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Year 6

The Year 6 National Curriculum for Maths

The Year 6 National Curriculum English Programme of Study

Spoken language

Pupils should:

  • listen and respond appropriately to adults and their peers
  • ask relevant questions to extend their understanding and knowledge
  • use relevant strategies to build their vocabulary
  • articulate and justify answers, arguments and opinions
  • give well-structured descriptions, explanations and narratives for different purposes, including for expressing feelings
  • maintain attention and participate actively in collaborative conversations, staying on topic and initiating and responding to comments
  • use spoken language to develop understanding through speculating, hypothesising, imagining and exploring ideas
  • speak audibly and fluently with an increasing command of Standard English
  • participate in discussions, presentations, performances, role play/improvisations and debates
  • gain, maintain and monitor the interest of the listener(s)
  • consider and evaluate different viewpoints, attending to and building on the contributions of others
  • select and use appropriate registers for effective communication

Reading - word reading

Pupils will be taught to:

  • apply their growing knowledge of root words, prefixes and suffixes (morphology and etymology), as listed in English appendix 1, both to read aloud and to understand the meaning of new words that they meet

Reading - comprehension

Pupils will be taught to:

  • maintain positive attitudes to reading and an understanding of what they read by:
    • continuing to read and discuss an increasingly 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
    • increasing their familiarity with a wide range of books, including myths, legends and traditional stories, modern fiction, fiction from our literary heritage, and books from other cultures and traditions
    • recommending books that they have read to their peers, giving reasons for their choices
    • identifying and discussing themes and conventions in and across a wide range of writing
    • making comparisons within and across books
    • learning a wider range of poetry by heart
    • preparing poems and plays to read aloud and to perform, showing understanding through intonation, tone and volume so that the meaning is clear to an audience
  • understand what they read by:
    • checking that the book makes sense to them, discussing their understanding and exploring the meaning of words in context
    • asking questions to improve their understanding
    • drawing inferences such as inferring characters’ feelings, thoughts and motives from their actions, and justifying inferences with evidence
    • predicting what might happen from details stated and implied
    • summarising the main ideas drawn from more than 1 paragraph, identifying key details that support the main ideas
    • identifying how language, structure and presentation contribute to meaning
  • discuss and evaluate how authors use language, including figurative language, considering the impact on the reader
  • distinguish between statements of fact and opinion
  • retrieve, record and present information from non-fiction
  • participate in discussions about books that are read to them and those they can read for themselves, building on their own and others’ ideas and challenging views courteously
  • explain and discuss their understanding of what they have read, including through formal presentations and debates, maintaining a focus on the topic and using notes where necessary
  • provide reasoned justifications for their views

Writing - transcription

Spelling - see English appendix 1

Pupils should be taught to:

  • use further prefixes and suffixes and understand the guidance for adding them
  • spell some words with ‘silent’ letters [for example, knight, psalm, solemn]
  • continue to distinguish between homophones and other words which are often confused
  • use knowledge of morphology and etymology in spelling and understand that the spelling of some words needs to be learnt specifically, as listed in English appendix 1
  • use dictionaries to check the spelling and meaning of words
  • use the first 3 or 4 letters of a word to check spelling, meaning or both of these in a dictionary
  • use a thesaurus

Handwriting and presentation

Pupils should be taught to:

  • write legibly, fluently and with increasing speed by:
    • choosing which shape of a letter to use when given choices and deciding whether or not to join specific letters
    • choosing the writing implement that is best suited for a task

Writing - vocabulary, grammar and punctuation

Pupils should be taught to:

  • develop their understanding of the concepts set out in English appendix 2 by:
    • recognising vocabulary and structures that are appropriate for formal speech and writing, including subjunctive forms
    • using passive verbs to affect the presentation of information in a sentence
    • using the perfect form of verbs to mark relationships of time and cause
    • using expanded noun phrases to convey complicated information concisely
    • using modal verbs or adverbs to indicate degrees of possibility
    • using relative clauses beginning with who, which, where, when, whose, that or with an implied (ie omitted) relative pronoun
    • learning the grammar for years 5 and 6 in English appendix 2
  • indicate grammatical and other features by:
    • using commas to clarify meaning or avoid ambiguity in writing
    • using hyphens to avoid ambiguity
    • using brackets, dashes or commas to indicate parenthesis
    • using semicolons, colons or dashes to mark boundaries between independent clauses
    • using a colon to introduce a list
    • punctuating bullet points consistently
  • use and understand the grammatical terminology in English appendix 2 accurately and appropriately in discussing their writing and reading

