You are here:

Last reviewed on 5 December 2018
Ref: 10837
School types: All · School phases: All

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


Year 1

The National Curriculum English programmes of study for Key Stage (KS) 1 and KS2 set out what genres and topics pupils must cover.

Pupils should be taught to "develop pleasure in reading, motivation to read, vocabulary and understanding" (page 11) 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

The writing composition requirements (page 14) say that year 1 pupils will be expected to start forming short narratives.

Year 2

Listen to, discuss and express views on ‘contemporary and classic poetry, stories and non-fiction’ Become increasingly familiar with and retelling a wider range of stories, including fairy stories and traditional tales Be introduced to non-fiction books

More from The Key


Bitesize training with a big impact

Our on-demand training has your whole board covered and lets them learn at a time and pace that suits them.

Help your new governors hit the ground running with our expertly-designed induction training, and our role-specific courses support your link governors develop key skills and confidence in their role.


New eLearning: DSL refresher training

Your DSL’s training should be refreshed at least once every 2 years. 

Designed in collaboration with safeguarding experts, our 2.5 hour online refresher training course reminds DSLs how to put their knowledge into practice, with in-depth, real-world scenarios.


The Key has taken great care in publishing this article. However, some of the article's content and information may come from or link to third party sources whose quality, relevance, accuracy, completeness, currency and reliability we do not guarantee. Accordingly, we will not be held liable for any use of or reliance placed on this article's content or the links or downloads it provides. This article may contain information sourced from public sector bodies and licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.