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What are the writing genres and their features in Key Stage 2?

Here are the main writing genres your children will learn during primary school education and their key features:

Narrative/Story Writing:

  • Story start, build up, problem and resolution.
  • Characters, setting, and plot development.
  • Descriptive language to paint a vivid picture.
  • Chronological sequencing of events.
  • Use of dialogue for character conversations.
  • Written in 1st or 3rd person.
  • Usually past tense.
  • Includes story continuation.

Descriptive Writing:

  • Detailed descriptions of people, places, objects, or events.
  • Sensory language engaging sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell.
  • Use of vivid adjectives and adverbs.
  • Use of literary devices and figurative language.
  • Organised structure with a clear focus.
  • Usually written in 3rd person.
  • Usually past tense.


  • Creative use of language, rhythm, and rhyme.
  • Imagery and figurative language (similes, metaphors).
  • Short lines and stanzas.
  • Emotional expression and focus on feelings.
  • Varied poetic forms (haiku, acrostic, free verse).

Plays and Scripts:

  • Character names presented appropriately.
  • Stage directions in brackets.
  • No quotation marks.
  • Acts and scenes.
  • Setting description.
  • Engaging plot, with clear beginning, middle and end.

Explanation Writing

  • Clear introduction outlining the topic.
  • Explanation of the topic presented in clear and logical order.
  • Use of headings and sub-headings.
  • Facts and statistics to support writing.
  • May include diagrams and charts.
  • Technical vocabulary related to the topic.
  • Clear paragraphs.

Information Writing

  • Introduction of the main topic to be discussed.
  • Organised structure with paragraphs for different points.
  • Use of facts, examples, and details to explain a topic.
  • Subheadings and bullet points for clarity.
  • Conclusion summarising key points.

Biographical and Autobiographical Writing

  • 1st person (autobiographical) and 3rd person (biographical).
  • Written in chronological order, with description of events.
  • Factual (biographical), emotions and reflections (autobiographical).
  • Formal writing.

Persuasive Writing

  • Clear opinion stated in the introduction.
  • Arguments supported by reasons and evidence.
  • Strong conclusion urging the reader to take action.

Discussion Writing

  • Introduction, outlining the topic.
  • Paragraphs, each focussing on a different idea.
  • Balanced discussion, showing both sides of the argument.
  • Evidence and examples to support viewpoints.
  • Conclusion, summarising the topic and reaching an overall conclusion.

Letter Writing

  • Appropriate greeting.
  • Clear purpose for writing (e.g., thank, inquire, share information).
  • Well-organised paragraphs.
  • Understanding of audience (formal or informal writing).

Diary Writing

  • 1st person.
  • Past tense.
  • Chronological events.
  • Informal language.
  • Expressing emotion.
  • Some descriptive details.

Reports (Newspaper etc)

  • Introduction, body, and conclusion structure.
  • Headings and subheadings for different sections.
  • Use of facts, research, and details to present information.
  • Organised in a logical and sequential manner.
  • Unbiased information.

Are you interested in supporting your child further with creative writing?

Our creative writing clubs and courses run online for families and also as after-school clubs in schools. To find out more about our online courses, please visit our Upcoming Courses. If you are a school interested in hearing about our after-school clubs, please visit our Schools page, or send us an email at info@brightlighteducation.co.uk.

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