Fairlight Primary & Nursery School

Every individual child achieves


Here is a contents list of the Literacy units you can find on this page. Many of our writing units relate to our topic work, so don't forget to also check out the relevant Topic pages to find useful background information and resources to inspire your writing!

Autumn Term Spring Term Summer Term General Resources
Here We Are by Oliver Jeffers: make our own mini-picture book

Write an Astronauts' Handbook:

1. How to train to be an astronaut!

Postcards from Ancient Greece! Grammar & Punctuation
Make a persuasive leaflet: Brighton in 1914! 2. How to live on the ISS! Write a persuasive speech: Athens or Sparta? CLPE Resources
Write newspaper articles: The outbreak of the Great War! Write a Sci-fi Short Story! Write a Greek Myth or Legend! Poetry Time
Letters from the Trenches

Write a newspaper article:

This is Our Planet

Write a Letter to your MP Descriptive Settings 
 War Poems 

The Power of Pictures

Poetry: Hear The Windrush

 War Story Write and make a picture book  Short story: Journey to Jo'burg  

Brighton 1914: Make a Persuasive leaflet!

In this unit, find out how to write a persuasive but informative leaflet about Brighton (or Brighthelmstone) in 1914, which could be of use to any time-travellers out there!

We cover:

  • Sentence punctuation
  • Expanded noun phrases
  • Proper nouns and capital letters
  • Composing sentences and constructing paragraphs with purpose
  • Opening sentences and hook lines


Powerpoint: How to write a persuasive leaflet about Brighthelmstone in 1914

There are lots of history resources to find out about Brighton in 1914 on our Topic: World War One page!

The Outbreak of the Great War: Write 3 newspaper articles!

In this unit, we will find out about the outbreak of the First World War, and write 3 short news articles.

We cover:

  • features of a news article: headline, by-line, lead, body and tail.
  • how to write like a journalist: past and present continuous tenses; adverbial phrases for linking or explaining a previous sentence; modal verbs; and rhetorical questions.
  • Paragraphs for purpose
  • Organising points within a paragraph


Powerpoint: How to write like a journalist

Powerpoint: Write 3 News Articles about the Outbreak of the Great War

There are lots of history resources about the outbreak of the war on our Topic: World War One page!

Life in the Trenches: write letters about life on the Western Front

In this unit, we will find out about life in the trenches of the Western Front, and write some letters and diaries as if we are soldiers and other people there.

We cover:

  • Complex sentences (two or more parts): main clause, subordinate clauses and phrases, relative clauses.
  • The features of a personal letter and diary
  • Paragraphs for purpose
  • Organising points within a paragraph


Powerpoint: Complex sentences & features of letters

There are lots of history resources about life in the trenches on our Topic: World War One page!

War Poems

In this unit, we explore poetry features, read poems written during the First World War by people who were there, and write our own poems based upon our learning about the war and our own thoughts and feelings.

We cover:

  • alliteration, assonance, similes, metaphors, personification, hyperbole, and onomatopoeia.
  • rhyming couplets and ABAB rhyming structures, repetition.
  • lines and verses


Poems of the First World War

There are lots of history resources about life in the trenches on our Topic: World War One page

CLPE (Centre for Literacy in Primary Education) resources!...

The CLPE is one of the premier research organisations for reading and writing at primary level. They have a wealth of free resources for teacher, children and families, with many new ones added to support you during the pandemic isolation. As well as Viviane Schwarz, there are also e-books and online learning materials from many other famous children's authors.

CLPE Meet the Authors!

CLPE Author Videos & Learning Plans

CLPE Corebooks: Online Book Library

CLPE Poetry Videos & Learning Plans

CLPE: What We Knows Works: Writing

CLPE What Reading & Writing Look Like: Reading & Writing Progression


Poetry Time!

Writing poetry allows you to be creative with language! Use CLPE's Poetryline resources to read fantastic poems, listen to famous poets performing their creations, experiment with poetic features and forms, and write your own poems on all sorts of themes!


Listen to some great poems being read by the poets themselves to enjoy and inspire you: CLPE Poet Performances!


Read some poems, such as at: CLPE Poetryline Poems Library!

