Writing Year 5

 National Curriculum 2014

Pupils should be taught 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
  • proofread for spelling and punctuation errors
  • perform their own compositions, using appropriate intonation, volume, and movement so that meaning is clear

Notes and guidance (non-statutory)

Pupils should understand, through being shown, the skills and processes essential for writing: that is, thinking aloud to generate ideas, drafting, and rereading to check that the meaning is clear.

Narrative plays and scripts
19–20 weeks
Novels and stories by significant children’s authors
(4 weeks)
Traditional stories, fables, myths, legends
(4 weeks)
Stories from other cultures

(3 weeks)
Older literature

(3 weeks)
Film narrative
(3 weeks)
Dramatic conventions
(2–3 weeks)

** Numbers of weeks identified for each unit are suggestions only

The combined content of these units, together with continuous and discrete work at word and sentence level, carries the learning that children can be expected to achieve in Year 5. Further work on presentational skills and speaking and listening will be ongoing throughout the year. Literacy learning in Year 5 is summarised in the objectives in the twelve strands. The year divides into 19-20 weeks on narrative, plays and scripts, 12-14 weeks on non-fiction and 5 weeks on poetry but these timings and the ordering of many of the units can be flexible. This flexibility means that schools can position the units to create purposeful links across the curriculum. However care must be taken to maintain the progression in learning at text, sentence and word levels if these units are taught in a different order from the one suggested.

It is expected that the non-fiction units will take place before, after or alongside units from across the curriculum that will provide the content and purpose for speaking, listening, reading and writing. Many schools will also wish to link narrative, plays and poetry units across the curriculum.

Story Writing


narrative writing