A non-chronological report is a text which isn’t written in time order. They are normally non-fiction texts which give information on a particular subject or event, without referring to the order in which things happen.

Ioan has previously written instructions and a recount, both of which are usually written chronologically. For example, a recount re-tells something that has happened, so it makes sense to be written in time order.


Researching owls

Ioan is enjoying learning about animals and their adaptations to their habitats, so wanted to research about owls. As always, he started off by talking me through the information that he wanted to include in his writing.

Where owls live and what they eat

Hearing and eyesight

The role of the claws and talons

The importance of silent feathers

Owl babies

Learning to fly

What are the features of a non-chronological report?

As mentioned above, a non-chronological report is a piece of non-fiction text that is not written chronologically (or in time order). It should usually include some of the following features:

  • topic title which covers the whole subject
  • A brief introductory paragraph which gives a who/what/where overview
  • Information grouped into paragraphs, which may include sub-headings
  • Individual points supported by extra detail and examples or evidence
  • Images with picture captions
  • Written in the present tense, unless the report is historical
  • Third-person pronouns and a formal tone

Some more features of non-chronological reports that may not be relevant for all types include:

  • Labelled diagrams
  • Graphs
  • Statistics
  • Historical dates
  • Fact boxes and bullet-point lists
  • Glossary
  • Technical vocabulary in bold
  • Spider diagrams/mind maps

Typing up the report

Before starting to type up the report, Ioan spent a few minutes playing on Dance Mat Typing, which helps children position their hands correctly on the keyboard.

When he was confident with the positioning of his hands, Ioan started to type up his non-chronological report.

I am trying to remind Ioan of the importance of checking your work, even when typing on a computer. He loves that the spell checker will automatically underline any words he has misspelt, but this example reminded him that it only spots incorrect spellings, not necessarily the misuse of homophones. Ioan did some more work on homophones such as there / their / they’re in his egg smash.

Changing the size of the font

Ioan highlighted the text that he wanted to be his main title. He selected format, then font.

Then he changed the text size to 20.

To centre the text, he selected the ‘Center Text’ icon.

Editing and moving text around

When Ioan read his first paragraph back, he decided he wanted to swap his first and second line around, so he used the cut and paste functions.

This meant his first sentence now started with, “They are part of the Strigiformes order…”and his second sentence was, “Owls are birds with rounded heads…”

He decided to swap the words around.

Saving his work

After any major editing, or writing a paragraph, Ioan made sure to save his work. He’s previously learnt the hard way, when he lost a page of unsaved typing. At this age, a page of typing is slow to achieve.

He carried on checking the positioning of his hands as he typed up the rest of his non-chronological report.

Inserting a table

Ioan inserted a table that was four columns wide, but only one row down.

Changing the colour of the text

A whole day (and one missing tooth later) Ioan pasted his owl images in to the table, remembering to include picture captions underneath. He decided to change the colour of his owl names in his captions.

He finished off by writing some comprehension questions for the reader.

The finished non-chronological report

DfES Outcomes for EYFS and National Curriculum (2013)

English Year 2 programme of study

Writing – Composition

  • Develop positive attitudes towards and stamina for writing by:
    • writing narratives about personal experiences and those of others (real and fictional)
    • writing about real events
    • writing for different purposes
  • Consider what they are going to write before beginning by:
    • planning or saying out loud what they are going to write about
    • writing down ideas and/or key words, including new vocabulary
    • encapsulating what they want to say, sentence by sentence
  • Make simple additions, revisions and corrections to their own writing by:
    • evaluating their writing with the teacher and other pupils
    • re-reading to check that their writing makes sense and that verbs to indicate time are used correctly and consistently, including verbs in the continuous form
    • proof-reading to check for errors in spelling, grammar and punctuation [for example, ends of sentences punctuated correctly]
  • Read aloud what they have written with appropriate intonation to make the meaning clear.

Writing – vocabulary, grammar and punctuation

  • Develop their understanding by learning how to use both familiar and new punctuation correctly, including:
    • full stops
    • capital letters
    • exclamation marks
    • question marks
  • Learn how to use sentences with different forms:
    • statement
    • question
    • exclamation
  • Use expanded noun phrases to describe and specify [for example, the blue butterfly]
  • Use the present and past tenses correctly and consistently including the progressive form
  • Subordination (using when, if, that, or because) and co-ordination (using or, and, or but)

Computing Key Stage 1 programme of study

  • use technology purposefully to create, organise, store, manipulate and retrieve digital content
  • recognise common uses of information technology beyond school
  • use technology safely and respectfully, keeping personal information private; identify where to go for help and support when they have concerns about content or contact on the internet or other online technologies.

Science Year 1 programme of study

Animals, including humans

  • identify and name a variety of common animals that are carnivores, herbivores and omnivores

Science Year 2 programme of study

Living things and their habitats

  • identify that most living things live in habitats to which they are suited and describe how different habitats provide for the basic needs of different kinds of animals and plants, and how they depend on each other
  • identify and name a variety of plants and animals in their habitats, including micro-habitats
  • describe how animals obtain their food from plants and other animals, using the idea of a simple food chain, and identify and name different sources of food.