Curriculum Vital

Poetry in the Primary English

National Curriculum Programme of Study

See all the statutory requirements for teaching poetry in the Primary English National Curriculum below and find anthologies and resources to use in your classroom.

Jump to: Key Stage 1 - Lower Key Stage 2 - Upper Key Stage 2

Poetry Anthologies - Poetry Resources


Key Stage 1: Year 1

National Curriculum Programme of Study (statutory requirements)

Reading: Comprehension

Pupils should be taught to develop pleasure in reading, motivation to read, vocabulary and understanding by:

  • listening to and discussing a wide range of poems, stories and non-fiction at a level beyond that at which they can read independently
  • learning to appreciate rhymes and poems, and recite some by heart.

Key Stage 1: Year 2

National Curriculum Programme of Study (statutory requirements)

Reading: Comprehension

Pupils should be taught to develop pleasure in reading, motivation to read, vocabulary and understanding by:

  • listening to, discussing and expressing views about a wide range of contemporary and classic poetry, stories and non-fiction at a level beyond that at which they can read independently
  • recognising simple recurring literary language in stories and poetry
  • continuing to build up a repertoire of poems learnt by heart, appreciating these and reciting some, with appropriate intonation to make the meaning clear.

Pupils should be taught to understand both the books that they can already read accurately and fluently and those that they listen to by:

  • participate in discussion about books, poems and other works that are read to them and those that they can read for themselves, taking turns and listening to what others say
  • explain and discuss their understanding of books, poems and other material, both those that they listen to and those that they read for themselves.

Writing: Composition

Pupils should be taught to develop positive attitudes towards and stamina for writing by:

  • writing poetry.

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Lower Key Stage 2

National Curriculum Programme of Study (statutory requirements)

Reading: Comprehension

Pupils should be taught to develop positive attitudes to reading and understanding of what they read by:

  • listening to and discussing a wide range of fiction, poetry, plays, non-fiction and reference books or textbooks
  • preparing poems and play scripts to read aloud and to perform, showing understanding through intonation, tone, volume and action
  • recognising some different forms of poetry [for example, free verse, narrative poetry].

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Upper Key Stage 2

National Curriculum Programme of Study (statutory requirements)

Reading: Comprehension

Pupils should be taught to maintain positive attitudes to reading and understanding of what they read by:

  • continuing to read and discuss an increasingly wide range of fiction, poetry, plays, non-fiction and reference books or textbooks
  • learning a wider range of poetry by heart
  • preparing poems and plays to read aloud and to perform, showing understanding through intonation, tone and volume so that the meaning is clear to an audience.

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Poetry Anthologies

Here are some of the favourite poetry anthologies for your primary classroom.

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Poetry Resources

These resources will help you teach writing and understanding poetry in the classroom or at home.

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To find resources for Key Stage 3, GCSE and A Level poetry visit our Poetry Lesson Plan page.