What Makes A Greater Depth Writer in Year Four

Written by Dan

Last updated

Are you a teacher with a Year Four class? Are your students working at a greater depth level in their writing? If so, this blog post is for you! Keep reading to learn more about the characteristics of greater-depth writers and how you can support your students in developing these skills.

Related: For more, check out our article on How To Make Writing Fun  here.

planning a writing unit


Commas are used securely to separate primary and subordinate clauses.

Many teachers find it challenging to assess writing at a greater depth level in their year four classes.

A helpful way of gauging whether children are achieving an increased understanding of the English language is to look at their use of commas when separating main and subordinate clauses.

Commas should be used carefully and diligently; incorrect usage can lead to confusion and reduce the strength of the sentence.

Teachers must ensure that their pupils understand when and how to use commas correctly, as this is one key indicator of success when writing at a greater depth level.

Paragraphing is clear, and ideas are developed and linked to guide the reader through the text.

Monitoring students’ growth in writing is an essential task for teachers of all grades, primarily since teaching year four classes must ensure that their pupils are writing to a greater depth level.

One meaningful way to gauge this development is to check if the paragraphing in their work is clear and if ideas are developing and linked across them to guide the reader through the text.

An effective teacher can help children understand how each paragraph helps create a lasting impression on their writing as they progress through school.

By assessing these components of their work, teachers can help foster their growth as authors while seeing how well they apply what they’ve learned.


Writing demonstrates an understanding of formal and informal language, dependent on the purpose and audience.

Writing is an essential tool used to communicate with others. It allows children to express their thoughts and feelings through words.

When writing, students need to understand when it is appropriate to use formal and informal language, dependent on the purpose and audience of the text.

For example, they may use more casual language when talking with friends than when formally writing a letter or emailing an adult.

Year 4 teachers can use this blog post to help them recognise when their students demonstrate an understanding of the use of formal and informal language in writing.


Use a range of tenses and verb forms confidently and effectively.

Teachers must ensure their students in year four classes before a range of tenses and verb forms confidently and effectively within their writing, as it will increase their level of understanding. Through this workflow background information, teachers can quickly assess how well students apply these elements to their writing.

Understanding how to select and use appropriate tenses and verb forms allows students to write more accurately and fluently, which helps them to express the ideas they wish to communicate accurately.

With the proper guidance, even those not accustomed to writing at a greater depth level will be able to write confidently with greater accuracy and structure.

Sentence Types

Different sentence types and varied word order are used to create specific effects.

Variety is the spice of writing! One way to help children in Year 4 classes create more meaningful, sophisticated pieces of paper are by using different types of sentences and exploring varied word ordering.

Combining these techniques makes it possible to express complex ideas while keeping a reader engaged.

For example, an author can use shorter words or sentences to capture a brief moment or emphasise an emotion. On the other hand, longer and more creative sentences are great for creating images and adding depth to plotlines or characters.

Putting effort into sentence structure will ensure that the final piece is as exciting and impactful as possible.

Writing For Purpose

If you’re a year four teacher, you want your students to be able to choose vocabulary and sentence structure to capture their reader’s attention and effectively make their point. To help them understand how to select words and designs for this purpose, teach your students how to consider the context, the audience, and their message.

Narrowing down effective vocab choices for that particular moment can be challenging, but with practice in reading strategies and self-reflection, they’ll be sure to grab any reader’s mind!

In addition, start exploring different structures such as compound-complex sentences or front-loading lists so that more than just grammar is emphasised.

Beyond punctuation, playing around with syntax can have a tremendous impact.


Writing commands attention when words are chosen carefully and expertly used to craft a vivid experience for the reader. Strong word choices can be utilised to create emotion, advance an event, or increase tension within the text to give more richness and understanding of what is being communicated.

When teaching year four children four work at a greater depth level in writing, emphasising the power of thoughtful word selection will help them craft more engaging pieces that capture their audience.

A teacher should guide pupils towards expanding their vocabulary and intentionally choosing words based on what they are attempting to communicate. Doing this will enable the students’ creativity and enhance their writing quality.

Technical vocabulary is used purposefully in non-narrative writing.

Teaching the concept of using technical vocabulary purposefully in pieces of non-narrative writing can be challenging. Still, with the proper workflow background knowledge, it is possible and beneficial to their development.

By introducing their students to pertinent terminology related to grammar, punctuation and other style conventions, teachers can enable them to take greater control over their writing and hone their understanding of the fundamentals far beyond Year 4 content.

When children purposefully use technical language, they may enter into more sophisticated levels of writing earlier than expected. Through this access to ideas and knowledge, they can develop a mastery of subject matter that surpasses traditional expectations.


Finding ways to help them strive for higher-level work in their writing can be challenging. One way to ensure the quality and accuracy of students’ written pieces is by having them consistently use editing and revising strategies.

Encouraging students to invest more effort in each revision cycle will give them more significant experience in understanding writing conventions and the depth of how words conveying a particular meaning can be further developed.

Implementing specific guidelines on editing and revising will help children focus on writing more holistically and with better precision, paying attention to aspects such as grammar, sentence structure, language features, punctuation etc, which can help them write at a greater depth.


Consistently apply Year Four spelling expectations across their writing.

Knowing how to spell accurately is crucial to successful writing; teachers should ensure that their pupils consistently apply Year four spelling expectations in their work. An effective way for teachers to do this is by setting appropriate and achievable targets for the children and regularly assessing their progress against these.

This should ensure that all pupils understand what spelling skills are expected from them and help them meet these expectations by providing feedback on areas where they may require additional support.

With appropriate guidance, it should be possible for every child in the class to meet or exceed the Y4 spelling expectations eventually.

These points are essential for teachers when looking at their students’ writing. By making sure that children understand and can use commas correctly, are paragraphing properly, and using the correct language for their purpose and audience, teachers can help ensure that their students are on track for academic success.

If you are a Year 3 teacher, have a read of What Makes A Greater Depth Writer in Year Three!

About The Author

I'm Dan Higgins, one of the faces behind The Teaching Couple. With 15 years in the education sector and a decade as a teacher, I've witnessed the highs and lows of school life. Over the years, my passion for supporting fellow teachers and making school more bearable has grown. The Teaching Couple is my platform to share strategies, tips, and insights from my journey. Together, we can shape a better school experience for all.

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