Expectations for Writing at the end of key stage 2 (Year 6)

Working towards the expected standard

The pupil can:

• write for a range of purposes

• use paragraphs to organise ideas

• in narratives, describe settings and characters

• in non-narrative writing, use simple devices to structure the writing and support the reader (e.g. headings, sub-headings, bullet points)

• use capital letters, full stops, question marks, commas for lists and apostrophes for contraction mostly correctly

• spell correctly most words from the year 3 / year 4 spelling list, and some words from the year 5 / year 6 spelling list*

• write legibly. 

Working at the expected standard

The pupil can:

• write effectively for a range of purposes and audiences, selecting language that shows good awareness of the reader (e.g. the use of the first person in a diary; direct address in instructions and persuasive writing)

• in narratives, describe settings, characters and atmosphere

• integrate dialogue in narratives to convey character and advance the action

• select vocabulary and grammatical structures that reflect what the writing requires, doing this mostly appropriately (e.g. using contracted forms in dialogues in narrative; using passive verbs to affect how information is presented; using modal verbs to suggest degrees of possibility)

• use a range of devices to build cohesion (e.g. conjunctions, adverbials of time and place, pronouns, synonyms) within and across paragraphs

• use verb tenses consistently and correctly throughout their writing

• use the range of punctuation taught at key stage 2 mostly correctly^ (e.g. inverted commas and other punctuation to indicate direct speech)

• spell correctly most words from the year 5 / year 6 spelling list,* and use a dictionary to check the spelling of uncommon or more ambitious vocabulary

• maintain legibility in joined handwriting when writing at speed.

Working at greater depth

The pupil can:

• write effectively for a range of purposes and audiences, selecting the appropriate form and drawing independently on what they have read as models for their own writing (e.g. literary language, characterisation, structure)

• distinguish between the language of speech and writing and choose the appropriate register

• exercise an assured and conscious control over levels of formality, particularly through manipulating grammar and vocabulary to achieve this

• use the range of punctuation taught at key stage 2 correctly (e.g. semi-colons, dashes, colons, hyphens) and, when necessary, use such punctuation precisely to enhance meaning and avoid ambiguity.

[There are no additional statements for spelling or handwriting]

Mathematics Year 6 programme of study

Number – number and place value

 read, write, order and compare numbers up to 10 000 000 and determine the value of each digit

 round any whole number to a required degree of accuracy

 use negative numbers in context, and calculate intervals across zero

 solve number and practical problems that involve all of the above.

Number – addition, subtraction, multiplication and division

 multiply multi-digit numbers up to 4 digits by a two-digit whole number using the formal written method of long multiplication

 divide numbers up to 4 digits by a two-digit whole number using the formal written method of long division, and interpret remainders as whole number remainders, fractions, or by rounding, as appropriate for the context

 divide numbers up to 4 digits by a two-digit number using the formal written method of short division where appropriate, interpreting remainders according to the context

 perform mental calculations, including with mixed operations and large numbers

 identify common factors, common multiples and prime numbers

 use their knowledge of the order of operations to carry out calculations involving the four operations

 solve addition and subtraction multi-step problems in contexts, deciding which operations and methods to use and why

solve problems involving addition, subtraction, multiplication and division

 use estimation to check answers to calculations and determine, in the context of a problem, an appropriate degree of accuracy.

Number – fractions (including decimals and percentages)

 use common factors to simplify fractions; use common multiples to express fractions in the same denomination

 compare and order fractions, including fractions > 1

 add and subtract fractions with different denominators and mixed numbers, using the concept of equivalent fractions

 multiply simple pairs of proper fractions, writing the answer in its simplest form [for example, 4 1 × 2 1 = 8 1 ]

 divide proper fractions by whole numbers [for example, 3 1 ÷ 2 = 6 1 ]

 associate a fraction with division and calculate decimal fraction equivalents [for example, 0.375] for a simple fraction [for example, 8 3 ]

 identify the value of each digit in numbers given to three decimal places and multiply and divide numbers by 10, 100 and 1000 giving answers up to three decimal places

 multiply one-digit numbers with up to two decimal places by whole numbers

 use written division methods in cases where the answer has up to two decimal places

 solve problems which require answers to be rounded to specified degrees of accuracy

 recall and use equivalences between simple fractions, decimals and percentages, including in different contexts.

