Narrative writing: Rainbow Fish and His Sister

At the beginning of the summer term, children wrote a story based on reading traditional tales. As a prompt, they were given a picture of a fish. Before writing independently, whole-class discussion and pair work explored some ideas for characters, a problem and how to resolve it.

Pupil's handwritten story titled 'Rainbo fish and his sister'. The page is illustrated with two pictures of fish and annotated by a teacher.
The page is labelled 'Nikita 21.5.08'. The main text reads 'Onec upon the oshan there lived a fish and his famley. One day the fish and went fo an exsaited swim in the oshan. He looked arownd and he fownd a cerks on the shiny rock. So he swam faster and faster that he was so exscitid he didn't notis the rock in frunt of him and krash, he band his haed. He culd not go to the cerks and he lived sadley ever after.' The word 'oshan' has 'ocean' written above it, the word 'cerks' has 'circus' written above it, and there is a note at the bottom which reads 'able to read back'.

Assessment commentary

  • Some variety in sentence openings through the use of time-related words and 'so', although most sentences are structured in the same way (AF5 L2 b1). Simple sentences connected with 'and', consistent use of past tense (AF5 L2 b2, b3).
  • Clause structure grammatically accurate except in the penultimate sentence where Nikita loses track of dependent clauses introduced by 'so' and 'that' (AF6 L2 b1). Sentences correctly punctuated and one appropriate use of comma (AF6 L2 b2).
  • Story is sequenced chronologically. The opening and closing sentences provide an engaging frame for the events (AF3 L2 b1 and b2).
  • Written as a continuous piece without sections of any kind, but ideas and events are linked (AF4 L1 b1).
  • Subject matter is relevant to the given picture, although there is no mention of the sister in the title (AF1 L2 b1).
  • Word choices describe actions and simple feelings, conveying an individual viewpoint (AF2 L2 b1, b2 and b3).
  • The basic ingredients of a story are present and used appropriately (AF2 L2 b1, b2), together with attempts at a storytelling style (AF2 L2 b3).
  • Some vocabulary choices suggest deliberate striving for effect beyond the everyday (AF7 L2 b1 and b2).
  • Correct spelling of simple high-frequency words, for example 'and', 'the', 'upon', 'went', 'there' (grammatical function words), and phonetically plausible attempts at digraphs in some common words with single morphemes ('found', 'front', 'head', 'crash'), as well as in some past-tense inflected endings ('excited', 'banged') (AF8 L1 b1 and b2).
  • Letters are correctly formed and orientated but there is an inconsistency in size and no use of entry and exit strokes (Handwriting and presentation L2 b1).