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  /    /  Developmental Milestones: Key Stage 2

Developmental Milestones: Key Stage 2

What is KS2?

Key Stage 2 is the UK National Curriculum term that refers to school years 3 to 6, up to the end of primary school, when pupils are 7 – 11 years old.

Please keep in mind that these milestones are guidelines only, as all children are different and develop at their own pace. Do not be concerned if your child does not perfectly ‘tick all the boxes’ and avoid comparing your child to other children of a similar age. If you are worried that your child’s development is particularly delayed, visit your GP.

Years 3 and 4


  • By the beginning of year 3 children should be able to read books written at an age-appropriate interest level
  • Children should develop their understanding and enjoyment of stories, poetry, plays and non-fiction, and learning to read silently
  • They should develop their knowledge and skills in reading non-fiction about a wide range of subjects


  • Children should be able to write down their ideas with a reasonable degree of accuracy and with good sentence punctuation
  • Children need to use more varied grammar and vocabulary in their writing
  • Joined handwriting should be the norm
  • Spelling of common words should be correct, including common exception words and other words that they have learnt
  • Children should spell words as accurately as possible using their phonic knowledge and other knowledge of spelling
  • Children need opportunities to become more familiar with and confident in using language in a greater variety of situations, and/or a variety of audiences and purposes (this includes drama formal presentations and debate)


Years 5 and 6


  • Children should be able to read aloud a wider range of poetry and books written at an age-appropriate interest level with accuracy and at a reasonable speaking pace
  • They should be able to read most words effortlessly and to work out how to pronounce unfamiliar written words with increasing automaticity
  • They should be able to prepare readings, with appropriate intonation to show their understanding, and should be able to summarise and present a familiar story in their own words
  • Children should be reading widely and frequently, outside as well as in school, for pleasure and information. They should be able to read silently, with good understanding, inferring the meanings of unfamiliar words, and then discuss what they have read


  • Children should be using a wide range of punctuation
  • Grammar and punctuation should be broadly accurate
  • Spelling of most words taught so far should be accurate and they should be able to spell words that they have not yet been taught by using what they have learnt about how spelling works in English
  • Children’s need to ‘collect’ language, from stories, plays, poetry, non-fiction and textbooks, to support their writing
  • Confidence, enjoyment and mastery of language should be extended through public speaking, performance and debate

Year 3

  • Count from 0 in multiples of 4, 8, 50 and 100; find 10 or 100 more or less than a given number
  • Recognise the place value of each digit in a three-digit number (hundreds, tens, ones)
  • Compare and order numbers up to 1000
  • Read and write numbers up to 1000 in numerals and in words
  • Solve number problems and practical problems
  • Add and subtract numbers with up to three digits, using formal written methods of columnar addition and subtraction
  • Recall and use multiplication and division facts for the 3, 4 and 8 multiplication tables
  • Count up and down in tenths
  • Recognise, find and write fractions of a discrete set of objects
  • Add and subtract fractions with the same denominator within one whole
  • Compare and order unit fractions, and fractions with the same denominators
  • Measure, compare, add and subtract: lengths (m/cm/mm); mass (kg/g); volume/capacity (l/ml)
  • Measure the perimeter of simple 2-D shapes
  • Add and subtract amounts of money to give change
  • Tell and write the time from an analogue clock, including using Roman numerals from I to XII, and 12-hour and 24-hour clocks
  • Know the number of seconds in a minute and the number of days in each month, year and leap year
  • Draw 2-D shapes and make 3-D shapes using modelling materials
  • Identify horizontal and vertical lines and pairs of perpendicular and parallel lines


