Skip to content ↓

Key Concepts in English



Subject Specific Key Concepts



Concept lens’



Speaking and


Spoken language underpins the development of reading and writing. The qualities of language that pupils hear and speak are vital for developing their understanding of vocabulary and grammar. Spoken language should empower pupils to share their ideas in an articulate and confident manner.


Reading involves the speedy working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words (decoding) and the recognition of familiar printed words. The understanding that the letters on the page represent sounds underpins both.


Writing involves using letters to communicate thoughts and ideas into readable form. The way that symbols are recorded and structured impacts on their meaning.


Comprehension draws from pupils’ linguistic knowledge (particularly vocabulary and grammar). It refers to the ability to read and process a text in order to gain an understanding of its meaning.


Effective transcription refers to accurate spelling and handwriting. This is achieved if pupils have a good understanding of the relationship between letters and sounds, word structure and spelling structure.


Vocabulary refers to a set of words within a language. Vocabulary usually develops with age and experience and is essential for effective communication. Giving pupils opportunities to develop their vocabulary is essential in aiding their spoken and written language.


Punctuation is the system of symbols that we use to separate written sentences and parts of sentences to make their meaning clear. Each symbol is called a "punctuation mark".


Grammar refers to the study of words, how they are used in sentences and how they change in different situations.