Bristol Levelling Guidelines for Writing

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					                                                Bristol Levelling Guidelines for Writing

These guidelines have been developed by the Bristol Literacy team from a variety of sources including the National Curriculum, QCA Assessment Focus guidelines
and the Ros Wilson Criterion Scale. We would like to thank Burnbush Primary for its invaluable work on further developing the Criterion scale on which the
Literacy team has based this document.

The table below shows links between the QCA Assessment Focuses, the levelling strands and how these both relate to the Revised Literacy Framework.

                 Assessment Focus                                     Levelling strands                        Revised Framework Strands
AF 1    Write, imaginative, interesting and            Composition and effect                             Strand 9 Creating and shaping texts
        thoughtful texts
AF 2    Produce texts which are appropriate to task,   Composition and effect                             Strand 9 Creating and shaping texts
        reader and purpose                                                                                Strand 10 Text structure and
AF 3    Organise and present whole texts               Structure and organisation                         Strand 10 Text structure and
        effectively, sequencing and structuring                                                           organisation
        information, ideas and events
AF 4    Construct paragraphs and use cohesion within   Structure and organisation                         Strand 10 Text structure and
        and between paragraphs                                                                            organisation
AF 5    Vary sentences for clarity, purpose and        Sentence structure and punctuation                 Strand 11 Sentence structure and
        effect                                                                                            punctuation
AF 6    Write with technical accuracy of syntax and    Sentence structure and punctuation                 Strand 11 Sentence structure and
        punctuation in phrases, clauses and                                                               punctuation
AF 7    Select appropriate and effective vocabulary    Composition and effect                             Strand 9 Creating and shaping texts
AF 8    Use correct spelling                           Spelling                                           Strand 5 Word recognition: decoding
                                                                                                          and encoding
                                                                                                          Strand 6 Word structure and spelling

NB there is no Assessment Focus for handwriting although it is assessed in statutory and non-statutory tests and is a feature of the National
Curriculum level descriptors. It appears as Strand 12 Presentation, in the Revised Framework
How to use these levelling criteria

The recommendation is to look across a range of writing to make a final level judgement. The aim is to build a picture of a child’s writing across a range of writing.

The following steps are useful to ensure consistent levelling.
   o Read the writing and make a quick judgement about the level of the writing in order to decide at which level to start the detailed assessment
   o Read each criteria within the level and decide if this criteria is met. The following glossary will help in making these judgements.
   o If a criteria is securely met, tick the criteria. If it is not evident put a cross beside the criteria if it is partly evident and emerging only put a dot. These
        dots highlight the most appropriate next steps in learning.
   o Add up the ticks and refer to the guidance at the bottom of the page to inform the best fit level.
   o Refer also to the guidance that appears at the top of the page for each Level.

It is important to remember that not all assessment focuses carry equal weighting and this needs to be considered when making your best fit judgements. To this
end, there are more criteria within the Composition and Effect strand.

It may be useful to refer to the table above to ensure understanding and knowledge of the links between Assessment focuses, levelling strands and the Revised
Framework, particularly when identifying whole school issues and next steps in learning.


Begins to = there is evidence that the child is beginning to use this skill across a range of writing although it appears infrequently.

Sometimes = this skill is used approximately 50% of the time across a range of writing.

Usually = this skill is used approximately 75% of the time across a range of writing.

Can = this is a secure skill and appears consistently across a range of writing.

Ambitious vocabulary = this criteria is age related and refers to words that are ambitious for the age of the child using it. These may be adjectives, adverbs,
abstract nouns etc.
Range of writing

                       Recount                                Non chronological report                                 Persuasion
                   To retell events.                       To describe the way things are.              To argue the case for a point of view. To
                                                                                                             attempt to convince the reader.
                        Letter                                    Information leaflet
                   Autobiography                                     Tourist guide                                   Travel brochure
                     Biography                                   Encyclopaedia entry                                       Letter
                        Diary                                 Question and answer leaflet                                   Play
                       Journal                                     Non-fiction book                                    Tourist guide
                Newspaper style report                                                                        Advert (radio, news paper, TV)
                 Science experiment                                                                                     Catalogue
                  Magazine article                                                                                      Book blurb
                     Book blurb

                     Discussion                                      Explanation                                      Instructions
         To present arguments from differing           To explain processes or how something         To instruct how something is done through a
                     viewpoints.                                       works.                                 series of sequenced steps.