Year 4

  • Count in multiples of 6, 7, 9, 25 and 1000
  • Find 1000 more or less than a given number
  • Count backwards through zero to include negative numbers
  • Recognise the place value of each digit in a four-digit number (thousands, hundreds, tens, and ones)
  • Order, round and compare numbers beyond 1000 (including decimals)
  • Solve number problems (up to two step)
  • Read Roman numerals
  • Add and subtract numbers with up to 4 digits using the formal written methods of columnar addition and subtraction where appropriate
  • Recall multiplication and division facts for multiplication tables up to 12 × 12
  • Use place value, known and derived facts to multiply and divide mentally, including: multiplying by 0 and 1; dividing by 1; multiplying together three numbers
  • Multiply two-digit and three-digit numbers by a one-digit number using formal written layout
  • Recognise and show, using diagrams, families of common equivalent fractions
  • Count up and down in hundredths
  • Add and subtract fractions with the same denominator
  • Recognise and write decimal equivalents of any number of tenths or hundredths
  • Solve simple measure and money problems involving fractions and decimals to two decimal places
  • Convert between different units of measure (e.g. kilometre to metre; hour to minute)
  • Calculate perimeters and areas
  • Compare and classify geometric shapes, including quadrilaterals and triangles, based on their properties and sizes
  • Identify acute and obtuse angles and compare and order angles up to two right angles by size
  • Identify lines of symmetry in 2-D shapes
  • Interpret and present data in a range of tables and charts
  • Describe positions on a 2-D grid as coordinates in the first quadrant

Year 5

  • Read, write, order and compare numbers to at least 1 000 000 and determine the value of each digit
  • Count forwards or backwards in steps of powers of 10 for any given number up to 1 000 000
  • Interpret negative numbers in context, count forwards and backwards with positive and negative whole numbers, including through zero
  • Round any number up to 1 000 000 to the nearest 10, 100, 1000, 10 000 and 100 000
  • Solve number problems and practical problems using a range of operations and including measures decimals and percentages  (multi step)
  • Read Roman numerals
  • Add, subtract, multiply and divide numbers mentally with increasingly large numbers
  • Identify multiples and factors, including finding all factor pairs of a number, and common factors of two numbers
  • Know and use the vocabulary of prime numbers, prime factors and composite (non- prime), squared and cubed numbers
  • Multiply and divide numbers up to 4 digits by a one- or two-digit number using a formal written method
  • Multiply and divide whole numbers and those involving decimals by 10, 100 and 1000
  • Identify, compare and order fractions (including equivalent, mixed number and improper)
  • Round decimals with two decimal places to the nearest whole number and to one decimal place
  • Read, write, order and compare numbers with up to three decimal places
  • Recognise the per cent symbol (%) and understand that per cent relates to ‘number of parts per hundred’, and write percentages as a fraction with denominator 100, and as a decimal
  • Convert units of measure
  • Measure and calculate perimeter and area
  • Identify 3D shapes from 2D drawings
  • Know, measure and name different types of angles
  • Identify, describe and represent the position of a shape following a reflection or translation
  • Complete, read and interpret information in tables, including timetables


Year 6

  • Read, write, order and compare numbers up to 10 000 000 and determine the value of each digit
  • Round any whole number to a required degree of accuracy
  • Use negative numbers in context, and calculate intervals across zero
  • Solve number and practical problems that involve all of the above
  • Multiply, divide, add and subtract multi-digit numbers up to 4 digits by a two-digit whole number using the formal written method
  • Perform mental calculations, including with mixed operations and large numbers
  • Identify common factors, common multiples and prime numbers
  • Compare, order and simplify fractions
  • Add, subtract, multiply and divide fractions
  • Multiply one-digit numbers with up to two decimal places by whole numbers
  • Recall and use equivalences between simple fractions, decimals and percentages, including in different contexts
  • Solve problems involving ratio and proportion
  • Use simple formulae
  • Express missing number problems algebraically
  • Convert measures
  • Recognise when it is possible to use formulae for area and volume of shapes
  • Calculate the area of parallelograms and triangles
  • Draw 2-D shapes and make 3D shapes using given dimensions and angles
  • Compare and classify geometric shapes based on their properties and sizes and find unknown angles in any triangles, quadrilaterals, and regular polygons
  • Illustrate and name parts of circles, including radius, diameter and circumference and know that the diameter is twice the radius
  • Recognise angles where they meet at a point, are on a straight line, or are vertically opposite, and find missing angles
  • Describe positions on the full coordinate grid (all four quadrant)
  • Interpret and construct pie charts and line graphs and use these to solve problems
  • Calculate and interpret the mean as an average

Lower Key Stage 2

  • Ask relevant questions and use different types of scientific enquiries to answer them
  • Set up simple practical enquiries, comparative and fair tests
  • Make systematic and careful observations and, where appropriate, take accurate measurements using standard units and a range of equipment (including thermometers and data loggers)
  • Gather, record, classify and present data in a variety of ways to help in answering questions
  • Record findings using simple scientific language, drawings, labelled diagrams, keys, bar charts, and tables
  • Report on findings from enquiries, including oral and written explanations, displays or presentations of results and conclusions
  • Use results to draw simple conclusions, make predictions for new values, suggest improvements and raise further questions
  • Identify differences, similarities or changes related to simple scientific ideas and processes
  • Use straightforward scientific evidence to answer questions or to support their findings

