Fairlight Primary & Nursery School

Every individual child achieves


This page contains a definitive summary of the elements of grammar and punctuation that Year 5 will work on to support your child's writing skills. Resources to support these areas can be found on the Literacy page. Many of the elements of grammar are further developed and made explicit within our powerpoints for our Literacy units, as we guide the pupils' writing.


In Year 5, we will be writing longer texts, for example learning how to structure short stories, newspaper articles and non-linear information reports. We will learn some new elements of grammar to help us to do this. Most of these ideas we can learn along the way, as we plan and write our Literacy! We guide you through how to use them in our War Stories, Astronaut handbooks, and sci-fi stories!

Year 5 build on their existing understanding of sentence, and develop this in a number of new ways to make their writing more expansive and structured:


Use the parts of a whole sentence, being clauses and phrases, to add information and details - like this:

  • Know what a main clause is (a clause that makes sense as a full sentence) and what it must contain to be complete: an object, a subject and a verb.
  • Learn subordination and parenthesis: subordinate and relative clauses, adverbial and prepositional phrases (be they at the back, front or middle!).
  • Use punctuation to separate and mark the different parts of a whole sentence: primarily commas, dashes and brackets.
  • Start to use other punctuation to set out parts of a sentence, e.g. colons and semi-colons.

Use modal verbs, e.g. might, should, could, would, must, will.

Use poetic devices in your writing, e.g. expanded noun phrases, alliteration, rule of three, simile and metaphor, repetition of a phrase of sentence.

Show not tell: to show what characters are thinking and feeling, describe their expressions, how they move and what they do, or the atmosphere around them.

Structure & Cohesion:

Construct your sentences into paragraphs for purpose:

  • As we write paragraphs with several sentences, identify when a sentence is complete and punctuate with full stops automatically. Train yourself to begin the next sentence automatically with a capital letter.
  • Organize your ideas in non-fiction reports into paragraphs that have sentences with a related theme.
  • Learn how to structure a short story with paragraphs for purpose.
  • Write opening lines and closing hook lines for paragraphs to give them a purpose, with beginning and end.
  • Use phrases and conjunctions to link ideas within a paragraph, e.g. Firstly, In order for this to happen, For example, On the other hand. 
  • Link ideas from one paragraph to the next using adverbial phrases of time, place and number, e.g. Later that day, Deeper in the woods, Secondly, In contrast, As a consequence.
  • Use layout devices to structure non-fiction report writing, e.g. headings and sub-headings, columns, bullet points.


Use different tenses of past, present and future in your writing for the right purpose:

  • Decide which tense is most appropriate for your chosen writing.
  • Be consistent in using your chosen tense throughout a piece of writing, e.g. using the past tense throughout a story.
  • Learn and use more past tense forms of irregular verbs.
  • Decide when it is useful to change the tense within a piece of writing, e.g. a story might have the narrative written in the past tense, but speech clauses from the character are written in the present tense. The story might end with the narrator thinking about what might happen next, written in a future tense.
  • Begin to use the passive voice in writing, e.g. The thunderous charge of the horses' hooves was broken by the rattling roar of the machine guns.
  • Use the future tenses:
  • simple future tense (I will go to the moon, They will arrive later, He shall succeed);
  • the future continuous tense (We will be eating a picnic, It is going to be amazing);
  • the future perfect tense (He will have completed the laser, They will have conquered the planet);
  • the future perfect continuous tense (He will have been playing all day)
  • and the future conditional tense using modal verbs (I may win the race, We could one day live on Mars.)

Perspective of Person:

Write from different points of view in a piece of writing. We call this the 'person' writing:

  • Decide which 'person' and which pronouns you will use in your piece of writing:
  1. 1st Person (for narrators/storytellers/presenting information informally): I, We, me, us.
  2. 2nd Person (Giving instructions/commands/imperatives): You, you, you, you.
  3. 3rd Person (for telling information formally/stories where the narrator is not part of events): She, he, it, they, her, his, its, their. 
  • Be consistent with your point of view throughout a piece of writing, e.g. if it starts with a character called Astrid using the 3rd Person to write She went into the dark cave, you should not change to 1st Person at the end to write, Finally, I came out of the cave!
  • Write texts where you use different points of view for different parts, e.g. a newspaper report in the 3rd Person with interview questions in the 2nd Person and quotes in the 1st Person. Or a story introduced by a narrator in the 1st Person but with the events of the story told in the 3rd Person and rhetorical questions for the audience asked in the 2nd Person.


Punctuation helps us to see where one sentence has ended and a new idea has begun. It can also help us to construct longer sentences, by clearly indicating (showing) each part of the sentence. 

Punctuation to indicate whole sentences (consolidating Year 4 learning):

  • Automatically use a capital letter to begin every sentence, as a habit rather than a thing to check later.
  • Automatically put a full stop (.?!) at the end of whole sentences, as a habit rather than a thing to check later.
  • Be able to reread and check all sentence punctuation is present independently.

Punctuation to indicate parts of a whole sentence:

  • Use brackets, dashes, and commas to indicate parenthesis (extra parts put into a sentence) - for example as I have done in this one!
  • Use colons : to begin lists or to introduce a key linked fact: this is a good example!
  • Use semi-colons ; to separate a series of longer phrases listed in a sentence: here is my first example; other people might want to know my second example; and my third example might be useful too! 
  • Punctuate speech clauses within a whole sentence correctly: comma, inverted commas surrounding spoken words, punctuation within the speech clause.

Punctuation to support cohesion between paragraphs:

  • Use ellipses to indicate further sentences or paragraphs to follow, e.g. What will we learn next?...

Punctuation within words:

  • Use hyphens to construct kennings or compound adjectives (noun+verb=adjective), e.g. man-eating shark, toe-curling scream.