Memorise & Recite!

Pick a poem that you loved. See if you can memorise it and recite it to someone at home... or as a video for us!

Magpie Ideas!

Choose a theme that you like from the Categories in the menu and read some fantastic poems! Magpie some of your favourite words, phrases and lines and jot them down in a notebook or all over a piece of paper for ideation: CLPE Poetryline Poems Library!

Experiment with Language and Poetic Features!

Poetry is about exploring and playing with language beyond the rules of grammar and punctuation! Explore the many language features of poetry at the link, and try composing examples of your own to spark your creativity: CLPE Poetry Features: Examples of Poetic Forms & Devices!


Write out a favourite poem nicely on something, or illustrate it!

Think & Discuss your favourite poems!

Describe why you loved a particular poem, or what you like about reading and writing poems. Or make a list of your top ten poems!


What will you write a poem about? Use your ideas from earlier in the week and have a go! Remember our skill of composition: jot down ideas, words, phrases as they come to you, and think about structure later.

Some composing techniques:

  • Cut-up Poetry: gather lots of great words and phrases you like, and then write them out/cut them out on different pieces of paper. Mix them around and put them together. What do you get? This technique was made famous by the poet William Burroughs.
  • Variations: was there a poem that you really liked the sound of? Why not use it as a template, and adapt the words and phrases? This is a popular technique in classical, jazz and hip hop music.
  • Thesaurus Hunt: Pick a word, and look it up using a thesaurus. What other words have similar meanings (synonyms) and which ones have the opposite meaning (antonyms)? Make a word bank.
  • A Picture Tells a Thousand Words: choose a photograph. Imagine being in the photo. Describe what you sense and feel.
  • Nonsense!: Your poem can be nonsense and make no sense at all!
  • Shape of Things: Draw a picture of something - such as a big whale - and describe it, writing words around the shape of the drawing!
  • Short and Sweet: Poems can be long, or they can be just one line!


Publish your poem and illustrate it! Share it with us!


Hold a poetry Performance! Read some favourite poems and your poem to your family... and get them to join in too! Send us a video if you like! Here are some poets and children performing to give you tips and confidence:

CLPE Poetry Performances!

The Power of Pictures: Publish your own Picture Book!

Last year, Year 5 were very lucky to take part in a national literacy project called Power of Pictures, run by CLPE (the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education). We read picture books and investigated how they work - then we wrote, designed and published our own! While you are at home, why not have a go at writing a picture book (or a comic or graphic novel - many of the strategies are similar) for yourself - or with a younger sibling? You will find all that you need below, including links to a picture book called Is There A Dog in This Book? by Viviane Schwarz, who supported our project personally and has given us her permission to use her resources to inspire our children!

I Can Write a Science-fiction Story!

Here you can find all of the power-points with support and advice for writing your very own science-fiction story about a mission to another planet! There are also support sheets with vocabulary, language and grammar to develop your writing. Find it all in the folders below!

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Greek Myths & Legends!

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Explore the stories of ancient Greek mythology, and imagine and write your own!

Go to our Reading page to find dozens of tellings of the myths and legends of the ancient Greeks! Find out more about the beliefs of the ancients Greeks and how they saw the world around them, through how they imagined their pantheon of gods and goddess, herai and heroes, how they behaved in their myths, and what morals they put into them. Learn more about what myths and legends are, the way they are structured, and how they were told and retold. Discover how they influence stories we enjoy - even ones written today. Then, gather inspiration and ideas of your own to imagine, visualise, plan and write a myth or legend of your own!

Read and listen to ancient Greek myths and legends!

In the Reading section of this page, there is a wide selection of ancient Greek myths and legends to read, and also lots of stories told as animations too. We recommend reading different versions of the same myth or legend. Why? Because myths were spoken stories, not originally written down. The words, description - and even the details or the meaning - might change according to who was narrating the story. In one version of the myth of Perseus and Medusa, Medusa might be a cruel and dangerous monster, who must be destroyed before she turns all to stone! In another version, Medusa might be a woman cruelly cursed by the goddess Athene, whom Perseus kills without questioning why.

Tell a tale!