                          Letter                                Timetable/route finder                            Timetable/route finder
              Question and answer leaflet                     Question and answer leaflet                                 Recipe
                          Leaflet                                     Catalogue                                     Technical manual
             Article giving a balanced view                        Non-fiction book                                    List of rules
                  Write up of a debate                               Flow charts                                Posters, notices and signs
                          Trials                                                                                Sewing of knitting pattern

Fiction writing
Narrative/fiction (story writing) – including the elements of story, character, setting, structure etc through a range of story genre (age appropriate) e.g. Myths
and legends, suspense, traditional tales, familiar settings, adventure, science fiction, fantasy, mystery, historical

Foundation Stage Criteria

                                                            Levelling Strands
               Structure and                                       VCOP                                            Handwriting              Spelling
                Organisation               Composition and Effect      Sentence                  Punctuation
         Draws and paints, sometimes      Tells an adult what they have      Uses isolated                     Engages in activities      Distinguishes
         giving meanings to marks (F)     done (F)                           words and                         requiring hand eye co-     one sound
         Experiments with writing (F)     Uses familiar words, often in      phrases (orally)                  ordination (F)             form another

                                                                                                               Uses one handed tools
         Makes marks or symbols in        isolation, to identify what they   and/or gestures                                              (F)
                                                                                                               and equipment (F)
         preferred mode of                do and do not want (F)             to communicate
                                                                                                               Explores materials for
         communication.                   Uses vocabulary focused on         with those well                   making marks
         Beginning to show an             objects and people who are of      known to them (F)                 Makes marks using
         awareness that marks or          particular importance to them                                        appropriate instruments
         symbols convey meanings          (F)
         Gives meaning to marks (F)       Gives meaning to marks             Begins to use                     Draws lines and circles    Makes up
         Produces some meaningful         Makes contributions to stories     more complex                      using gross motor          alternative
         print, signs or symbols          or poems when an adult is          sentences orally                  movement (F)               rhyming
                                                                                                               Manipulates objects
         associated with their own        scribing(F)                        (F)                                                          words in
                                                                                                               with increasing control
         name or familiar spoken words,   Uses a widening range of words                                                                  poems or
         actions, images, events          to express or elaborate ideas                                                                   songs (F)

                                                                                                               With support makes
                                          (F)                                                                  and completes
                                                                                                               patterns (P5)
                                                                                                               Traces, overwrites and
                                                                                                               copies under or over a
                                                                                                               model making
                                                                                                               horizontal, vertical
                                                                                                               and circular lines
         Uses writing as a means of       Says a sentences for an adult to   Consistently                      Begins to use clockwise    Uses ability
         recording and communicating      scribe (F)                         develops a simple                 movement and retrace       to hear the
         (F)                              Uses vocabulary and forms of       story,                            vertical lines (F)         sound at the
                                                                                                               Begins to form
         Helps and adult to put writing   speech that are increasingly       explanations o                                               beginning or
                                                                                                               recognisable letters (F)
         in the right order (F)           influenced by experience of        line of                                                      words in

                                                                                                               Copies writing with
         Differentiates between           books (F)                          questioning                       support                    their writing
         letters and symbols                                                 (orally) (F)                      Produces or writes         (F)
         Write name correctly from                                                                             recognisable letters or
         memory and one or two other                                                                           symbols related to their
         words                                                                                                 names
                                                                                                               Some letters are
                                                                                                               correctly formed
       Attempts writing for different      Marks are given meaning.              Begins to form       Sometimes uses    Uses a pencil and holds   Uses phonic
       purposes, using features of         Thinks writing can be read by         simple sentences     punctuation (F)   it effectively to form    knowledge to
       different forms such as lists,      reader                                (F)                                    recognisable letters,     write simple
       stories and instructions (F)        Role plays writing for a purpose      Aware of the                           most of which are         regular words
       Writes own name and other things    Begins to use story language orally   sequence of                            correctly formed (F)      and makes
       such as labels and captions (F)     in retelling or role-play             letters, symbols                                                 phonetically
       Writes own names with                                                     and words                                                        plausible

       appropriate use of upper and                                              Letters grouped                                                  attempts at
       lower case letters or appropriate                                         and spaces left                                                  more complex
       symbols                                                                   between them as                                                  words (F)
       Uses pictures, symbols, familiar                                          though writing
       words and letters to communicate                                          separate words (F)
       Shows awareness of different
       purposes of writing (P8)
   Level 1 Criteria
   Guidance – at minimum there should usually be three or more simple statements of three words or more each statement. A key simple
   list of statements all starting with the same key words e.g. ‘I can…’ or ‘I like…’ cannot be assessed above 1c and the assessor must be
   clear that the child has selected this strategy for a purpose and that it is not the only list the child is able to produce. The
   composition and effect strand carries the heaviest weighting so ensure this is evident when reaching a level judgement.

