18 Overview Like the rest of the new curriculum, the programme of study for English is knowledge-based; this means its focus is on knowing facts rather than developing skills and understanding. It’s also characterised by an increased emphasis on the technical aspects of language and less emphasis on the creative aspects. English is set out year-by-year in KS1 and two-yearly in KS2. Appendices give specific content to be covered in the areas of spelling and vocabulary, grammar and punctuation. These are set out yearly across both Key Stages. Within each Key Stage, schools are allowed to introduce the content earlier or later than described in the programme of study. Spoken language Speaking and listening (now called Spoken language) has been slimmed down. The initial draft of the new English curriculum didn’t have a programme of study for spoken language. After widespread criticism, one was added to the final draft and published version. Unlike Reading and Writing, it isn’t age- differentiated; a single, brief programme of study covers the whole of the primary age range. Drama has been reinstated as a statutory requirement after being relegated to non-statutory status in earlier versions of the draft programme of study. Reading Reading is to be taught using phonic strategies only. There is no longer a requirement for pupils to build up a sight vocabulary of high frequency words, or to use syntax and context when reading for meaning. Pupils across the primary age range are now required to learn a range of poetry by heart and perform it. At KS1 pupils are expected to re-read books to develop fluency and confidence in word reading. Pupils in years 1 and 2 now need to be able to make inferences from their reading. (This was previously not covered until year 3). Writing There are a significant number of new requirements in the area of writing. However, there are a couple of reasons why this may not be as challenging as it might first appear. Firstly, many of the new learning objectives cover activities that are already common practice in the classroom; they’re simply being stated explicitly for the first time. Secondly, the new curriculum is more specific about what pupils should learn in the areas of spelling, vocabulary, grammar and punctuation.