An old saying goes: "The tale is in the telling!" As you learn different myths and legends, retell them to someone else. Not only will this learn you to learn and remember the story, but it will improve your storytelling skills and powers of description. An audience will often tell you if they don't understand what is happening, or if you need to be more descriptive. You will also get the chance to decide for yourself how you will tell the tale: who is the hero, who is not? What is the moral of this story?

Find the features of myths and legends!

Many myths and legends from ancient Greece and around the world share similar features (the theory called the 'monomyth' or 'one story'). It's interesting to look for them as you read different myths and legends. For example, those three witches from Macbeth that I mentioned in our Wizarding World literacy turn up time and again, such as in the story of Perseus and Medusa. Use this Features of Myths and Legends Chart to spot the shared features and to note examples. You might even start noticing these mythical features in other stories, such as a certain space film series: "He's nothing but a crazy, old space wizard, Luke!" You might also notice that some of the features of myths and legends can be found in the stories of J.R.R. Tolkien such as The Hobbit!

Explore myths and legends from other parts of the world and different cultures!

Last year, you may have heard some of these same myths and legends as they were told by the Romans, who loved Greek ideas and borrowed lots of them... then changed the names to Latin! You might also have heard some myths and legends from the Anglo-Saxons and Vikings - Norse mythology about Odinn, Thor, Loki, the Frost Giants, Beowulf and Grendel and Ygdrassil, the World Tree!

But myths and legends are a form of story that all human cultures have told, and here are a few from West Africa about the owner of all stories, the trickster god Anansi! His stories have travelled the world as people who knew them were taken by force to the Caribbean Islands and to the Americas - but still passed the stories on from generation to generation. Some of you may even recognise some of the stories, but told with a character called Brer Rabbit, which is how Anansi stories were told by people enslaved in the United States of America who were banned from even speaking their own African languages or from learning to read and write to silence their culture. That's an example of how myths and legends can be changed in the telling, when someone is far from their old home, and not able to hear the original story told for many centuries, and they have to hide what they know so powerful people will not destroy it! But you can't outsmart Anansi forever, and his stories are told here!

Why All Stories Belong to Anansi!


Anansi and his Six Sons!


Anansi and the Tug o' War!


Anansi and the Pot of Wisdom!


Anansi and Turtle!

Imagine, plan and write a Greek-style myth or legend of your own!

In the folder below, you will find four powerpoints which can guide you through: learning about the features of myths and legends from ancient Greece and other cultures; imagining ideas for your own myth or legend story; and writing and editing your myth or legend.

It might at first remind you of when you wrote fairy tales, so if you start in this frame of mind it may help. These tales were told originally out loud by a storyteller, so in a Greek myth, the narrator is speaking to an audience, and you can write in this fashion (the 'chat' we sometimes warn you about!) - but the tricky part will be to make it sound as if you are an ancient Greek storyteller! Gather round, and I shall tell you a tale of long ago, when the gods themselves came down from yonder Mount Olympus on high and walked amongst our ancestors!...

How will learning myths and legends help me as a reader and a writer?

As you grow as a writer and starting to write your own stories and poems, a knowledge of myths and legends from around the world can be invaluable. It can inspire you with ideas for story structures - a story of a journey or quest for something important, or a tragic tale where a character makes a terrible mistake - even though the setting and events are not based in ancient Greece but in the modern world or outer space. It could even be fun to combine a different setting or story with ideas and characters from ancient myths: for example, as in the film Wonder Woman, where an Amazon, an ancient Greek woman warrior, finds herself in the trenches of the Great War. Many popular stories, comics and films of modern times are based upon or even borrow characters from ancient myths and legends! The more myths and legends from all cultures that you know, the more hidden references to them you will spot as you read stories. Captain America and Iron Man could not have defeated Thanos without help from mythological characters including Thor, Valkyrie and T'Challa the Black Panther - who represents a Yoruba god called Ogun, who in their myths gives the secret of iron to humanity! This is where Marvel got the idea for Wakanda and vibranium! Meanwhile, when Michael Morpurgo wrote the story of Joey experiencing the First World War, he knew of the legend The Iliad, and of the story of The Wooden Horse of Troy.

 Features of Myths & Legends.pdfDownload
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Hear The Windrush!

