Y4 English

Reading (Red content is additional to that of Year 3)

Work in Year 4 builds on skills from previous years so pupils should be able to decode most new words outside their spoken vocabulary, making a good approximation to the word’s pronunciation. Any focus on word reading should support the development of vocabulary. Teaching comprehension should be taking precedence over teaching word reading directly.

Pupils should demonstrate understanding of figurative language, distinguish shades of meaning among related words and use age-appropriate, academic vocabulary

Pupils should continue to have opportunities to listen frequently to stories, poems, non-fiction and other writing, including whole books and not just extracts, so that they build on what was taught previously. In this way, they also meet books and authors that they might not choose themselves.

Pupils should help to develop, agree on, and evaluate rules for effective discussion and be able to justify their views about what they have read independently by the end of year 4.

Reading – word reading
Statutory requirements
Pupils should be taught to:
  • Apply their growing knowledge of root words, prefixes and suffixes (etymology and morphology) as listed in English Appendix 1, both to read aloud and to understand the meaning of new words they meet.
  • Read further exception words, noting the unusual correspondences between spelling and sound, and where these occur in the word. 
Reading: Comprehension
Statutory requirements
Pupils should be taught to:
Develop positive attitudes to reading and understanding of what they read by:
  • Listening to and discussing a wide range of fiction, poetry, plays, non-fiction and reference books or textbooks.
  • Reading books that are structured in different ways and reading for a range of purposes.
  • Using dictionaries to check the meaning of words that they have read.
  • Increasing their familiarity with a wide range of books, including fairy stories, myths and legends, and retelling some of these orally.
  • Discussing words and phrases that capture the reader’s interest and imagination.
  • Preparing poems and play scripts to read aloud and to perform, showing understanding through intonation, tone, volume and action.
  • Recognising some different forms of poetry.
  • Identifying themes and conventions in a wide range of books.
Understand what they read, in books they read independently by:
  • Checking that the text makes sense to them discussing their understanding and explaining the meaning of words in context.
  • Drawing inferences such as inferring characters' feelings, thoughts and motives from their actions and justifying inferences with evidence.
  • Identifying main ideas drawn from more than 1 paragraph and summarising these.
  • Retrieving and recording information from non-fiction.
  • Predicting what might happen from details stated and implied.
  • Asking questions to improve their understanding of a text.
  • Identifying how language, structure, and presentation contribute to meaning.
  • Participating in discussion about both books that are read to them and those they can read for themselves, taking turns and listening to what others say.
Writing: Composition
Pupils should continue to have opportunities to write for a range of real purposes and audiences as part of their work across the curriculum. These purposes and audiences should underpin the decisions about the form the writing should take, such as a narrative, an explanation or a description.

Pupils should understand, through being shown these, the skills and processes that are essential for writing: that is, thinking aloud to explore and collect ideas, drafting, and re-reading to check their meaning is clear, including doing so as the writing develops.

Pupils should be taught to monitor whether their own writing makes sense in the same way that they monitor their reading, checking at different levels.

Statutory requirements
Pupils should be taught to:
Plan their writing by:
  • Discussing writing similar to that which they are planning to write, in order to understand and learn from its structure, vocabulary and grammar.
  • Discussing and recording ideas.
Draft and write by:
  • In narratives, creating settings, characters and plot.
  • In non-narrative material, using simple organisational devices (eg headings, sub-headings).
  • Composing and rehearsing sentences orally (including dialogue), progressively building a varied and rich vocabulary and an increasing range of sentence structures (English Appendix 2)
  • Organising paragraphs around a theme.
Evaluate and edit by:
  • Assessing the effectiveness of their own and others’ writing and suggesting improvements
  • Proposing changes to grammar and vocabulary to improve consistency, including the accurate use of pronouns in sentences
  • Proofreading for spelling and punctuation errors.
  • Reading aloud their own writing, to a group or the whole class, using appropriate intonation and controlling the tone and volume so that the meaning is clear.
Writing: Transcription
Pupils should learn to spell new words correctly and have plenty of practice in spelling them.

As in previous years, pupils should continue to be supported in understanding and applying the concepts of word structure (see English Appendix 2).

Statutory requirements
Spelling (see English Appendix 1)
Pupils should be taught to:
  • Use further prefixes and suffixes and understand how to add them (see English Appendix 1 )
  • Spell further homophones
  • Spell words that are often misspelt
  • Place the possessive apostrophe accurately in words with regular plurals and in words with irregular plurals
  • Write from memory simple sentences, dictated by the teacher, that include words and punctuation taught so far.
Writing: Vocabulary, grammar and punctuation

Grammar should be taught explicitly: pupils should be taught the terminology and concepts set out in English Appendix 2, 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].

Statutory requirements
Pupils should be taught to:
Develop their understanding of the concepts set out in English Appendix 2 by:
  • Using fronted adverbials.
  • Extending the range of sentences with more than one clause by using a wider range of conjunctions, including when, if, because, although
  • Learning the grammar for year 4 in English Appendix 2
  • Using and understanding the grammatical terminology in English Appendix 2 accurately and appropriately when discussing their writing and reading.
  • Choosing nouns or pronouns appropriately for clarity and cohesion and to avoid repetition.
  • Using the present perfect form of verbs in contrast to the past tense.
Indicate grammatical and other features by:

  • Using commas after fronted adverbials.
  • Indicating possession by using the possessive apostrophe with singular and plural nouns.
  • Using and punctuating direct speech.
  • Using and understanding the grammatical terminology in English Appendix 2 accurately and appropriately when discussing their writing and reading.
Writing: Handwriting
Handwriting should continue to be taught and joined handwriting should be used throughout independent writing. Pupils should be able to use it fast enough to keep pace with what they want to say.
Statutory requirements
Pupils should be taught to:
  • Write neatly and legibly with handwriting generally joined, consistent in size and spacing.
  • Use the diagonal and horizontal strokes that are needed to join letters and understand which letters, when adjacent to one another, are best left unjoined.
  • Increase the legibility, consistency and quality of their handwriting.