Year 3

  • Learn about Plants
  • Explore the nutritional needs of Animals (including Humans) and recognise muscles and skeletons
  • Classify Rocks and explore fossils and soils
  • Investigate shadows and Light
  • Investigate Forces and Magnets

Year 4

  • Learn about Living Things and their HabitatsInvestigate food chains as well as teeth and the digestive system of Animals (including Humans)
  • Compare, identify and describe States of Matter and make links with the water cycle
  • Explore how Sound is made and how to change it
  • Investigate Electricity through constructing simple circuits and exploring conductors and insulators


Upper Key Stage 2

  • Plan different types of scientific enquiries to answer questions, including recognising and controlling variables where necessary
  • Take measurements, using a range of scientific equipment, with increasing accuracy and precision (taking repeat readings when appropriate)
  • Record data and results of increasing complexity using scientific diagrams and labels, classification keys, tables, scatter graphs, bar and line graphs
  • Use test results to make predictions to set up further comparative and fair tests
  • Report and present findings from enquiries, including conclusions, causal relationships and explanations of and degree of trust in results, in oral and written forms such as displays and other presentations
  • Identify scientific evidence that has been used to support or refute ideas or arguments


Year 5

  • Learn about the life cycles and reproduction of Living Things and their Habitats
  • Describe changes as Humans develop into old age
  • Properties and Changes of Materials (including the states of matter, reversible/ irreversible changes and properties)
  • Learn about the Earth and Space describing its movement and the effects that these have
  • Explore mechanisms and Forces (including gravity, air/water resistance and friction)

Year 6

  • Classifying Living things and their Environment
  • Learn about the circulatory system of Animals (including Humans) and the impact of diet, exercise etc.
  • Explore Evolution and Inheritance looking at fossils and adaptation
  • Investigate how Light travels and how objects are seen
  • Investigate Electricity and how circuits can be changed and represented
  • Children should be given opportunities to create sketch books to record their observations and use them to review and revisit ideas
  • Improve their mastery of art and design techniques, including drawing, painting and sculpture with a range of materials (e.g. pencil, charcoal, paint, clay)
  • Learn about great artists, architects and designers in history
  • Design, write and debug programs that accomplish specific goals, including controlling or simulating physical systems; solve problems by decomposing them into smaller parts
  • Use sequence, selection, and repetition in programs; work with variables and various forms of input and output
  • Use logical reasoning to explain how some simple algorithms work and to detect and correct errors in algorithms and programs


  • Use research and develop design criteria to inform the design of innovative, functional, appealing products that are fit for purpose, aimed at particular individuals or groups
  • Generate, develop, model and communicate their ideas through discussion, annotated sketches, cross-sectional and exploded diagrams, prototypes, pattern pieces and computer-aided design



  • Select from and use a wider range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks [for example, cutting, shaping, joining and finishing], accurately
  • Select from and use a wider range of materials and components, including construction materials, textiles and ingredients, according to their functional properties and aesthetic qualities



  • Investigate and analyse a range of existing products
  • Evaluate their ideas and products against their own design criteria and consider the views of others to improve their work
  • Understand how key events and individuals in design and technology have helped shape the world


Technical knowledge

  • Apply their understanding of how to strengthen, stiffen and reinforce more complex structures
  • Understand and use mechanical systems in their products (e.g. gears, pulleys, cams, levers and linkages)
  • Understand and use electrical systems in their products (e.g. series circuits incorporating switches, bulbs, buzzers and motors)
  • Apply their understanding of computing to program, monitor and control their products
  • Understand and apply the principles of a healthy and varied diet
  • Prepare and cook a variety of predominantly savoury dishes using a range of cooking techniques
  • Understand seasonality, and know where and how a variety of ingredients are grown, reared, caught and processed
  • Explore the patterns and sounds of language through songs and rhymes and link the spelling, sound and meaning of words
  • Engage in conversations; ask and answer questions; express opinions and respond to those of others; seek clarification and help
  • Speak in sentences, using familiar vocabulary, phrases and basic language structures
  • Develop accurate pronunciation and intonation so that others understand when they are reading aloud or using familiar words and phrases
  • Present ideas and information orally to a range of audiences
  • Read carefully and show understanding of words, phrases and simple writing
  • Appreciate stories, songs, poems and rhymes in the language
  • Broaden their vocabulary and develop their ability to understand new words that are introduced into familiar written material, including through using a dictionary
  • Write phrases from memory, and adapt these to create new sentences, to express ideas clearly
  • Describe people, places, things and actions orally and in writing
  • Understand basic grammar appropriate to the language being studied