                                                              Levelling Strands
      Structure and                                           VCOP                                        Handwriting           Spelling
       organisation               Composition and Effect               Sentence         Punctuation
         AF 3,4                         AF 1, 2, 7                   Construction                                                AF 8
                                                                        AF 5,6              AF 6
Can write simple text such   Can produce own ideas for writing Can show some           Begin to show    Can usually give Can write own name
as lists, stories,                                               control over word     some             letters a clear
explanations                 Can use simple words to open        order producing       awareness of     shape and        Can spell common
                             sentences e.g. the, my, I           logical statements    how full stops   orientation      monosyllabic words
                                                                                       are used in                       correctly
                             Begin to use sentence openers for   Begin to use          reading or in
                             the time scale e.g. first, next     connectives e.g.      writing                           Can make
                                                                 because, so                                             recognisable
                             Can use simple words and                                                                    attempts at spelling
                             phrases to communicate meaning      Can join 2                                              words not known
                             (majority of work can be            sentences                                               (most decodable
                             read/decoded by an adult            together using any                                      without child’s help)
                             without the assistance from the     connective e.g. and
                             child, must be more than one
                             simple statement). This must be
                             achieved to attain a level 1c

   To inform best fit
   The criteria in bold plus any 4 others = 1c
   The criteria in bold plus any 5 - 8 others = 1b
   The criteria in bold plus any 9 - 12 others = 1a
     Level 2 Criteria
     Guidance – it is essential that the Level 1 criteria – can spell some common monosyllabic words correctly – is achieved before moving to
     Level 2 or becomes the focus target if it is not achieved prior to Level 2. For Level 2b and above at least approx 100 words need to be
     written. The composition and effect strand carries the heaviest weighting so ensure this is evident when reaching a level judgement.
                                                                                     Levelling Strands
    Structure and                                                                    VCOP                                                       Handwriting             Spelling
     organisation                             Composition and Effect                              Sentence                 Punctuation
       AF 3,4                                       AF 1,2,7                                     Construction
                                                                                                   AF 5,6                     AF 6                                        AF 8
Can produce short             Can write with meaning in a series of simple sentences (may not    Can use ANY            Can use basic         Can control use of    Can use simple
sections of developed         be correct in punctuation and structure 2c)                        connective (may        sentence              ascender/             phonic strategies
ideas (2c my be more like                                                                        only ever be and)      punctuation (full     descenders,           (CVC words
                              Can use appropriate vocabulary (should be coherent and mainly
spoken than written                                                                              to join 2 simple       stops and capitals.   upper/lower case      accurately, others
language)                                                                                        sentences,             May not be accurate   letters although      mainly accurate)
                              Can communicate ideas and meaning confidently in a series of       thoughts, ideas        at 2c)                shape and size        when trying to
Can usually sustain           sentences (mainly flows)                                                                                        may not be            spell unknown
narrative and non-                                                                               Sometimes varies       Can usually           consistent            words
narrative forms (can          Can provide enough detail to interest the reader e.g. is           the structure of       structure sentences
write at length staying       beginning to provide additional information or description         sentences to           correctly including   Can use accurate      Can spell common
on the subject)               beyond a list (character, setting, expand a simple point in non-   interest the           capitals and full     and consistent        monosyllabic
                              fiction writing etc)                                               reader e.g.            stops                 handwriting           words accurately
Can match organisation                                                                           questions, direct
                              Can use interesting and ambitious (age related) words
to propose e.g. showing                                                                          speech, or opening     Begins to use         Begins to show        Can use
awareness of structure                                                                           with a subordinate     question marks and    evidence of joining   phonetically
of letter, openings and       Can make writing interesting and lively e.g. consciously varies    clause                 commas                handwriting           plausible
endings, importance of        sentence length/uses punctuation to create effect                                                                                     strategies to spell
the reader,                                                                                      Can use                                                            or attempt to spell
organisational devices        Sometimes uses adjectives and descriptive phrases for detail       connectives other                                                  unknown
                              and emphasis (consciously selects the adjective for purpose)       than ‘and’ to join 2                                               polysyllabic words
Can link ideas and events                                                                        or more simple
                              Sometimes opens sentences with words that show the order
using strategies to                                                                              sentences e.g. but,
                              things happened e.g. first, then, next, soon, after that, last
create flow eg last time,                                                                        so, then
also, after, then, soon, at   Sometimes opens sentences with range of connectives e.g.
last, and another thing       because, if, when, after

