When we talk about ‘narrative’, we are referring to the ability to tell a story or series of events with precision and clarity. For younger children this will happen verbally, but it also transfers to written work for older children. This is a very complex skill that requires remembering what happened, getting all the parts in the correct order, picking out the key information, finding and using the correct words in sentences and remembering grammatical rules.
We expect children to use narrative skills every day. Narrative skills don’t only apply to telling a made-up story but also the retelling of events. As children get older and have to logically order their work, make arguments, use paragraphs – these all require narrative skills.
We also see a knock-on impact on children’s literacy skills. They may have difficulty decoding and understanding the meaning of text. They may find it hard to make inferences and predict what is going to happen. In their written work they may have difficulties using more complex grammar and conveying their ideas.