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By the end of year 8

Learning Progressions

Reading Click heading to expand


In 1940, the French Resistance asked Nancy to deliver a package while on her next trip to Cannes. Nancy became a regular courier for the organisation...

From "The Gestapo's Most Wanted", by Feana Tu'akoi [School Journal, Part 4 Number 2, 2009]

When students enter year 7, they encounter increasing demands in terms of the complexity of the texts they read in all areas of the curriculum, including English. They are supported in developing their reading expertise by deliberate and explicit literacy instruction that uses these texts. The text and task demands of the curriculum are similar for students in year 7 and year 8. Students read in order to locate, evaluate, and synthesise information and ideas within and across a range of texts as they generate and answer questions to meet specific learning purposes across the curriculum.

During years 7 and 8, students continue to develop their accuracy, fluency, and independence in reading and in using texts to support their learning. This expertise includes reading at a rate that is appropriate to the text and the task. By the end of year 8, students need to be confidently and deliberately choosing the most appropriate strategies to suit their purposes for reading in different learning areas.

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

  • use appropriate skills and technologies to locate and use a range of texts for specific purposes;
  • increasingly control a repertoire of comprehension strategies that they can use flexibly and draw on when they know they are not comprehending fully, including such strategies as:
    • using their prior knowledge, along with information in the text, to interpret abstract ideas, complex plots, and sophisticated themes
    • identifying and resolving issues arising from competing information in texts
    • gathering, evaluating, and synthesising information across a small range of texts
    • identifying and evaluating writers’ purposes and the ways in which writers use language and ideas to suit their purposes;
  • apply some criteria to evaluate texts (e.g., accuracy of information; presence of bias).

They draw on knowledge and skills that include:

When students discuss word meanings and grammar or talk about how language choices and modes of delivery vary according to purpose, they build awareness of their language use and gain greater control of it.

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  • decoding texts with such automaticity that they do not need to decode all words;
  • working out more complex, irregular, and/or ambiguous words by using strategies such as inferring the unknown from the known;
  • recognising and understanding the features and structures of a wide variety of continuous and non-continuous text types and text forms;
  • recognising and understanding a variety of grammatical constructions and some rhetorical patterns (e.g., cause and effect; comparing and contrasting);
  • making links across a text by recognising connectives or adverbial clauses;
  • using their growing academic and content-specific vocabulary to understand texts;
  • interpreting metaphor, analogy, and connotative language.

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


When students enter year 7, they encounter new demands as they engage with the breadth and depth of the content they need to learn across the curriculum. Students continue to develop their writing knowledge and skills through their instructional writing programme in English, but most of their writing is done to meet the demands of learning across other areas of the curriculum.

Advertisements are annoying theres no doubt about that especially when they continuously play the same advertisements over and over again...

'No Advertisements'

As in earlier years, students in years 7 and 8 use their writing to think about, record, and communicate experiences, ideas, and information. Because the writing demands in curriculum activities are often implicit, students need to develop greater independence and flexibility in deciding on processes and in choosing text structures and language that are appropriate to specific tasks.

In years 7 and 8, students create texts choosing content, language, and a clear and logical text structure to meet the requirements of the curriculum task (for example, when writing personal narratives, poems, arguments, feature articles, character profiles, research reports, essays, responses to literature, and short answers). By the end of year 8, students need to be confidently and deliberately choosing the most appropriate processes and strategies for writing in different learning areas.

When students at this level create texts, they:

  • understand their purposes for writing and how to achieve those purposes (e.g., by using different ways to examine and present their own thinking and knowledge);
  • plan effectively, where appropriate, by using strategies such as mind mapping or skills such as information-literacy skills to find and record the information they need for their writing;
  • create content that is concise and relevant to the curriculum task, often including carefully selected detail and/or comment that supports or elaborates on the main points;
  • craft and recraft text by revising and editing, checking that the text meets its purpose and is likely to engage the intended audience, and proofreading the text to check the grammar, spelling, and punctuation;
  • actively seek and respond to feedback on their writing.

They draw on knowledge and skills that include:

  • deliberately choosing a clear and logical text structure to suit their purpose and audience, sometimes innovating in order to achieve this;
  • using language that is appropriate to the topic, audience, and purpose (e.g., expressive, academic, or subject-specific vocabulary) and discussing these language choices using appropriate terms, such as register and tone;
  • deliberately using written language features (e.g., rhetorical questions and metaphors) and visual language features to engage the audience and/or convey meaning;
  • fluently and correctly encoding most unfamiliar words (including words of many syllables) by drawing on their knowledge of how words work (e.g., in terms of diverse phoneme– grapheme relationships, common and reliable spelling rules and conventions, and the meanings and spellings of morphemes) and their knowledge of word derivations;
  • organising their writing into paragraphs in which the ideas are clearly related and linking these paragraphs;
  • using a variety of sentence structures, beginnings, and lengths for effect;
  • using complex sentences that are grammatically correct;
  • using basic punctuation correctly and attempting some complex punctuation (e.g., using semicolons, colons, and parentheses).

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.

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