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By the end of year 10

Learning Progressions

Reading Click heading to expand


When students enter year 9, they are required to read and write a wide range of texts1 in order to meet a variety of specific learning purposes across the curriculum. Increasingly, the language and forms of these texts are subject-specific.

Most curriculum tasks at this level require students to use both their reading and their writing, to a greater or lesser extent. Students read a single text or multiple texts on a topic in order to locate, analyse, evaluate, and synthesise information and ideas. They write to develop and shape their thinking as well as to record information, reveal their understanding, and communicate their ideas. Often, the main purpose of their reading and writing is to support an oral- or visual-language task, for example, to prepare for an oral presentation on a specific topic or to record their response to a visual text or a practical task.

The texts students read

In years 9 and 10, students are required to read continuous and non- continuous texts in electronic and print media, for example: reference materials (including primary source materials); digital materials with hypertext; printed novels, poetry, plays, and textbooks; historical documents; manuals and procedural texts; mathematics problems; and newspapers and magazines. These texts often include:

  • complex ideas and multiple items of information (in both longer texts and short, information-dense texts);
  • sophisticated themes, complex plots and relationships, and unfamiliar settings;
  • ideas and information written for a general adult audience rather than a specialist audience;
  • academic and content-specific vocabulary that expresses abstract concepts relating to a range of topics within and across curriculum areas;
  • terminology, text structures, and conventions that may have different meanings or function differently in different curriculum areas;
  • literary devices such as personification, metaphor, and repetition;
  • non-sequential organisation, which may include complex sections and graphics that are not clearly linked to other parts of the text.

By the end of year 10, students confidently select texts according to their reading purpose and control their rate of reading depending on the nature of the text, their purpose for reading, and the time available (for example, reading a complex text slowly and carefully or reading rapidly to cover a lot of material in a short time or when scanning for specific information).

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

  • find, select, and use a range of texts for specific learning purposes in different areas of the curriculum, making decisions, as they read, about the usefulness of the text for the purpose (e.g., by using a variety of criteria to evaluate the readability, accuracy, relevance, and status of the information and ideas they find);
  • read flexibly to find and/or understand information that is not readily accessible and/or that is organised in unfamiliar ways;
  • have control of a repertoire of comprehension strategies that they use deliberately and flexibly, depending on their purpose for reading;
  • monitor their understanding as it develops during their reading, and adjust their strategies to address any comprehension problems;
  • use strategies to analyse ideas and information and to reflect critically on the meaning they are gaining from their reading;
  • evaluate writers’ purposes and consider how they have used structure and language to suit these purposes.

They draw on knowledge and skills that include:

  • decoding words, including unfamiliar words, quickly and automatically;
  • applying their knowledge of the features of a wide variety of text types and text forms and of how these text types and forms are used in different subjects and curriculum areas;
  • recognising different grammatical constructions (e.g., constructions that express cause and effect) and using this knowledge to understand dense and complex text;
  • having a large vocabulary that is connected to their own knowledge of the world and that includes academic, subject-specific, and technical terms;
  • using strategies such as skimming, scanning, note- taking, annotating, mapping, coding information, and rephrasing in order to locate, evaluate, analyse, and summarise information and ideas within texts and across a range of texts.
The Gene Seekers.

Applications series books use exciting, real-life stories to present science and technology concepts and language within meaningful contexts for years 9-11.

  • 1. The progressions for years 9 and 10 include characteristics of the texts that students read and write. For years 1–8, the lists of text characteristics are available in the reading and writing standards.

  • Writing Click heading to expand


    The texts students write

    During years 9 and 10, students continue to develop their writing in order to think about, record, and communicate experiences, ideas, and information on a wide range of topics and themes. They are required to write (often using electronic media) a wide range of texts, such as essays, reports, narratives, blogs, feature articles, character profiles, responses to literature, and short answers or explanations.

    The texts that they create often include:

    • a complex range of ideas expressed concisely (e.g., in short answers);
    • description or explanation of concepts, processes, phenomena, theories, principles, beliefs, and opinions (their own and other people’s);
    • specialised vocabulary that relates to a range of topics within and across curriculum areas, including vocabulary that expresses abstract concepts;
    • a variety of grammatical constructions in more complex and varied sentences and with greater paragraph elaboration;
    • features and structures that are appropriate to specific text types, such as instructions and arguments;
    • rhetorical patterns, such as: classifying; comparing and contrasting; defining; and describing cause and effect;
    • clearly marked sections and paragraphs that use headings and subheadings (where appropriate) and that also use other organising devices, such as topic sentences.

    By the end of year 10, students use language and text forms flexibly to meet the demands of different curriculum areas. They interpret the requirements of a writing task and select an appropriate process for their purpose.

    • select from their repertoire of planning strategies according to their purpose;
    • deliberately use their writing to develop their ideas;
    • use their writing to explain concepts, processes, phenomena, theories, principles, beliefs, and opinions (their own and other people’s) that are relevant to the curriculum task;
    • use language, text structures, and media that are appropriate for their purpose;
    • understand a complex notion of audience (e.g., the teacher and an imagined audience) and know how to write for such an audience, selecting appropriate voice, tone, and register;
    • review their text to ensure that it meets its purpose (e.g., by identifying and addressing problems, adding detail, or modifying tone);
    • use a range of strategies for editing and proofreading their text to check meaning, accuracy, legibility, and conformity to any expected standards.

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