reading, writing, speaking, and listening within the KS2 framework.
  • Literacy development is crucial, with a focus on expanding vocabulary and exploring diverse texts.
  • The curriculum aims to solidify foundational skills to support future educational success.

Related: For more, check out our article on  What English Is Taught In Year One?

Foundations of Year 3 English

As pupils transition into Year 3, they embark on a curriculum that builds upon prior knowledge and introduces more complex aspects of the English language.

Key to this phase are enhanced spelling strategies, deeper grammatical understanding, and broader vocabulary acquisition.

Phonics and Spelling

In Year 3, phonics remains a critical tool for decoding words, with a focus on more difficult phonemes and graphemes. Pupils are expected to apply their understanding of phonics to spell new words correctly and utilise spelling rules.

They are introduced to terminology such as morphology, and concepts like root words, where they learn to recognise basic word units that hold meaning.

The curriculum also emphasises the use of prefixes and suffixes, helping students to modify words and comprehend their altered meanings.

Grammar and Punctuation

The Year 3 English curriculum aims to develop a solid grasp of grammar by expanding pupils’ knowledge of different sentence structures.

They are taught to join clauses using a wider range of conjunctions such as ‘when’, ‘if’, ‘because’, and ‘although’. An understanding of verb tenses is reinforced, including using the present perfect form in contrast to the past tense.

Punctuation rules become more refined, guiding students on how to use commas, apostrophes, and inverted commas accurately in their writing.

Vocabulary Development

Year 3 presents a key stage for vocabulary development. Children’s reading materials include a broader array of texts, which are likely to introduce more complex language and concepts.

Students are encouraged to engage with new terminology actively and use context to deduce the meanings of unfamiliar words.

The role of morphology is further applied to understanding and constructing vocabulary, bolstering pupils’ ability to convey nuanced ideas and emotions in both spoken and written English.

Related: For more, check out our article on  What English Is Taught In Reception?

Developing Reading Skills

In Year 3, pupils expand their reading capabilities through enhanced comprehension techniques, cultivating a love for reading various text types, and engaging with a range of literature.

Comprehension Techniques

Pupils in Year 3 are taught to improve their comprehension skills, focusing on understanding the meaning of texts they read. They learn to identify key themes and ideas, and to answer questions about the content and structure of texts.

The curriculum often includes exercises like re-telling stories or parts of books in one’s own words to demonstrate understanding.

Reading for Enjoyment

Developing a love for reading is central to Year 3 English. Pupils are encouraged to explore fiction and non-fiction works, poetry, and plays that align with their interests.

This not only improves their reading skills but also fosters a lifelong appreciation for literature.

Literature and Text Types

Year 3 students are introduced to a variety of literature and text types, including classic and contemporary stories, poetry, and a range of non-fiction works. Understanding the differences in text structures and language features is essential at this stage.

They also engage with plays, performing them to deepen their comprehension and expressiveness.

Pupils’ encounters with diverse materials, from fiction to non-fiction, enable them to form a broad reading foundation.

Through selected books and activities that emphasise critical thinking and enjoyment, students in Year 3 become more confident and proficient readers.

Related: For more, check out our article on  The 12 Tenses In English

Writing and Composition

In Year Three, pupils expand their writing abilities by engaging in various genres, honing handwriting, and learning to tailor their writing for different purposes.

Through structured teaching and creative exercises, pupils develop a stronger grasp of writing mechanics and are encouraged to express their ideas with increasing fluency.

Creative Writing

Pupils are introduced to the crafting of stories and play scripts, with an emphasis on creating vibrant settings and developing a coherent plot.

They learn to use dialogue effectively to advance the story or reveal character traits. Narrative poetry is another area where students are encouraged to build their writing skills, enhancing their ability to weave imaginative narratives with rhythm and rhyme.

Handwriting and Presentation

Consistent focus on handwriting skills ensures that Year Three students work towards developing clear and legible script in line with the LKS2 English Curriculum.

They are taught to write with an increasing level of fluency and speed. Pupils are also introduced to various organisational devices such as headings and bullet points to structure their work effectively for the intended audience.

Writing for Different Purposes

Students learn to adapt their writing to suit a range of purposes and audiences. Different genres of writing are explored, including instructions, explanations, and reports.

They are encouraged to use a wider range of conjunctions to construct complex sentences and utilise relevant organisational devices to enhance coherence in their writing. This allows pupils to communicate their ideas more effectively across various contexts.

Speaking and Listening Skills

Students engaged in group discussions, listening to each other and taking turns speaking. A teacher facilitates and encourages active participation

In Year 3, the focus on speaking and listening skills is pivotal, as these foundational capabilities are crucial for effective communication. Pupils are encouraged to develop clear speech, listen attentively, and engage actively in discussions.