Ratio and proportion

 solve problems involving the relative sizes of two quantities where missing values can be found by using integer multiplication and division facts

 solve problems involving the calculation of percentages [for example, of measures, and such as 15% of 360] and the use of percentages for comparison  solve problems involving similar shapes where the scale factor is known or can be found

 solve problems involving unequal sharing and grouping using knowledge of fractions and multiples.


 use simple formulae

 generate and describe linear number sequences

 express missing number problems algebraically

 find pairs of numbers that satisfy an equation with two unknowns

 enumerate possibilities of combinations of two variables.


 solve problems involving the calculation and conversion of units of measure, using decimal notation up to three decimal places where appropriate

 use, read, write and convert between standard units, converting measurements of length, mass, volume and time from a smaller unit of measure to a larger unit, and vice versa, using decimal notation to up to three decimal places

 convert between miles and kilometres

 recognise that shapes with the same areas can have different perimeters and vice versa

 recognise when it is possible to use formulae for area and volume of shapes

 calculate the area of parallelograms and triangles

 calculate, estimate and compare volume of cubes and cuboids using standard units, including cubic centimetres (cm3 ) and cubic metres (m3 ), and extending to other units [for example, mm3 and km3 ].

Geometry – properties of shapes

 draw 2-D shapes using given dimensions and angles

 recognise, describe and build simple 3-D shapes, including making nets

 compare and classify geometric shapes based on their properties and sizes and find unknown angles in any triangles, quadrilaterals, and regular polygons

 illustrate and name parts of circles, including radius, diameter and circumference and know that the diameter is twice the radius

 recognise angles where they meet at a point, are on a straight line, or are vertically opposite, and find missing angles.

Geometry – position and direction

 describe positions on the full coordinate grid (all four quadrants)

 draw and translate simple shapes on the coordinate plane, and reflect them in the axes.


 interpret and construct pie charts and line graphs and use these to solve problems

 calculate and interpret the mean as an average.



Working at the Expected Standard for Science at the end of key stage 2 (Year 6)

Working scientifically

The pupil can, using appropriate scientific language from the national curriculum:

• describe and evaluate their own and others’ scientific ideas related to topics in the national curriculum (including ideas that have changed over time), using evidence from a range of sources

• ask their own questions about the scientific phenomena that they are studying, and select the most appropriate ways to answer these questions, recognising and controlling variables where necessary (i.e. observing changes over different periods of time, noticing patterns, grouping and classifying things, carrying out comparative and fair tests, and finding things out using a wide range of secondary sources)

• use a range of scientific equipment to take accurate and precise measurements or readings, with repeat readings where appropriate

• record data and results using scientific diagrams and labels, classification keys, tables, scatter graphs, bar and line graphs

• draw conclusions, explain and evaluate their methods and findings, communicating these in a variety of ways

• raise further questions that could be investigated, based on their data and observations.

Science content

(shown below are statements covered in Y6 but children are expected to have secure knowledge of content taught in Y3 to Y5)

The pupil can:

• name and describe the functions of the main parts of the circulatory systems [year 6];

• describe the effects of diet, exercise, drugs and lifestyle on how the body functions [year 6]

• use the observable features of plants, animals and micro-organisms to group, classify and identify them into broad groups, using keys or other methods [year 6]

• use the basic ideas of inheritance, variation and adaptation to describe how living things have changed over time and evolved [year 6]; and describe how fossils are formed [year 3] and provide evidence for evolution [year 6]

• use the idea that light from light sources, or reflected light, travels in straight lines and enters our eyes to explain how we see objects [year 6], and the formation [year 3], shape [year 6] and size of shadows [year 3]

• use simple apparatus to construct and control a series circuit, and describe how the circuit may be affected when changes are made to it; and use recognised symbols to represent simple series circuit diagrams [year 6]