                              Sometimes opens sentences to link ideas to events e.g. last
                              time, also, after, soon, another thing
     To inform best fit                 8 – 13 criteria = 2c                        14 – 19 criteria = 2b                      20 – 26 criteria = 2a
    Level 3 Criteria
    Guidance – it is essential that the Level 2 criteria – basic sight vocabulary/common monosyllabic words, range of phonic strategies,
    neat and accurate cursive handwriting - are now secure. If they are not evident but other Level 3 criterion are met then the 3 areas
    mentioned must become urgent targets for intervention and teaching. The composition and effect strand carries the heaviest
    weighting so ensure this is evident when reaching a level judgement.
                                                              Levelling Strands
Structure and Organisation                                                VCOP                                                              Handwriting           Spelling
         AF 3,4                                Composition and Effect                       Sentence                 Punctuation
                                                     AF 1,2,7                              Construction
                                                                                             AF 5,6                      AF 6                                      AF 8
Usually produces work which is        Can adapt chosen form to the audience e.g.       Can extend sentences        Can always use full    Handwriting is       Spelling is
organised, imaginative and clear      provide additional information about the         using a wider range of      stops followed by      joined and legible   usually
(clear opening, ending, etc)          character or setting, or expand a series of      connectives to clarify      a capital letter, in                        accurate
                                      points, select a formal or informal style        relationships between       the right places                            including that
Can use a range of chosen forms                                                        points and ideas e.g.                                                   of common
appropriately and consistently        Can use varied interesting words choices         when, because, if, after,   Can always put                              polysyllabic
                                                                                       while, also, as well        question marks in                           words
Can develop and extend ideas          Can use adjectives (e.g. gigantic, weird,                                    the right places
logically in sequenced sentences      freezing) and adverbs (e.g. quietly, silently,   Can usually use correct
(may still be over detailed or        bravely) for description                         grammatical structures      Can try to use
brief)                                                                                 in sentences e.g. nouns     speech marks
                                      Can use abstract nouns e.g. happiness, joy,      and verbs generally
Can structure and organise work       sadness, fear                                    agree, tenses are           Is experimenting
clearly                                                                                generally consistent        with a wide range
                                      Can develop characters and describe settings,                                of punctuation
Can link and relate events            feelings and emotions                            Can use                     although use may
including past, present and future                                                     connectives/other           not always be
e.g. afterwards, before, also,        Can attempt to give an opinion, interest or      words to start              accurate e.g.
after a while, eventually             humour through detail                            sentences e.g. although,    commas, inverted
                                                                                       however, besides, even      commas,
                                      Can use generalising words for style e.g.        though, also, after,        exclamation
                                      sometimes, never, always, often, in addition     soon, another thing,        marks,
                                                                                       because                     apostrophes
                                      Is beginning to develop a sense of pace e.g.
                                      lively and interesting
    To inform best fit               7 – 10 criteria = 3c                    11 – 17 criteria = 3b                        18 – 22 criteria = 3a
    Level 4 Criteria
    Guidance – it is essential that the Level 3 criteria – can almost always use correct grammatical structures, can almost always structure
    and punctuate sentences correctly (, ? .), can use a range of connectives, can spell monosyllabic and common polysyllabic words
    correctly – are now secure. If they are not evident but other Level 4 criterion are met then the 4 areas mentioned must become
    urgent targets for intervention and teaching. The composition and effect strand carries the heaviest weighting so ensure this is
    evident when reaching a level judgement.

