Key Stage 1 (KS1)
5 to 7 years

The foundation to a life time of reading and writing


Language skills probably evolved 50,000 to 150,000 years ago. However, reading and
writing are skills that have only been practised for around 5000 years. These skills are not innate and do not necessarily come naturally, as our brains are not wired to read and write. Key Stage 1 is the first stage to learning to place our thoughts in writing and to read texts. It is a complex task which needs to be tackled with an in depth understanding of the science behind teaching the brain to read.

At DL, we remain up-to-date with the reading research which helps our students learn to read. In Key Stage 1, we study the five main components that are fundamental to reading: phonics, phonemic awareness, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension.


Our KS1 classes usually start in Yr1 with a catch up of the Early Years Foundation Stage work in phonics instruction.  We teach the relationships between the letters of written language and the sounds of spoken language.

Children's reading development is dependent on their understanding of the alphabetic principle - the idea that letters and letter patterns represent the sounds of spoken language.

We learn about simple phonics and digraphs. We read and write CVC words (Consonant Vowel Consonant - eg, dog, sit, ten) blending and segmenting them.  

This progresses to CCVC words using consonant digraphs (eg. ship, then, chop), tricky words (words which just have to be learned eg. the, was, they, are). Towards the end of this first year children will be attempting to write short sentences, demarcating with capitals and full stops.

The most important aspect to writing is finding confidence with regards to putting pencil to paper independently.

During our second year we build on this knowledge and introduce formal identification of nouns, verbs and adjectives.  Yr 2 children are encouraged to lengthen sentences by adding conjunctions.

Written work is simple, coherent narrative about their own and others’ experiences (real and fictional).  

We introduce more grammar and punctuation, for instance, adding suffixes -ing, -er, -est and -ed, studying irregular past tense verbs, writing commas in lists and using question marks.