WRITING IN YEAR 5 & 6

For Year 5 and Year 6, pupils are expected to:

Plan their writing by:

  • identifying the audience for and purpose of the writing, selecting the appropriate form and using other similar writing as models for their own
  • noting and developing initial ideas, drawing on reading and research where necessary
  • in writing narratives, considering how authors have developed characters and settings in what pupils have read, listened to or seen performed.

Draft and write by:

  • selecting appropriate grammar and vocabulary, understanding how such
  • choices can change and enhance meaning
  • in narratives, describing settings, characters and atmosphere and integrating
  • dialogue to convey character and advance the action
  • précising longer passages
  • using a wide range of devices to build cohesion within and across paragraphs
  • using further organisational and presentational devices to structure text and to guide the reader [for example, headings, bullet points, underlining].

Evaluate and edit by:

  • assessing the effectiveness of their own and others’ writing
  • proposing changes to vocabulary, grammar and punctuation to enhance effects and clarify meaning
  • ensuring the consistent and correct use of tense throughout a piece of writing
  • ensuring correct subject and verb agreement when using singular and plural, distinguishing between the language of speech and writing and choosing the appropriate register
  • proof-read for spelling and punctuation errors.

Develop their understanding by:

  • recognising vocabulary and structures that are appropriate for formal speech and writing, including subjunctive forms
  • using passive verbs to affect the presentation of information in a sentence
  • using the perfect form of verbs to mark relationships of time and cause
  • using expanded noun phrases to convey complicated information concisely
  • using modal verbs or adverbs to indicate degrees of possibility
  • using relative clauses beginning with who, which, where, when, whose, that or with an implied (i.e. omitted) relative pronoun
  • learning the grammar for Years 5 and 6.

Indicate grammatical and other features by:

  • using commas to clarify meaning or avoid ambiguity in writing
  • using hyphens to avoid ambiguity
  • using brackets, dashes or commas to indicate parenthesis
  • using semi-colons, colons or dashes to mark boundaries between independent clauses
  • using a colon to introduce a list
  • punctuating bullet points consistently.

For handwriting, pupils should be taught to:

  • write legibly, fluently and with increasing speed by:
  • choosing which shape of a letter to use when given choices and deciding
  • whether or not to join specific letters
  • choosing the writing implement that is best suited for a task.

 

During Years 5 and 6, teachers should continue to emphasise pupils’ enjoyment and understanding of language, especially vocabulary, to support their reading and writing. Pupils’ knowledge of language, gained from stories, plays, poetry, non-fiction and textbooks, will support their increasing fluency as readers, their facility as writers, and their comprehension. As in years 3 and 4, pupils should be taught to enhance the effectiveness of their writing as well as their competence.

By the end of Year 6, pupils’ reading and writing should be sufficiently fluent and effortless for them to manage the general demands of the curriculum in year 7, across all subjects and not just in English, but there will continue to be a need for pupils to learn subject-specific vocabulary. They should be able to reflect their understanding of the audience for and purpose of their writing by selecting appropriate vocabulary and grammar. Teachers should prepare pupils for secondary education by ensuring that they can consciously control sentence structure in their writing and understand why sentences are constructed as they are. Pupils should understand nuances in vocabulary choice and age-appropriate, academic vocabulary.