A new UK Government took office on 11 May 2010. As a result the content on this site may not reflect current Government policy.
All statutory guidance and legislation published on this site continues to reflect the current legal position unless indicated otherwise.
To view the new website, please visit http://www.education.gov.uk

Progression in narrative

Purpose: The purpose of narrative can be defined simply as to tell a story. However, that does not convey the many purposes of stories and the way that they work at different levels. The purpose of a narrator is to make the listener or reader respond in a particular way. Stories are written or told to entertain and enthral an audience.  Stories can make us sad, horrify us, make us laugh, make us excited. They create imaginative worlds that can help us understand ourselves and the things around us and take us beyond our own experience. From the earliest times, stories have been a part of the way that people have explained their world, passed on their beliefs and memories and entertained one another.

Narrative is central to learning, especially for young children who develop their understanding through making up stories about what has happened and what might happen. Children use narrative to organise their ideas, structure their thinking and, ultimately, their writing. Telling and writing stories is not simply a set of skills for children to learn, but an essential means for them to express themselves in creative and imaginative ways.

In this section

  • Progression in narrative