10 Steps to Success - Year 3 - Writing

Children learn to write in paragraphs in Year 3. These paragraphs should include a variety of simple, complex and compound sentences, with a range of conjunctions (meanwhile, during, following, when, if, because, although, however…). Pupils should start to include interesting and appropriate vocabulary that creates impact or clarifies information (e.g. a loud, wailing noise; stare, tremble, slither; magnificent, unbelievable).  Common homophones and near-homophones should be correctly spelt (e.g. their, there, they’re; your, you’re; where, were; allowed, aloud; to, two, too), and children will learn to spell words ending in -tion, -sion, -cian and  -ssion. 

In Year 3, children start to learn to use speech marks in dialogue, colons before a list and commas after fronted adverbials (Slowly, the boy stepped forward). Lower and upper case letters should be correctly sized and joined.

We’ve broken the year’s key learning into 10 skills. If children can master these in year 3, they will make a flying start to year 4. They won’t necessarily be mastered in order.


10 Skills


Skill 1:

Secure sentence punctuation: Full stops and capital letters are used correctly, including proper nouns. Sentences consist of a main clause containing a verb, and a range of tenses are used. The writing makes sense.    









Skill 2:

Secure punctuation of speech: NSNL, capital letter and ? ! “ ” are used. Commas used to separate items in lists and after a sentence opener.    








Skill 3:

Extending ideas: A range of conjunctions are used to extend sentences e.g. meanwhile, during, when, if, because, although, however.    








Skill 4:

Variety in sentences: A range of sentence structures are used e.g. simple, compound, and complex sentences, and a variety of sentence openers used.    









Skill 5: 

Paragraphing: Paragraphs are used in narrative for a new location in a story, and to group similar information together in non-fiction writing.








Skill 6

Powerful vocabulary: Use interesting and appropriate vocabulary to create impact and to clarify information - both adjectives and adverbs (e.g. a loud, wailing noise; stare, tremble, slither, magnificent, and unbelievable).    









Skill 7

Writing for effect: Simile (using ‘as – as –‘ and ‘like’), metaphor and alliteration used in fiction and poetry to add interest. In non-fiction writing, rhetorical questions and imperative verbs are used to persuade.    









Skill 8

Editing and improving skills: Edit own and others’ writing, suggesting improvements and correcting spelling, grammar and punctuation. A dictionary is used independently to look up spellings and check meaning of words.    









Skill 9:

Accurate spelling: Most common words, homophones and words with prefixes (e.g. dis-, mis-, in-, im-, un-) and suffixes (e.g. -tion, -sion, -cian and -ssion). Knowledge of Year 3 words secure. 








Skill 10

Good handwriting: Upper and lower cases are correctly formed, consistently joined and even in size.