                                                             Levelling Strands
       Structure and                                                      VCOP                                                                         Handwriting          Spelling
        organisation                       Composition and Effect          Sentence Construction                                Punctuation
          AF 3,4                                 AF 1,2,7                         AF 5,6
                                                                                                                                     AF 6                                     AF 8
Can organise ideas appropriately    Can write in a lively and coherent style         Can use more sophisticated              Can use full stops        Handwriting        Spelling,
for both purpose and reader eg                                                       connectives e.g. although,              and question marks        style is fluent,   including
headings, chapters, letter          Can use a range of styles confidently and        nevertheless, contrary to, despite,     accurately                joined and         regular
formats, paragraphs, logically      independently                                    however, besides, even though                                     legible            polysyllabic
sequenced events,                                                                                                            Usually uses                                 words, is
introductions, conclusions          Can use interesting language to sustain and      Can use or attempt                      commas,                                      generally
                                    develop ideas                                    grammatically complex sentence          apostrophes and                              accurate
Can use, or attempt to use,                                                          structures e.g. expansion               inverted commas,
paragraphs                          Can produce thoughtful and considered            before and after the noun,              accurately
                                    writing e.g. the reader is considered,           subordinating clauses
Can use interesting strategies      opinion, justification, deduction                                                        Use of speech marks
to move a story forward e.g.                                                         Can use nouns, pronouns and             is generally accurate
characterisation, dialogue etc      Can select from a range of known                 tenses accurately and
                                    adventurous vocabulary for a purpose, some       consistently throughout                 Is beginning to use
Can advise assertively, although    words are particularly well chosen for                                                   other sorts of
not confrontationally, in factual   effect                                           Can use connectives to give             punctuation e.g.
writing e.g. An important thing                                                      order to emphasis e.g. ‘if … then       ellipses (…), dash (-),
to think about before deciding      Can develop ideas in creative and                …’ ‘ We … so as to …’                   colon (:), semi-colon
…, We need to consider …            interesting ways                                                                         (;)
                                                                                     Can use adjectives/adverbs like
                                                                                     sensitive/ly, timid/ly aggressive/ly,
                                    Can use interesting ways of opening
                                    sentences e.g. after a while, meanwhile,
                                    before long
                                                                                     Can use abstract nouns eg
                                                                                     premonition, yearning,
    To inform best fit              6 – 11 criteria = 4c                       12 – 17 criteria = 4b                       18 – 23 criteria = 4a
    Level 5 Criteria
    Guidance – it is essential that the Level 4 criteria – can use nouns, pronouns and tenses accurately and can use a range of sentence
    punctuation accurately , . ? x’s “” - are now secure. If they are not evident but other Level 5 criterion are met then the 2 areas
    mentioned must become urgent targets for intervention and teaching. The composition and effect strand carries the heaviest
    weighting so ensure this is evident when reaching a level judgement.
                                                                       Levelling Strands
Structure and organisation                                                    VCOP                                                               Handwriting           Spelling
                                                Composition and Effect                Sentence                              Punctuation
             AF 3,4                                                                  Construction
                                                      AF 1,2,7                         AF 5,6                                  AF 6,8                                    AF 8
Can produce well structured and        Can produce writing which is varied,              Can group subjects              Usually uses a range    Can write          Words with
organised writing using a range of     interesting and thoughtful                        appropriately before or         of punctuation          fluent in clear,   complex
conventions in lay-out                                                                   after a main verb e.g. The      including commas,       joined script      regular
                                       Can use appropriate informal and formal styles    books, the pens, and the        apostrophes and                            patterns are
Can use paragraphs consistently        with confidence e.g. conversational, standard     pencils were all ready on       inverted commas         Can adapt          usually spelt
and appropriately                      English, colloquial                               the table.                      accurately to clarify   handwriting        correctly e.g. ?
                                                                                                                         structure               for a range of
Can use different techniques t         Can select form a range of known imaginative      Can use pronouns                                        tasks and
conclude work appropriately e.g.       and ambitious vocabulary and use precisely        appropriately when to           Sometimes uses a        purposes
opinion, summary, justification,                                                         avoid repetition, when          range of punctuation    including
comment                                Can use the passive voice for variety and to      referring back or forward       to create effect e.g.   effect
                                       shift the focus e.g. the cake was eaten by the    e.g. that, these, those, it     ! - ……
Can vary sentence length and           child
word order confidently to sustain                                                        Can use complex sentence        Sometimes uses
interest e.g. Having achieved your     Can show confident and established                structures appropriately        punctuation to show
goals at such an early age, what       voice/viewpoint                                                                   division between
motivates you to continue? Why                                                           Can use wide range of           clauses, to indicate,
fight on?                              Can use a range of narrative techniques with      sophisticated connectives       to vary, to create
                                       confidence interweaving elements when             and openers                     atmosphere or to
Can use a range of devises to          appropriate e.g. action, dialogue                                                 sub-divide e.g.
adapt writing to the needs of the                                                        Can use                         commas, colons,
reader e.g. introduction provides a    Can use a range of strategies to engage and       adjectives/adverbs such         semi-colons, dashes
context, footnote, contents            involve the reader e.g. asides, comment,          as outstanding/ly,
                                       observations, suspense, tension                   tender/ly, biological/ly
Can interweave implicit and
explicit links between sections        Can use literary features to create effect e.g.
                                       alliteration, onomatopoeia, figurative language
    To inform best fit                9 – 12 criteria = 5c                    13 – 18 criteria = 5b                    19 – 24 criteria = 5a

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