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Donny Morrison

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A Spelling Seed for High Rise Mystery


KS: Upper KS2

Year Group: Year 5

Literary Theme: Mystery & Truth

Author(s): Sharna Jackson


This is a three-session spelling seed for the book High Rise Mystery by Sharna Jackson.  Below is the coverage from Appendix 1 of the National Curriculum 2014.

Spelling Seeds have been designed to complement Writing Roots by providing weekly, contextualised sequences of sessions for the teaching of spelling that include open-ended investigations and opportunities to practise and apply within meaningful and purposeful contexts, linked (where relevant) to other areas of the curriculum and a suggestion of how to extend the investigation into home learning.

There is a Spelling Seed session for every week of the associated Writing Root.


Word List Words

amateur, achieve, apparent, attached, conscience, controversy, explanation, guarantee, harass, hindrance, symbol

Spelling Rules and Patterns

Words containing the letter-string ough

Words ending in –ant, –ance/–ancy

Words ending in –ent, –ence/–ency

A Writing Root is available for High Rise Mystery.

Writing Root Overview:


Character Description, Police Report, Setting Description, Newspaper Article, Dialogue, Formal Persuasive Letter, Extended Narrative

Main Outcome:

Extended Narrative


15 sessions, 3 weeks

Overview and Outcomes:

This is a 3-week Writing Root using High Rise Mystery by Sharna Jackson in which children use the text to explore a range of genres and styles of writing. In particular, children will learn about the techniques of writing a crime/detective story as they progress. The sequence of learning builds up to children planning and writing their own detective story using the author’s various techniques and structure yet innovating on the setting and the characters. One of the many strengths of this text is that it is aware of the various ways people communicate in modern life and the role technology plays. References will be made throughout to the more informal language of speech (whether it be through dialogue or texting) and the language of writing (whether it be through writing narration, reports or emails), laying the groundwork for developing this further in Y6.

Synopsis of Text:

The detective duo everyone is dying to meet! Summer in London is hot, the hottest on record, and there's been a murder in THE TRI: the high-rise home to resident know-it-alls, Nik and Norva. Who better to solve the case? Armed with curiosity, home-turf knowledge and unlimited time - until the end of the summer holidays anyway. The first whodunnit in a new mystery series by Sharna Jackson.

Text rationale:

This novel is the first in a mystery series by Sharna Jackson which won the Best Book for Younger Readers award at the 2020 Waterstones Book Prize. As an advocate for diverse representation in children’s literature, the author’s cast of racially diverse characters and contemporary writing style will engage children with the murder-mystery genre and encourage them to read further books in the series. 

Links and themes:

Mystery, London, whodunnit, teamwork, adventure

Date written: July 2019

View High Rise Mystery Writing Root

Literary Leaves within the same Literary Theme

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