Oral Communication

Pupils are taught to communicate ideas effectively using spoken language. Emphasis is placed on clear diction and structuring sentences correctly for clarity.

They learn to participate in discussions, express their thoughts coherently, and develop an ability to listen and respond appropriately to others’ points of view.

Engaging with Texts

In this subsection, listening to and engaging with a variety of texts enhances comprehension skills. This includes storytelling sessions, where students are encouraged to recognise plot, characters, and events.

Improvisation activities help them explore different perspectives and use their imagination to interpret parts of the text.

Performance Skills

Year 3 pupils practise performance skills through drama and role-play exercises. They learn to articulate the dialogue of different characters and convey emotions convincingly in plays.

Emphasis is placed on understanding the use of tone and volume to enhance the storytelling experience.

Consolidation and Enhancement

A classroom with colorful posters, books, and a whiteboard showing grammar rules and vocabulary. Students engaged in group activities and a teacher leading a discussion

In Year 3, the focus is on consolidating key literacy skills acquired in earlier years and enhancing them to prepare pupils for the transition to Year 4.

Year 3 serves as a pivotal year in Lower Key Stage 2, where emphasis is placed on the reinforcement of reading, writing, and oral communication skills alongside the introduction of more complex concepts which will be expanded upon in the following year.

Year 3 to Year 4 Transition

The transition from Year 3 to Year 4 is a crucial period as it sets the foundation for the remainder of Key Stage 2. During this phase, pupils are expected to become more confident readers and writers, exhibiting an increased understanding of various text types and writing purposes.

They are encouraged to develop their prediction skills, enabling them to anticipate and infer information from the texts they engage with. Literacy is not the only focus; a foundation in core subjects such as maths and science is also reinforced, ensuring that pupils have a well-rounded education as they progress.

In Year 4, content becomes more challenging as teachers aim to deepen pupils’ understanding, pushing them to apply their knowledge more independently.

Cross-Curricular Connections

In Year 3, the English curriculum is designed to make connections with other subjects, such as religious education and science, to support comprehensive learning.

For example, while studying a scientific topic, pupils may be asked to write an explanation text, which allows them to practice their English skills in the context of a different subject.

Such integration ensures that pupils recognise the relevance of their English skills across the curriculum. Similarly, mathematical concepts may also be explored through problem-solving activities in literacy lessons, promoting an understanding of the practical applications of English within other Key Stage 2 subjects.

This interdisciplinary approach prepares pupils for the more rigorous academic environment they will face in secondary schools.

Frequently Asked Questions

A classroom with young students sitting at desks, a whiteboard displaying "Year Three English" and a teacher pointing to the board

This section addresses common queries about the English curriculum for Year 3 pupils, focusing on grammar components, literary texts, curriculum progression, educational objectives, literary skills development, and preparation for Year 4.

What components of grammar are covered in the Year 3 English curriculum?

In Year 3, children learn various grammar components including conjunctions, adverbs, prepositions, and the consolidation of noun phrases for clarity and detail. The curriculum introduces more complex sentence structures and provides opportunities for children to use them in their writing.

Which literary texts and genres are introduced to pupils in Year 3?

Pupils in Year 3 are introduced to a wider range of literary texts and genres, including myths and legends, adventure stories, plays, dialogues, and non-fiction texts. These genres help to expand their understanding of narrative structure and literary elements.

How does the English curriculum progress from Year 2 to Year 3?

The English curriculum builds on the foundations laid in Year 2 by introducing a wider and more challenging range of texts. In Year 3, pupils are encouraged to write more at length, use more varied vocabulary and develop their understanding of character and setting in narrative writing.

Can you outline the key objectives for English lessons in the third year of primary education?

The key objectives for Year 3 include developing pupils’ ability to write different types of texts with a focus on spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Enhancing their reading comprehension skills and their ability to discuss and evaluate what they have read is also a focus.

What literacy skills should a child have developed by the end of Year 3?

By the end of Year 3, a child should be able to write coherently with varied sentence structures, show good control over word choice, and demonstrate confident use of punctuation, including speech marks and apostrophes. Their reading should be fluent and comprehended well, with an ability to predict what might happen next in a story.

How does the Year 3 curriculum prepare students for the complexity of Year 4 English?

The Year 3 curriculum lays pivotal groundwork, fostering a deeper understanding of grammar rules and encouraging creative expression in writing. It introduces themes and concepts that will be developed further in Year 4, ensuring a smooth transition to the higher complexity of texts and literacy expectations.

About The Author

I'm Dan Higgins, one of the faces behind The Teaching Couple. With 15 years in the education sector and a decade as a teacher, I've witnessed the highs and lows of school life. Over the years, my passion for supporting fellow teachers and making school more bearable has grown. The Teaching Couple is my platform to share strategies, tips, and insights from my journey. Together, we can shape a better school experience for all.






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