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This week, our literacy activities are themed around the lives and experiences of British people who travelled to live in the United Kingdom from the Caribbean and other parts of the former British Empire. One of the most famous events in this part of history was the arrival of the ship Empire Windrush on the 22nd June 1948, carrying 498 passengers to begin a new life in London.

Learn the History of the Windrush Generation

To help you write about this topic, we have provided some resources to help you to find out more about the Black Britons who are known as the Windrush Generation. After you have watched the historical news reel (which would have been watched by people in cinemas before they saw the main film - most people in the UK did not have a TV to watch the news in 1948), study the Windrush powerpoint presentation. There is a Windrush Documentary film that we encourage both Year 5 and Year 6 to watch, which begins to talk about how people were treated by other British people they tried to make their new lives in the UK. There is also a news report about how the British Government tried to deport hundreds of the Windrush Generation in 2012, and how they tried to hide what they had done. This is important history to know, in order to understand our Topic work on UK Democracy.

Windrush History Powerpoint

Video: BBC Teach: The Experiences of the Windrush Generation

The Windrush Scandal 2012: How were the Windrush Generation treated by the UK Government?

Reading Comprehension

Choose the reading comprehension article that is suitable for your reading ability, and answer the questions using what you have read about the Voyage of Empire Windrush. Challenge yourself: see if you can then read the next level of text and answer the questions.

Windrush Reading Comprehension

(All Versions)

Windrush Reading Comprehension (Simpler) Windrush Reading Comprehension (Medium) Windrush Reading Comprehension (Higher)

Write a Windrush Generation Information Report

Using the information you have read and your own research, write a short report about the Windrush Generation. It is useful to organise a report into clear headings about different themes. For example, you could use some of these sub-headings: The British Empire & Slavery; The Voyage of the Empire Windrush; Life in the United Kingdom; The Windrush Scandal 2012; How We Celebrate Windrush Day 22nd June. We have provided some writing templates to download in order to publish your writing.

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Write a Windrush Poem

Read and listen to the poets John Agard and Grace Nichols perform some poems about being part of the Windrush Generation. You will find out how they feel about their experiences in their own words. Has this topic of history inspires some feelings and thoughts of your own? Could you write a poem about what you have learnt, and express your feelings? To help you, we have created three examples of how you could start off a poem about the Windrush Generation. You could use them as sentence starters, or carry the poems on, or think of your own way to structure your own poem. Use all of your creativity. If you need more poetry inspiration, go to CLPE Poetryline, and select one of the poetic features (e.g. alliteration, or metaphors) in the menu. It will give you poems with examples of that feature to practice with. We have provided some writing templates to download in order to publish your writing.

Windrush Child by John Agard

Printable Version

Video Performance

My Gran Visits England by Grace Nichols

Printable Version

Video Performance

Windrush Poetry Writing Prompts

Windrush Vocabulary Cards

Windrush Vocabulary Cards (in cursive script)

Checking Out Me History

There is lots more amazing Black British and Caribbean history to discover apart from the story of the Empire Windrush. In the poem Checking Out Me History, John Agard wishes he had learnt more about it at school in the UK. Read and listen to his poem. What famous Black British and Caribbean people does the poem mention? Can you find out more about one of them? Do some research and write a fact file about one of them!

The Life of Mary Seacole (3 Parts)


Horrible Histories: Florence Nightingale & Mary Seacole


Warrior Queen: Nanny of the Maroons


Queen Nanny of the Maroons


Toussaint Louverture



"What are you up to, Bear?"

Something about the story of the Empire Windrush may have seemed familiar to you... but why? And why are you suddenly thinking of marmalade sandwiches?

