Year 2 – Literacy

Information on Phonics, Grammar, Vocabulary, Spelling, Reading, Writing and Poetry in Year 2.


Pupils will be taught to sound out and blend unfamiliar printed words quickly and accurately using their phonic knowledge.  Village Infants follows the Letters and Sounds: Principles and Practice of High Quality Phonics, Six-phase Teaching Programme from Phase one in the Nursery through to Phase six in Year 2 (see link below) 

Pupils will be taught Phases 1,2,3 and 4 throughout the Foundation Stage.  Phases 3 and 4 will be re-visited in Year 1 and Phase 5 will be taught with additional catch up programmes in place where necessary.  At the end of Year 1 all pupils will take the Year 1 Phonics Screening Test.  Any pupils who fail this test will be given additional phonic intervention and will re-take the test the following year in Year 2.  This will take place alongside the teaching of Phase 6 in Year 2.  There will be movement between the phases as appropriate to pupils developing phonic knowledge. 

Letters and Sounds

Helping your child at home

Spelling, Vocabulary, Grammar and Punctuation

At Village Infants School we believe that the quality and variety of language that pupils hear and speak is vital for developing their vocabulary and grammar and their understanding for reading and writing.  Grammar and vocabulary is learnt naturally and implicitly through interactions with other speakers and from reading.  Throughout their time at Village Infants School pupils will listen to, share and discuss a wide range of high-quality books with their teacher, other adults and each other. 

In their oral interaction adults will use correct grammar and Standard English and take every opportunity to further develop pupil’s vocabulary and grammar through modelling in a range of contexts.  As vocabulary increases teachers will show pupils how to understand the relationships between words, how to understand nuances in meaning and how to develop their understanding of, and ability to use, figurative language.  Grammar will also be explicitly taught within the teaching of reading, writing and speaking and pupils will be encouraged to apply and explore these grammatical concepts in the grammar of their own speech and writing and to note it when used by others. 

Year 2

In Year 2 pupils will be encouraged to include more information in their speech and writing by using effective vocabulary.   They will be taught more complex grammatical constructions and encouraged to use them orally and in writing.  They will be encouraged to use present and past tenses correctly and consistently and subordination (using when, if that, or because) and co-ordination (using or and or, but) in speech and writing.

Teachers will develop pupils understanding of the function of adjectives, nouns, connectives, verbs and adverbs and to use pro-nouns to avoid repetition.

Helping your child at home


Alongside the systematic teaching of phonics pupils will be taught a variety of strategies to support their reading development. 

Pupils will be taught early reading skills in Reception by shared reading in groups and then when appropriate progress to weekly small group Guided Reading Lessons.  These will take place every week and continue in Year 1 and Year 2 in groups appropriate to the reading development of the pupils.   Pupils will be given half termly reading targets to work on at home and at school and each pupil will have a Reading Diary for home/school communication.  Pupils will be encouraged to take home a reading book every day in Key Stage 1 and will be able to choose from a wide variety of engaging texts.

Pupils will also hear, share and discuss a wide range of high quality books to develop a love of reading, broaden their vocabulary and develop their understanding.  It is important that pupils listen to and discuss stories, poetry and non-fiction at a level beyond that at which they can read independently in order to develop pleasure in reading, increase their vocabulary and awareness of grammar and develop skills of inference.  This should continue throughout their primary years both at home and at school.

Helping your child at home

A list of books to read aloud to your child

Once children become fluent and independent, they may start racing ahead if they have found the books that hook them into reading. It’s important at this stage that you continue to read aloud with your child too. When you read aloud, you can share books that offer a challenge in language and content to keep them excited and hungry for more. Choose older classic fiction with literary language as well as contemporary fiction written in a modern style. Choose books with interesting language and rich vocabulary. Short novels that can be serialised and read a chapter or two each night are perfect. Include the literary fairy tales by Hans Christian Andersen or Oscar Wilde.

  • 1.    Michael Bond The Tales of Olga da Polga (Oxford University Press)
  • 2.    Frank Cottrell Boyce Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again(Macmillan)
  • 3.    Roald Dahl The BFG (Puffin)
  • 4.    Berlie Doherty Fairy Tales (Walker Books)
  • 5.    A F Harrold Fizzlebert Stump: The Boy Who Ran Away From the Circus (Bloomsbury)
  • 6.    Tove Jansson Tales from Moominvalley (Puffin)
  • 7.    Edward Lear The Complete Nonsense of Edward Lear (Faber and Faber) (poetry)
  • 8.    Astrid Lindgren Pippi Longstocking (Oxford University Press)
  • 9.    David Lucas The Lying Carpet (Andersen Press)
  • 10. Angela McAllister Leon and The Place Between (Templar) (picture book)
  • 11. Mick Manning & Brita Granström Roman Fort and other books in the Fly on the Wall series (Frances Lincoln) (non-fiction)
  • 12. James Mayhew Katie and the Sunflowers and other books in theKatie series (Orchard Books) (non-fiction)
  • 13. Jill Murphy The Worst Witch (Puffin)
  • 14. Brian Patten Thawing Frozen Frogs (Frances Lincoln) (poetry)
  • 15. Francesca Simon The Sleeping Army (Profile Books)
  • 16. David J. Smith If the World Were a Village (A & C Black) (non-fiction)
  • 17. Dodie Smith The Hundred and One Dalmatians (Egmont)
  • 18. E B White Charlotte’s Web (Puffin)
  • 19. Oscar Wilde The Happy Prince and Other Stories (Penguin)
  • 20. Ursula Moray Williams Adventures of the Little Wooden Horse (Macmillan)

