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St Andrew's C.E. Primary School

Enriching Lives

Year 6

Y6 Teacher Assessment for Writing

Year 6 - Working towards the expected standard

The pupil can:

  • write for a range of purposes
  • use paragraphs to organise ideas 
  • in narratives, describe settings and characters
  • in non-narrative writing, use simple devices to structure the writing and support the reader (e.g. headings, sub-headings, bullet points)
  • use capital letters, full stops, question marks, commas for lists and apostrophes for contraction mostly correctly 
  • spell correctly most words from the year 3 / year 4 spelling list, and some words from the year 5 / year 6 spelling list*
  • write legibly.


Year 6 - Working at the expected standard

The pupil can:

  • write effectively for a range of purposes and audiences, selecting language that shows good awareness of the reader (e.g. the use of the first person in a diary; direct address in instructions and persuasive writing)
  • in narratives, describe settings, characters and atmosphere
  • integrate dialogue in narratives to convey character and advance the action 
  • select vocabulary and grammatical structures that reflect what the writing requires, doing this mostly appropriately (e.g. using contracted forms in dialogues in narrative; using passive verbs to affect how information is presented; using modal verbs to suggest degrees of possibility)
  • use a range of devices to build cohesion (e.g. conjunctions, adverbials of time and place, pronouns, synonyms) within and across paragraphs 
  • use verb tenses consistently and correctly throughout their writing
  • use the range of punctuation taught at key stage 2 mostly correctly^ (e.g. inverted commas and other punctuation to indicate direct speech)
  • spell correctly most words from the year 5 / year 6 spelling list,* and use a dictionary to check the spelling of uncommon or more ambitious vocabulary 
  • maintain legibility in joined handwriting when writing at speed


Y6 - Working at greater depth within the expected standard

The pupil can: 

  • begin to select the appropriate form and draw on what they have read as models for their own writing (e.g. rhetorical questions; interactions between characters; range of sentence constructions and types) 
  • choose precise and effective vocabulary, according to the purpose and audience, and adapt this when editing to improve effect
  • sustain and develop ideas within paragraphs
  • begin to independently use punctuation^ and sentence constructions to show the difference between formal and informal writing3 (e.g. contractions in speech).





 * These are detailed in the word lists within the spelling appendix to the national curriculum (English Appendix 1). Teachers should refer to these to exemplify the words that pupils should be able to spell.

^ This relates to punctuation taught in the national curriculum, which is detailed in the grammar and punctuation appendix to the national curriculum (English Appendix 2). Pupils are expected to be able to use the range of punctuation shown here in their writing, but this does not mean that every single punctuation mark must be evident.

[1] The national curriculum states that pupils should be taught to ‘use the diagonal and horizontal strokes that are needed to join letters and understand which letters, when adjacent to one another, are best left unjoined’.

[1] Pupils should recognise that certain features of spoken language (e.g. contracted verb forms, other grammatical informality, colloquial expressions, long coordinated sentences) are less likely in writing and be able to select alternative vocabulary and grammar.

Reference will need to be made to the expectations of the national curriculum for Y6  to ensure that writing is at the correct pitch.