Locational knowledge

  • Locate the world’s countries, using maps to focus on Europe (including the location of Russia) and North and South America, concentrating on their environmental regions, key physical and human characteristics, countries, and major cities
  • Name and locate counties and cities of the United Kingdom, geographical regions and their identifying human and physical characteristics, key topographical features (including hills, mountains, coasts and rivers), and land-use patterns; and understand how some of these aspects have changed over time
  • Identify the position and significance of latitude, longitude, Equator, Northern Hemisphere, Southern Hemisphere, the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, Arctic and Antarctic Circle, the Prime/Greenwich Meridian and time zones (including day and night)

Place knowledge

  • Understand geographical similarities and differences through the study of human and physical geography of a region of the United Kingdom, a region in a European country, and a region within North or South America

Human and physical geography

  • Describe and understand key aspects of:
    • Physical geography, including: climate zones, biomes and vegetation belts, rivers, mountains, volcanoes and earthquakes, and the water cycle
    • Human geography, including: types of settlement and land use, economic activity including trade links, and the distribution of natural resources including energy, food, minerals and water

Geographical skills and fieldwork

  • Use maps, atlases, globes and digital/computer mapping to locate countries and describe features studied
  • Use the eight points of a compass, four and six-figure grid references, symbols and key (including the use of Ordnance Survey maps) to build their knowledge of the United Kingdom and the wider world
  • Use fieldwork to observe, measure, record and present the human and physical features in the local area using a range of methods, including sketch maps, plans and graphs, and digital technologies
  • Pupils should continue to develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history, establishing clear narratives within and across the periods they study
  • They should note connections, contrasts and trends over time and develop the appropriate use of historical terms
  • They should regularly address and sometimes devise historically valid questions about change, cause, similarity and difference, and significance
  • They should construct informed responses that involve thoughtful selection and organisation of relevant historical information
  • They should understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources


Pupils should be taught about:

  • Changes in Britain from the Stone Age to the Iron Age
  • The Roman Empire and its impact on Britain
  • Britain’s settlement by Anglo-Saxons and Scots
  • The Viking and Anglo-Saxon struggle for the Kingdom of England to the time of Edward the Confessor
  • Local history
  • A study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066
  • The achievements of the earliest civilizations – an overview of where and when the first civilizations appeared and a depth study of one of the following: Ancient Sumer; The Indus Valley; Ancient Egypt; The Shang Dynasty of Ancient China
  • Ancient Greece – a study of Greek life and achievements and their influence on the western world
  • A non-European society that provides contrasts with British history – one study chosen from: early Islamic civilization, including a study of Baghdad c. AD 900; Mayan civilization c. AD 900; Benin (West Africa) c. AD 900-1300
  • Play and perform in solo and ensemble contexts, using their voices and playing musical instruments with increasing accuracy, fluency, control and expression
  • Improvise and compose music for a range of purposes using the inter-related dimensions of music
  • Listen with attention to detail and recall sounds with increasing aural memory
  • Use and understand staff and other musical notations
  • Appreciate and understand a wide range of high-quality live and recorded music drawn from different traditions and from great composers and musicians
  • Develop an understanding of the history of music
  • Use running, jumping, throwing and catching in isolation and in combination
  • Play competitive games, modified where appropriate (e.g. badminton, basketball, cricket, football, hockey, netball, rounders and tennis), and apply basic principles suitable for attacking and defending
  • Develop flexibility, strength, technique, control and balance (e.g. through athletics and gymnastics)
  • Perform dances using a range of movement patterns
  • Take part in outdoor and adventurous activity challenges both individually and within a team
  • Compare their performances with previous ones and demonstrate improvement to achieve their personal best

Children love to play and this is a great way to support their development and learning. See below for our independently tested and approved toys and apps to support your child’s development at Key Stage 2. 

More Child Development Milestones by Age