Useful Websites


Pupils will be taught to use their phonic knowledge to spell new words.

They will be encouraged to orally rehearse sentences before writing them and to re-read their writing to check it makes sense.  Writing will be taught by shared writing with the teacher modelling the skills and processes essential to writing eg thinking aloud as they collect ideas, drafting, re-reading and making explicit vocabulary choices.  Pupils will be encouraged to draw on and use new vocabulary from their own reading and books they have listened to, in their writing and will create a vocabulary table with their teacher for each unit of work.  Pupils will also be taught in small Guided Writing Groups appropriate to their stage of development as writers.

Pupils will be taught to write for a range of purposes using a range of genres eg stories, recounts, explanations, instructions, reports and poetry.  Pupils will be encouraged to discuss what they have written with their teacher and think of ways to improve it.  Learning objectives for the lesson will be shared with the children and success criteria formulated with the children.  Individual writing targets will be given to each pupil and their writing marked to the lesson objective and/or individual writing target using the success and improvement marking strategy.


Poems to Learn by Heart Year 2

A Dragonfly

When the heat of the summer
Made drowsy the land,
A dragonfly came
And sat on my hand.

With its blue jointed body
And wings like spun glass,
It lit on my fingers
As though they were grass.

Eleanor Farjeon


Cats sleep
Any table,
Any chair,
Top of piano,
In the middle,
On the edge,
Open drawer,
Empty shoe,
Lap will do,
Fitted in a
Cardboard box,
In the cupboard
With your frocks –
They don’t care!
Cats sleep

Eleanor Farjeon


Good morning little earthworm
said the speckled Thrush
Where would you be going
so early in a rush
I’m off to find some breakfast
he answered with a frown
Well so am I sir said the Thrush
and quickly gulped him down.

P H Kilby

Until I Saw the Sea

Until I saw the sea
I did not know
that wind
could wrinkle water so.

I never knew
that sun
could splinter a whole sea of blue.

Did I know before,
a sea breathes in and out
upon a shore.

Lilian Moore

No Harm Done

As I went out
The other day,
My head fell off
And rolled away.

But when I noticed
It was gone,
I picked it up
And put it on.



Fingers grip,
toes curl;
head down,
wheels whirl.

Hair streams,
fields race;
ears sting,
winds chase.

Breathe deep,
troubles gone;
just feel

Judith Nicholls

From Night

The sun descending in the west,
The evening star does shine;
The birds are silent in their nest,
And I must seek for mine.
The moon, like a flower,
In heaven’s high bower,
With silent delight
Sits and smiles on the night.

William Blake

Hurt No Living Thing

Hurt no living thing: 
Ladybird, nor butterfly, 
Nor moth with dusty wing, 
Nor cricket chirping cheerily, 
Nor grasshopper so light of leap, 
Nor dancing gnat, nor beetle fat, 
Nor harmless worms that creep.

Christina Rossetti

The Earthworm

Who really respects the earthworm,
the farmworker far under the grass in the soil.
He keeps the earth always changing.
He works entirely full of soil,
speechless with soil, and blind.
He is the underneath farmer, the underground one,
where the fields are getting on their harvest clothes.
Who really respects him,
this deep and calm earth-worker,
this deathless, gray, tiny, farmer in the planet’s soil.

Harry Edmund Martinson

The Witches Spell

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and caldron bubble.
Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the caldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt and toe of frog,
Wool of bat and tongue of dog,
Adder’s fork and blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg and howlet’s wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and caldron bubble.
Cool it with a baboon’s blood,
Then the charm is firm and good.

William Shakespeare


If I had wings

     I would touch the fingertips of clouds

          and glide on the wind’s breath.

If I had wings

     I would taste a chunk of the sun,

          as hot as peppered curry.

If I had wings

     I would listen to the clouds of sheep bleat

          that graze on the blue.

If I had wings

     I would breath deep and sniff

          the scent of raindrops.

If I had wings

     I would gaze at the people

          who cling to the earth.

If I had wings

     I would dream of

          swimming the deserts

               and walking the seas.

Pie Corbett

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