It's because of Paddington Bear! Paddington was a story about a bear from Darkest Peru who comes to live in the United Kingdom and start a new life, like the Windrush Generation. He meets Mr Gruber - a man who escaped the Nazis as a child in the Second World War by being allowed to live in the UK as a refugee. Paddington often gets treated differently because he is a bear from a different place. Your final literacy task this week is to watch both Paddington films! Can you hear Lord Kitchener (the musician Aldwyn Roberts from the Empire Windrush) singing 'London Is The Place For Me'? in the first film? Do you recognise the boat that Aunt Lucy travels on in the picture book that Paddington dreams about in the second film? :-)

Black Lives Matter

Recently, you will have noticed that people around the world have been talking about the problem of racism, and protesting about how many black people find that society makes their lives more difficult and they are treated differently based upon how other people see them. This is the issue about which we are finishing our Democracy: From Ancient Greece to Today topic this year, to encourage our pupils to exercise the National Curriculum fundamental British value of participation in democracy. Before you write your Windrush poems, use the resources below to find out more about what Black Lives Matter means, and answer any questions or misconceptions you may have. Next week, our final literacy task will be to express how we feel about the issue of racism.

Write a letter to your MP and the Prime Minister!

Each year, we write a letter to our local Member of Parliament, who is called Caroline Lucas, about an issue we feel strongly about. This is an important part of our citizenship, the fundamental British value of participating in our democracy. This year, our topic is so important, that we also think it would be worth writing to the Prime Minister as well, to make sure that your views and ideas are heard by the people who exercise the power and can make a difference. Look on the From Ancient Greece to Democracy topic page to find out more about what Members of Parliament and the Prime Minister do!

Use the resources to: remind yourself how to write a letter; how to express your opinion and form a persuasive argument; and then either use the links to send your letter electronically; or send it to us to print and post!

Examples of Letters Fairlight Have Written

A Reply from Caroline Lucas MP

How to Plan Your Own Letter

Letterwriting Language & Phrases

Letter Writing Template 1

Letter Writing Language Template 2

Fairlight School Headed Paper

Who To Send Your Letter To

Our local Members of Parliament:

Caroline Lucas MP (Brighton Pavilion constituency)

Lloyd Russell Moyle MP (Brighton Kemptown constituency)

Peter Kyle MP (Hove Constituency)

Maria Caulfield MP (Lewes Constituency)

The Prime Minister:

Boris Johnson MP

Describing Settings!

This week, the Oak National Academy have been practising their skills for describing amazing settings in stories. Watch their videos and try some of their warm-up exercises. Then choose a mind-expanding setting to describe! There is a selection of ideas to magpie from and spark your own imagination in the folders below. Follow our strategy of great authors: visualise the setting; do some ideation: write down and sketch ideas, do some world-building, word and phrase banks etc; compose sentences in draft; construct them into cool paragraphs with great first lines and hooks; revise your writing as you go; edit, publish and share it! Find some prompts to help you to imagine some amazing settings (pirate island, underwater world, fantasy kingdom or life on Mars) in the folder below. This unit links with this BBC Bitesize English lesson

Videos, Tips, Warm-ups & Quizzes!

Watch all the videos and do the quizzes on the first day to warm up: Describing Settings Week with Oak National Academy

Have you thought of an amazing setting to imagine and describe? Try one of the ones below...

Describe a Pirate Island!

Describe a pirate island! Don't forget: visualise; magpie; bank words and phrases; then compose sentences and construct paragraphs; review and edit as you go.

Here is a online version of Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, filled with piratical adventure! Also, video clips of the National Theatre production of Treasure Island! or listen to Bernard Cribben's read 'Old Sea Dog's Treasure!'

Describe a Fantasy Kingdom!

Describe a fantastical kingdom and find out more about the Edge Chronicles by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell! Don't forget: visualise; magpie; bank words and phrases; then compose sentences and construct paragraphs; review and edit as you go.

If you don't have a fantasy book for ideas, listen to Beyond the Deepwoods by Chris Riddell.

Describe a base on Mars!

Describe a futuristic Mars base! Use the Mission to Mars activity cards to decide what you would need to survive and why. Don't forget: visualise; magpie; bank words and phrases; then compose sentences and construct paragraphs; review and edit as you go.

Get more ideas about life on Mars by reading Jazz Harper: Space Explorer.

Describe an Underwater World!

Describe an underwater world! Don't forget: visualise; magpie; bank words and phrases; then compose sentences and construct paragraphs; review and edit as you go.

Try reading these short stories for inspiration:

A Whole New Underwater World

Underwater World

Commotion in the Ocean

 Descriptive Settings Week
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