What Makes A Greater Depth Writer in Year Two

Written by Dan

There are many skills that children need to develop to become confident and proficient writers. However, what exactly does it mean to be a ‘greater depth’ writer? This blog post will share some insights from my teaching experience to help answer this question. Stay tuned for tips on how you can support your year two students in becoming more excellent depth writers!


Use Commas In Lists

When learning the skill of using commas in lists, clearly demonstrating the correct formulation is critical. Year 2 students love visual aids, so incorporating physical objects will help them get to grips with this tricky punctuation technique.

Provide examples of comma-separated sentences by physically showing an array of objects and discussing the importance of adding a comma to separate each item.

For example, show four pencils and explain that if we were to list them, we would need a comma after each one; ‘pencil, pencil, pencil, pencil.’

Additionally, carry out sentence rehearsal activities to familiarise students with the syntax they must follow when writing comma-separated sentences.

This can be done through chants and jingles that include examples like ‘fruit salad yummy, apple, peach and apricot’. Practise over and over until your year 2 class masters the use of commas in lists!

Use Exclamation Marks As An Indication To The Reader

Exclamation marks help young writers indicate excitement, importance, and emotion. In year two, particularly when attempting to reach Greater Depth standards, children may find it difficult to express their ideas clearly with words alone.

The budding writer can use exclamation marks to make certain parts of sentences stand out more vividly in the readers’ minds and allow them to understand better how they feel about something or how strongly they feel it should be said.

Furthermore, having these tools available allows young writer to cultivate their voice on paper and truly express themselves in a comprehensive manner that meets the requirements of reaching Greater Depth standards.

Use Apostrophes For Contractions

Year two students will become more proficient writers by using apostrophes correctly. Firstly, they need to understand that the apostrophe contracts two words by replacing the letter or letters missing. Examples would include don’t (do not), isn’t (is not), and they’ve (they have).

Students should then be taught how to make their contractions, such as I’ll (I will) and can’t (cannot). With guidance and practice, year two students can soon become Greater Depth Writers who confidently use apostrophes for contractions.

Use Apostrophes For Singular Possession

Knowing where to place the apostrophe correctly in a word will enable them to express possessive words confidently. With practice and repetition, young learners can develop subtle skills that make a difference when writing.

Demonstrating possesses through everyday objects or situations can be an effective way of getting the message across – explaining “This is my dog’s toy” or “This belongs to Sarah’s brother” will help pupils understand and remember the placement of the apostrophe.

Clarity here is critical, as incorrect usage can cause confusion and give a negative impression of their work.

Punctuation Taught So Far Is Used To Ensure Meaning Is Clear

Teaching students punctuation early on sets them up to understand the importance of expressing meaning clearly with written words. Aiming for Greater Depth Writing involves solidifying those skills to ensure that the points made within their writing can be easily defined and understood.

Reviewing their use of commas, full stops, semi-colons, and other punctuation will help build more significant levels of confidence for both teacher and student when striving for this desired Greater Depth Writing level.

Proofread And Edit Their Writing About The Year Two Grammar And Spelling Expectations

Proofreading and editing are integral to the writing process, particularly for young learners in year 2. At this stage of their studies, they should be aware of the grammar and spelling expectations they should strive towards.

The guidance of an experienced teacher can help guide these students through the various elements, such as punctuation and sentence structure, that allow them to craft their work into a polished piece more carefully.

Through regular hands-on practice with small tips on proofreading and editing, they will begin to understand which aspects are most important when refining their written works and achieve Greater Depth Writing.


Spell Most Of The Year Two Common Exception Words And Homophones

Teaching year two children how to become Greater Depth, Writers should include strategies for mastering spellings of common exception words and homophones. Knowing how to spell these words accurately from the start helps reduce the need for further instruction, freeing up valuable lesson time for other activities.

As a starting point, children should be able to quickly recall the spellings of the Year 2 common exception words and most popular homophones by sight.

These words will soon become accurate staples in any student’s writing arsenal through careful practice and a thorough understanding of spelling conventions.

Spell Words With The Range Of Year Two Phonemes Mostly Correctly

Teaching year two students how to spell words correctly using the range of Y2 phonemes can be an essential step in learning to become a Greater Depth Writer. With some practice and guidance, students can gain confidence in their spelling skills, enabling them to use their understanding of phonemes to substitute or add letters when needed.

