10 Steps to Success - Year 1 - Writing

The prime focus, in Year 1, is on securing children’s knowledge and understanding of Phonics.  By the end of the year, children should be able to read, write and blend all 44 phonemes. Equipped with this knowledge, plus an ability to spell “common exception words” (such as the, some, my, because) and to add simple prefixes and suffixes (un-,–ing, -ed, -er, -est), the children should be able to write simple sentences that make sense, begin with a capital letter, and end with a full stop, question mark or exclamation mark. They should be able to join words and clauses using and

By term 3, children should be able to sequence sentences to form short narratives with a simple structure, e.g. a beginning, a middle, and an end, and to write instructions in the correct order. 

By the end of the year, children in Year 1 should start to show some variety in sentence openings (While… When… Where... Fortunately… Unfortunately… Sadly…). Lower and upper case letters should be correctly formed.

We’ve broken the year’s key learning into 10 skills. If children can master these in year 1, they will make a flying start to year 2. They won’t necessarily be mastered in order.


10 Skills

Skill 1

Spell 45 most common high frequency words.





Skill  2

Correctly form letters, lower case and capitals, always denoting the first person pronoun as “I”, not “i”), and digits (0 – 9).








Skill  3

Write simple sentences that make sense, are punctuated with capital letters and full stops and have spaces between words.








Skill  4

Join words and clauses using “and”.






Skill  5

Use plurals   –s and –es. 

Use prefix un-, and suffixes –ing, -ed, -er, -est.







Skill  6

Use question marks and exclamation marks correctly.






Skill  7

Use a range of at least 6 different sentence openers: While… When… Where... Fortunately… Unfortunately… Sadly








Skill  8

Sequence sentences to form short narratives with a simple structure, e.g. beginning, middle, end; write instructions in correct order.








Skill  9

Spell Year 1 common exception words. 





Skill  10

Use a range of sentence types, which may include similes and adjectives.