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After two years at school

Learning Progressions

Reading Click heading to expand


In their second year at school, students are engaging with a wide variety of texts for a number of purposes, although the texts that they read, largely by themselves, are still mostly those that have been selected for instructional reading.

It was the King's birthday, but no one said, "Happy birthday"- not even the Queen.

From The King's Birthday by Dot Meharry, Ready to Read [Turquoise]

There's a maze at Marton near where I live. I went there with my friends...

From Inside the Maize Maze by Sharon Holt, Ready to Read [Turquoise]

After two years at school, students are reading, responding to, and thinking critically about a variety of fiction and non-fiction texts at Turquoise level. They read longer texts with increasing independence and with appropriate intonation, expression, and phrasing. They flexibly use the sources of information in text, in combination with their prior knowledge, to make meaning and consider new ideas. (Their prior knowledge includes ideas and information from their culture, from their language, and from other texts they have read.) With teacher guidance, students draw on a wider range of comprehension strategies to help them think more deeply about what they read.

When students at this level read, respond to, and think critically about texts, they:

  • understand that texts have purposes and are written for audiences
  • take appropriate action when they lose meaning, both at the sentence level and across larger sections of the text, without affecting the pace of their reading
  • use comprehension strategies to
    • locate and interpret ideas and information that are directly stated or explicit in the text or illustrations
    • respond to ideas, plots, and characters
    • think critically about aspects such as the theme or ideas
  • make appropriate choices of texts for independent reading.

They draw on knowledge and skills that include:

When teachers make explicit links between the oral and written forms of words (for example, by using word games as independent literacy tasks), they help to develop students’ knowledge and awareness of word structure (morphology) and spelling (orthography).

page 71

  • automatically recognising between 300 and 500 high-frequency words in their instructional texts
  • decoding unfamiliar words by:
    • using their knowledge of grapheme–phoneme relationships to identify both consonant sounds (for example, s, t, p, sh, th, ch, ng) and vowel sounds (for example, e, a, o, ai, ow, igh, ou, ee)
    • recognising common chunks of words and making analogies to words that look similar
    • using their developing knowledge of morphology (such as knowledge of prefixes and suffixes)
  • finding the meanings of unknown words by using strategies such as:
    • rereading text to gather more information
    • looking for definitions in the text
    • using prior and subsequent information in the sentences
    • inferring from the illustrations
  • understanding the meaning of punctuation features such as parentheses and of print features such as bold print and italics.

Reading Standards Illustrations: Illustrations of text relating to specific curriculum tasks and its reading demands can be viewed here. These illustrations are examples that show how a student is meeting the reading standards through a curriculum task.

Writing Click heading to expand


In their second year at school, students create texts for instructional writing purposes as well as to support their other learning across the curriculum. They write in order to think about, record, and communicate experiences, ideas, and information that relate to a curriculum topic.

Maps. People can find important places to go to and find there and so we do not get lost...

"Stories along the River'

Tonight my mother is haveing thea tupawer party...

'The Tupperware Party'

After two years at school, students understand their purpose for writing and use an appropriate simple process to help them achieve their purpose. They generate their ideas in many ways, including brainstorming with peers, with the teacher, and independently.

When students at this level create texts, they:

  • use simple planning strategies to organise their ideas and then apply their planning as they turn ideas into connected sentences
  • develop content that is related to the curriculum topic, with some (mostly relevant) detail
  • revise their text (often in response to feedback) and edit it for clarity and accuracy of meaning
  • proofread their text to check punctuation and spelling, (for example, by using their previous writing and other sources to find or verify correct spellings).

They draw on knowledge and skills that include:

  • using their personal content vocabulary of written words as well as words and phrases that are part of their expanding oral vocabulary
  • using their developing phonemic awareness to form new words aurally by changing or taking out some of the sounds in a word or by adding new sounds to words
  • using their visual memory to spell personal vocabulary as well as high-frequency words, which could include most of the words in essential lists 1 and 2 as well as some of the high- frequency words in essential lists 3 and 41
  • encoding (spelling) unfamiliar words by:
    • using their knowledge of diverse phoneme–grapheme relationships to write some of the sounds of English in different ways (for example, photo, laugh, Friday)
    • applying strategies such as sounding out words, making analogies to words that sound or look the same, and using known chunks and rimes
    • using their increasing knowledge of morphology to correctly spell word endings and other morphemes (for example, greatest, florist)
    • applying their knowledge of simple spelling rules (for example, using -es for plural nouns ending in s, such as buses)
  • attempting some variety and precision in the use of adjectives, nouns, and verbs
  • forming all lower-case and upper-case letters correctly with increasing speed and automaticity
  • using appropriate text structures for text types such as simple recounts, descriptions, and reports
  • composing mainly simple and compound sentences, with some variation in their beginnings
  • using simple conjunctions correctly, with subject–verb agreement and noun–pronoun agreement
  • using full stops, question marks, or exclamation marks to end sentences and using capital letters correctly to begin sentences (and for familiar proper nouns).

Writing Standards Illustrations: Illustrations of students' texts provide a snapshot of the skills and strategies the students have used to meet the writing demands of the curriculum can be viewed here. These illustrations are examples that show how the student is meeting the writing standards through a curriculum task.

  • 1. These lists are in Croft (1998). They are examples only, and teachers may refer to other reputable lists of high-frequency words.

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