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Anthony Legon


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A Spelling Seed for The Promise



KS: Upper KS2

Year Group: Year 6

Literary Theme: Evolution & Inheritance

Author(s): Nicola Davies


This is a two-session spelling seed for the book The Promise by Nicola Davies.  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

appreciate, government, guarantee, occur, opportunity, recognise

Spelling Rules and Patterns

Use of the hyphen

Endings which sound like /ʃəs/ spelt –cious or –tious

A Writing Root is available for The Promise.

Writing Root Overview:


Promises, extended thought bubble, diary entry, leaves for a ‘mood tree’, letter in role, figurative captions, poem to summarise the story

Main Outcome:

Sequel to continue the cyclical story in the form of a narrative poem


15 sessions, 3 weeks

Overview and Outcomes:

This is a three-week Writing Root for the book The Promise by Nicola Davies. Through the sequence of learning, children will discuss the concept of promises, making their own and exploring how a seed can hold a promise within.  Children will investigate the impact of using a range of modal verbs and specific punctuation choices, as well as building their vocabulary to create figurative phrases to write poetry.  The Writing Root will culminate in children writing their own sequel in the form of a narrative poem to continue the story cycle.

Synopsis of Text:

On a mean street in a mean city, a thief tries to snatch an old woman's bag. But she finds she can't have it without promising something in return - to "plant them all". When it turns out the bag is full of acorns, the young thief embarks on a journey that changes her own life and the lives of others for generations to come. Inspired by the belief that a relationship with nature is essential to every human being, and that now, more than ever, we need to renew that relationship, The Promise is the story of a magical discovery that will touch the heart and imagination of every reader, young and old. With poignant simplicity, honesty and lyricism, Nicola Davies evokes a powerful vision of a world where people and nature live in harmony. And Laura Carlin's delicate illustrations capture a young girl's journey from a harsh, urban reality to the beauty and vitality of a changed world.

Text Rationale:

This engaging picture book presents a cyclical tale of life, growth and repair which continues its journey beyond the last page of the book.  Laura Carlin’s illustrations and use of colour to depict particular moods and emotions, tell deep layers of the story and children will develop inference skills as they read both the text and images alongside one another.  Nicola Davies is a prolific children’s author who focuses on important themes around the environment and conservation. 

Links and Themes:

Conservationism, seeds, plants, nature, habitats, life-cycles, hope, transformation, change

Date written: November 2015

Updated: September 2023

View The Promise Writing Root

A Home Learning Branch is available for The Promise.

Home Learning Branch Overview:

This is a Home Learning Branch for The Promise.  These branches are designed to support home learners to access literature-based learning using a selection of books we love from Writing Roots.  They include purposeful writing suggestions, links to the wider curriculum so that texts can be used across other subjects, key questions as well as spelling or phonics investigations.

View The Promise Home Learning Branch

Literary Leaves within the same Literary Theme

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