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Year 5 Model Text Resource Pack 25: ‘Dear Parents…’ (Formal Letter; English, PSHE)

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Real Writing Year 5 - Unit 25
Dear Parents… by Jon Mayhew
Curriculum links: English, PSHE

Writing unit overview

This writing unit for Year 5 is built around an original model text by Jon Mayhew - an example formal letter from an imagined headteacher, setting out new school rules. The example text is available as a PDF in three versions (plain, illustrated and annotated); annotated and non-annotated PowerPoint presentations are also included.

In this two-week unit, pupils will read the model text (formal letter KS2) and learn how to structure and write a formal letter, selecting appropriate vocabulary and structuring it correctly. Eventually, they will come up with their own set of rules for a school or another organisation and present these as a formal letter to parents.

Key curriculum skills

two fully-resourced lessons are included for the following Year 6 English objectives, which can form part of the unit or be taught discretely:

1. Vocabulary: To select appropriate vocabulary to create a formal tone

Pupils will: revisit synonyms; decide which of two synonyms is the more formal; complete a synonym matching activity; write formal and informal sentences using synonyms.

2. Grammar: To use modal verbs or adverbs to indicate possibility

Pupils will: learn that modal verbs indicate possibility, including when used as negatives; learn that adverbs can also indicate possibility; identify modal verbs and adverbs of possibility in sentences; write a set of rules using modal verbs and adverbs of possibility.

Additional objectives to teach or revisit

From previous year groups:

  • Using paragraphs to organise ideas
  • Identifying conjunctions
  • using fronted adverbials

Additional year 5 curriculum teaching points

  • to use modal verbs and adverbs to indicate possibility
  • to select appropriate vocabulary (using synonyms)
  • identifying the correct register when writing
  • précising (summarising) texts

Year 5 vocabulary

Year 5/6 statutory spelling words: definite(ly), appreciate

Tier two words: conjunction, maximum, devise, tolerate, seek, direct, forbidden, indicate, acceptable, minimum, discipline, adhere, dignity, encounter, resolve, permission, consequences, orderly, reinforce, minimum, interact

What is a formal letter?

A formal letter is a type of writing used in professional situations. Examples might include a job application, letter of complaint, a letter to a customer or to parents.
Formal letters should be written using a formal tone. The use of Standard English and formal vocabulary is needed.

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