Teachers can supplement lessons with word hunts or quizzes focusing on common phonemes and how they correlate with particular spelling patterns.

By being aware of which phonemes show up more frequently in certain words, the importance of acquiring these vital skills for future success becomes evident.

Spelling Is Mostly Accurate, With Plausible Errors In More Ambitious Word Choices

A critical component of this, which should be addressed, is teaching them how to spell accurately – even if that means occasionally making errors with their more ambitious word choices.

Teaching techniques such as phonics and developing strategies for working out tricky spellings can help students achieve greater accuracy in their self-expression and boost their confidence when attempting difficult words.

Making sure they are aware of these resources will improve their written works, solidifying and paving the way towards becoming a Greater Depth Writers.

Spell Words With The Suffixes -meant, -ness, -less, -ly, -ful

Teaching year two classes how to become Greater Depth writers requires being able to spell words with the suffixes -meant, -ness, -less, -ly, and -ful.

By understanding how these suffixes work, young learners can build a strong foundation of English literacy, mastering rules such as where and when to use them when spelling words that relate to different parts of speech.

With practice, children can develop spelling proficiency, which will assist their progress towards becoming skilled Greater Depth writers.

To help kids learn these suffixes, teachers can start by creating fun activities suitable for this age group; for example, a game that challenges students to identify and spell words correctly containing these suffixes.


Use diagonal and horizontal strokes to join some letters.

To teach year two students how to become Greater Depth Writers, it is essential to help them understand when and how to use diagonal and horizontal strokes to join some letters.

It might sound complicated, but introducing it in small steps can make it easy for the children to learn. Taking the time to model these strokes with a visual aid like an alphabet graphic or lined paper demonstrating what each letter combination should look like once it’s joined can be especially helpful in getting the class off on the right foot.

When students are familiar with the idea of joining letters, they will have the foundation for more excellent depth writing that is essential for their further educational success!


Word choices are more precise with specific nouns and well-chosen adjectives (which are often drawn from their reading)

Helping young students understand how effective word choice can enhance their writing can be an invaluable lesson. By introducing year two students to specific nouns and well-chosen adjectives, they will start seeing precise language’s power.

Much of this can come from incorporating what they read into their writing – think of a novel or comic they’ve loved where characters leap off the page because of the author’s clever phrasing. Show them examples, such as verbs that add action, adverbs that intensify description and even short, pithy phrases that pack a punch.

With guidance, your students will learn to choose words as powerful tools for crafting great stories.

A range of sentence starters may also be drawn from their reading. This may include some adverbials which move events on.

Getting that year two’s writing to a Greater Depth requires a selection of sentence starters which engage them further. As the teacher, you may help their understanding by using adverbials and drawing on themes from the books they have read.

This can provide variety and spark their creative minds with new ideas and leaps in continuity. When pupils develop their ability to connect stories in this way, they also build on their confidence in writing which is an essential part of becoming a proficient writer.

Discuss the effectiveness of their writing and may make changes without prompting

Writing is an art form that every student can learn to master with practice and guidance. Year two students can write at a much higher level than expected.

By implementing strategies that focus on more excellent depth writing, teachers can help their students understand how to express their understanding and make effective changes in their writing without the need for prompting.

By introducing the concept of higher-level writing early, teachers allow their students to write more compelling work that showcases evidence of their hard work and dedication to developing essential skills.

Moreover, by modelling higher-level writing patterns, teachers can ensure their classes experience success while continuing to grow in complexity as they develop.

To help your year two students become Greater Depth writers, focus on using commas in lists, exclamation marks as an indication to the reader, apostrophes for contractions and only possession, and punctuation to ensure the meaning is clear.

Additionally, have them proofread and edit their writing about the Y2 grammar and spelling expectations, spell most of the Y2 common exception words and homophones correctly, use diagonal and horizontal strokes to join some letters, and make more precise word choices with specific nouns and well-chosen adjectives.

Finally, please encourage them to discuss the effectiveness of their writing and make changes without prompting.

If you are a year one teacher, check out What Makes A Greater Depth Writer in Year One!

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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