Milestone 1
(Year 1 & Year 2)

Milestone 2
(Year 3 & Year 4)

Milestone 3
(Year 5 & Year 6)


To write with purpose

• Say first and then write to tell others about ideas.

• Write for a variety of purposes.

• Plan by talking about ideas and writing notes.

• Use some of the characteristic features of the type of writing used.

• Write, review and improve.

• Write for a wide range of purposes using the main 

   features identified in reading. 

• Use techniques used by authors to create characters and settings.

• Compose and rehearse sentences orally.

• Plan, write, edit and improve.

• Identify the audience for writing.

• Choose the appropriate form of writing using the main features identified in reading. 

• Note, develop and research ideas.

• Plan, draft, write, edit and improve.

To use imaginative description

• Use adjectives to add detail. 

• Use names of people, places and things.

• Use well-chosen adjectives.

• Use nouns and pronouns for variety.

• Use adverbs for extra detail.

• Create characters, settings and plots.

• Use alliteration effectively.

• Use similes effectively.

• Use a range of descriptive phrases including some collective nouns. 

• Use the techniques that authors use to create characters, settings and plots.

• Create vivid images by using alliteration, similes, metaphors and personification.

• Interweave descriptions of characters, settings and atmosphere with dialogue.

To organise writing appropriately

• Re-read writing to check it makes sense.

• Use the correct tenses.

• Organise writing in line with its purpose. 

• Use organisational devices such as headings and sub headings.

• Use the perfect form of verbs to mark relationships of time and cause. 

• Use connectives that signal time, shift attention, inject suspense and shift the setting.

• Guide the reader by using a range of organisational devices, including a range of connectives.

• Choose effective grammar and punctuation and propose changes to improve clarity.

• Ensure correct use of tenses throughout a piece of writing.

To use paragraphs

• Write about more than one idea.

• Group related information.

• Organise paragraphs around a theme.

• Sequence paragraphs.

• Write paragraphs that give the reader a sense of clarity.

• Write paragraphs that make sense if read alone.

• Write cohesively at length.

To use sentences appropriately

• Write so that other people can understand the meaning of sentences.

• Sequence sentences to form a short narrative.

• Convey ideas sentence by sentence.

• Join sentences with conjunctions and connectives.

• Vary the way sentences begin. 

• Use a mixture of simple, compound and complex sentences.

• Write sentences that include:

·       conjunctions

·       adverbs

·       direct speech, punctuated correctly

·       clauses

·       adverbial phrases.

• Write sentences that include: 

      • relative clauses

      • modal verbs

      • relative pronouns

      • brackets

      • parenthesis

      • a mixture of active and passive voice

      • a clear subject and object

      • hyphens, colons and semi colons

      • bullet points. 


To present neatly

• Sit correctly and hold a pencil correctly.  

• Begin to form lower-case letters correctly.

• Form capital letters.

• Form digits 0-9.

• Understand letters that are formed in similar ways. 

• Form lower-case letters of a consistent size.

• Begin to join some letters. 

• Write capital letters and digits of consistent size.

• Use spacing between words that reflects the size of the  letters.

• Join letters, deciding which letters are best left un-joined.

• Make handwriting legible by ensuring downstrokes of letters are parallel and letters are spaced appropriately.



• Write fluently and legibly with a personal style.

To spell correctly

• Spell words containing 40+ learned phonemes.

• Spell common exception words (the, said, one, two and the days of the week).

• Name letters of the alphabet in order. 

• Use letter names to describe spellings of words.

• Add prefixes and suffixes, learning the rule for adding s and es as a plural marker for nouns, and the third person singular marker for verbs (I drink - he drinks).

• Use the prefix un.

• Use suffixes where no change to the spelling of the root word is needed: helping, helped, helper, eating, quicker, quickest.

• Use spellings rules.

• Write simple sentences dictated by the teacher.

• Spell by segmenting words into phonemes and represent them with the correct graphemes.

• Learn some new ways to represent phonemes.

• Spell common exception words correctly.

• Spell contraction words correctly (can’t, don’t).

• Add suffixes to spell longer words (-ment, -ness, -ful and -less).

• Use the possessive apostrophe. (singular) (for example, the girl's book)

• Distinguish between homophones and near-homophones. 

• Use prefixes and suffixes and understand how to add them. 

• Spell further homophones.

• Spell correctly often misspelt words. 

• Place the possessive apostrophe accurately in words with regular plurals (for example, girls’, boys’) and in words with irregular plurals (for example, children’s).

• Use the first two or three letters of a word to check its spelling in a dictionary.

• Write from memory simple sentences, dictated by the teacher, that include words and punctuation taught so far.

• Use prefixes, applying guidelines for adding them.

• Spell some words with silent letters (knight, psalm solemn).

• Distinguish between homophones and other words that are often confused.

• Use knowledge of morphology and etymology in spelling and understand that some words need to be learned specifically. 

• Use dictionaries to check spelling and meaning of words. 

• Use the first three or four letters of a word to look up the meaning or spelling of words in a dictionary.

• Use a thesaurus.

To punctuate accurately

• Leave spaces between words. 

• Use the word ‘and’ to join words and sentences.

• Begin to punctuate using a capital letter for the name of people, places, the days of the week and I.

• Use both familiar and new punctuation correctly, including full stops, capital letters, exclamation marks, question marks, commas for lists and apostrophes for contracted forms.

• Use sentences with different forms: statement, question, exclamation and command.

• Use extended noun phrases to describe and specify (e.g. the blue butterfly).

• Use subordination (when, if, that or because).

• Use coordination (or, and, but).

• Use some features of standard written English.

• Use the present and past tenses correctly, including the progressive form.

• Develop understanding of writing concepts by: 

    • Extending the range of sentences with more than one clause by using a wider range of conjunctions, including when, if, because, although. 

   • Using the present perfect form of verbs in contrast to the past tense. 

   • Choosing nouns or pronouns appropriately for clarity and cohesion and to avoid repetition. 

   • Using conjunctions, adverbs and prepositions to express time and cause. 

   • Using fronted adverbials.

• Indicate grammatical and other features by: 

   • Using commas after fronted adverbials. 

   • Indicating possession by using the possessive apostrophe with plural nouns. 

   • Using and punctuating direct speech.

• Develop understanding of writing concepts 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.

• 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.


Analysis and presentation

To analyse writing

• Discuss writing with the teacher and other pupils.

• Use and understand grammatical terminology in discussing writing:

      • word, sentence, letter, capital letter, full stop, punctuation, singular, plural, question mark, exclamation mark.

• Use and understand grammatical terminology in discussing writing:

• verb, tense (past, present), adjective, noun, suffix, apostrophe, comma.

• Use and understand grammatical terminology when discussing writing and reading:

Year 3

     • word family, conjunction, adverb, preposition, direct speech, inverted commas (or ‘speech marks’), prefix, consonant, vowel, clause, subordinate clause.

Year 4

     • pronoun, possessive pronoun, adverbial.

• Use and understand grammatical terminology when discussing writing and reading:

Year 5

    • relative clause, modal verb, relative pronoun, parenthesis, bracket, dash, determiner, cohesion, ambiguity.

Year 6

    • active and passive voice, subject and object, hyphen, synonym, colon, semi-colon, bullet points.

To present writing

• Read aloud writing clearly enough to be heard by peers and the teacher.

• Read aloud writing with some intonation.

• Read aloud writing to a group or whole class, using appropriate intonation.

• Perform compositions, using appropriate intonation and volume.

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