English genres in the National Curriculum

Maintained schools must cover the genres of literature and writing set out in the National Curriculum. Learn what genres you have to teach for reading and writing in Key Stages (KS) 1 to 4, and see examples of curriculum maps from primary, secondary and special schools.

Last reviewed on 12 January 2023
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 10837
  1. KS1
  2. KS2
  3. KS3
  4. KS4
  5. Primary genre maps
  6. Secondary genre maps
  7. Special school genre map


Year 1

Teach your pupils to "develop pleasure in reading, motivation to read, vocabulary and understanding", by:

  • Listening to and discussing a wide range of poems, stories and non-fiction at a level beyond that at which they can read independently
  • Becoming very familiar with key stories, fairy stories and traditional tales, retelling them and considering their particular characteristics
  • Learning to appreciate rhymes and poems, and to recite some by heart

Year 1 pupils are also expected to start forming short narratives.

See pages 11 and 14 of the English programmes of study for KS1 and KS2.

Year 2

For reading comprehension, your pupils should:

  • Listen to, discuss and express views on contemporary and classic poetry, stories and non-fiction
  • Become increasingly familiar with and retell a wider range of stories, fairy stories and traditional tales
  • Be introduced to non-fiction books that are structured in different ways

Both fictional and real narratives about their own experiences and those of others About