A new UK Government took office on 11 May. 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

Year 4 literacy planning

Narrative, plays and scripts
16–17 weeks
Stories with historical settings
(3 weeks)
Stories set in imaginary worlds
(4 weeks)
Stories from other cultures

(3 weeks)
Stories which raise issues/dilemmas

(4 weeks)

(2–3 weeks)
13–15 weeks
Recounts: newspapers/magazines
(4 weeks)
tion texts
(3–4 weeks)
Explanation texts
(2–3 weeks)
Persuasive texts
(4 weeks)
4 weeks
Creating images
(2 weeks)
Exploring form
(2 weeks)

* Where the unit title is asterisked, detailed planning exemplification is available.

** Numbers of weeks identified for each unit are suggestions only

The combined content of these units, together with continuous and discrete work at word and sentence level, carries the learning that children can be expected to achieve in Year 4. Further work on presentational skills and speaking and listening will be ongoing throughout the year. Literacy learning in Year 4 is summarised in the objectives in the twelve strands. The year divides into 16-17 weeks on narrative, plays and scripts, 13-15 weeks on non-fiction and 4 weeks on poetry but these timings and the ordering of many of the units can be flexible. This flexibility means that schools can position the units to create purposeful links across the curriculum. However care must be taken to maintain the progression in learning at text, sentence and word levels if these units are taught in a different order from the one suggested.

It is expected that the non-fiction units will take place before, after or alongside units from across the curriculum that will provide the content and purpose for speaking, listening, reading and writing. Many schools will also wish to link narrative, plays and poetry units across the curriculum.

See pages 29-36 of Learning and teaching in the primary years: Designing opportunities for learning (Ref: 0521-2004) to see how curriculum maps can be used to align units of study across curriculum areas.

The framework teaching sequences are exemplar materials on which to model good practice. Teachers may need to tailor and develop these units to match the needs of pupils and the curriculum of individual schools. Some units are not populated with content so that teachers are able to pursue their own professional development by planning their own lessons.


  • Clare.Pearson 11.52 am, 9th March 2009

    Why does this page not include links to the Learning Overviews of the non-exemplified units?

  • Kate Davies 5.19 pm, 11th March 2009

    Well said, how do you get to the learning overviews for the non-exemplified units?

  • The National Strategies 2.14 pm, 12th March 2009

    Thank you for your comments. You can access the learning overviews for non-exemplified units via the literacy planning pages for Narrative, Non-fiction and Poetry.

  • clangercrazy 10.18 am, 6th April 2009

    Cannot quite believe that you have spent money (probably masses of it) and time re-designing this site instead of exemplifying the remaining units, which would be FAR more useful. How long has it been now that some units have been exemplified and others not? Are they ever going to be exemplified? And how long will we have to wait for that?

  • cook 7.21 am, 7th April 2009

    Sorry but am I missing the point of changingthe old site ( which we had to take time to use and were just getting to grips with) ? I cannot find the over views via anything.
    Also why is Year 4 so lacking in resources for the units ?

  • cook 4.17 pm, 15th April 2009

    I have just received a message in response to a question about planning overview. It has been decided not to give a detailed overview to all of the units . The units marked with an asterix still have the phases , learning objectives, prior learning ect. The ones without will not.
    That's it.

  • cook 4.19 pm, 15th April 2009

    Oh the Year 6 units all have an asterix so planning will be easier.

  • clp8 5.07 pm, 15th April 2009

    Please can someone tell me where I can find the objectives that go with the Year 4 unit 'Stories from other Cultures'. I can find the overview and the objectives to go with the 1998 literacy framework but not the specific objectives to go with this unit-help!!!

  • The National Strategies 2.41 pm, 20th April 2009

    Please refer to the ‘Why aren’t all the Primary Framework units exemplified?’ answer found in the Help section. The link is below:


  • fozziebearish 1.54 pm, 12th August 2009

    I am struggling with how I am supposed to be planning my literacy units and could use some clarification. It would make sense to set my learning objectives against the targets for the children's learning but I am unsure whether I should be using the AFL learning objectives or the APP learning objectives. They are similar but worded differently and the exemplar planning I am looking at (Yr 4 - Unit 2 Stories with imaginary settings) makes reference to both. Why are there two different sets of assessment critieria? Should I be following AFL or APP or both?

  • The National Strategies 4.18 pm, 12th August 2009

    The ‘objectives’ section of the unit sets out the learning objectives drawn from the primary framework which are covered in this unit. You should use these objectives to plan teaching, but, as it says in the framework, ‘Teachers may need to tailor and develop these units to match the needs of pupils and the curriculum of individual schools’. You may wish to visit the appropriate strands of the framework to ensure that the objectives identified are the right ones for the children in the class, tracking backwards or forwards as appropriate.

  • The National Strategies 4.22 pm, 12th August 2009

    The APP criteria are assessment criteria. They are not learning
    objectives. They should be used to periodically review children’s
    attainment and to identify strengths and weaknesses. They are not
    appropriate for use in planning. The assessment section of the unit
    sets out opportunities for collecting assessment information against
    particular assessment focuses. If significant evidence of learning were
    found during the unit, this information would then be used as part of
    the periodic review. For further guidance on the use of APP and the
    relationship between APP and learning objectives, you could visit

  • ashlaw 10.23 pm, 22nd March 2010

    I am currently a year 5 teacher who finds the additional text-based units an excellent resource. After being praised for our use of full texts in year 5 I am a little concerned about being asked to teach in year 4 next year which does not appear to have any similar text based units. Why is this? Will any be added?

  • The National Strategies 1.05 pm, 10th May 2010

    The exemplified units refer to ‘stories’ but this is not intended to imply that complete texts or longer texts should not be used.  Stories you choose are likely to include short stories, longer stories published as complete books and lengthier novels. 
    For example:
    Y4 Narrative Unit 1: Read several short stories set in the past and a longer story with a historical setting as a serial to run throughout the unit.
     Y4 Narrative Unit 2: One particular text could be chosen as the whole-class novel, for children to experience how a narrative builds over a period of time.
    Y4 Narrative Unit 4: Begin reading a longer story as a serial and continue through the unit.
    Longer texts can be used for independent reading as appropriate or used as an ongoing text through the unit, for example during shared reading or by reading the next chapter to the class.  They also provide models for writing or comparison with shorter texts. Children could compare several stories by one author: short stories as focus texts for shared, guided and independent reading during the first part of a teaching sequence, and a longer, more challenging, shared novel they have enjoyed over time during the unit.

Would you like to comment?

Register for an account, or log in if you are already a member