Minimum standards - reading

Year 3 | Year 5  | Year 7 | Year 9 |

The skills demonstrated in reading at a particular year level are dependent on the complexity and accessibility of the text. Texts typically increase in difficulty from Year 3 to Year 9.

Year 3

In Year 3, reading texts tend to have predictable text and sentence structures. Words that may be unfamiliar are explained in the writing or through the accompanying illustrations. Typically, these texts use familiar, everyday language.

At the minimum standard, Year 3 students generally make some meaning from short texts, such as stories and simple reports, which have some visual support. They make connections between directly stated information and between text and pictures.

When reading simple imaginative texts, students can:

  • find directly stated information

  • connect ideas across sentences and paragraphs

  • interpret ideas, including some expressed in complex sentences

  • identify a sequence of events

  • infer the writer’s feelings.

When reading simple information texts, students can:

  • find directly stated information

  • connect an illustration with ideas in the text

  • locate a detail in the text

  • identify the meaning of a word in context

  • connect ideas within a sentence and across the text

  • identify the purpose of the text

  • identify conventions such as lists and those conventions used in a letter.

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Year 5

In Year 5, reading texts may include a range of genre including biographies, autobiographies and persuasive texts such as advertisements. Sentence structure may be varied. Some unfamiliar vocabulary is included, particularly subject-specific words, but its use will be supported by text and illustrations.

At the minimum standard, Year 5 students generally interpret ideas in simple texts and make connections between ideas that are not stated. They identify the purpose of a text as well as parts of a text such as diagrams and illustrations.

When reading a short narrative, students can:

  • locate directly stated information

  • connect and interpret ideas

  • recognise the relationship between text and illustrations

  • interpret the nature, behaviour and motivation of characters

  • identify cause and effect.

When reading an information text, students can:

  • locate directly stated information

  • connect ideas to identify cause and effect

  • identify the main purpose for the inclusion of specific information, diagrams and illustrations

  • identify the meaning of a phrase in context

  • infer the main idea of a paragraph.

When reading a biography or autobiography, students can:

  • connect ideas

  • identify the main purpose of the text

  • make inferences about the impact of an event on the narrator

  • interpret an idiomatic phrase or the meaning of a simple figurative expression.

When reading a persuasive text such as an advertisement, students can:

  • locate directly stated information

  • identify the main idea of a paragraph or the main message of the text.

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Year 7

In Year 7, reading texts may include a wide range of genre such as arguments and poems. These texts may use technical vocabulary, complex phrases and varied sentence structures. Use of complex punctuation is evident. Texts include simple examples of figurative language.

At the minimum standard, Year 7 students generally infer the main idea in a text and connect ideas within and between sentences. At this level, students will not only interpret the meaning of words but also the intention of a narrator and the motivation of a character in a narrative, and the writer’s point of view in an argument.

When reading a narrative, students can:

  • infer the motivation or intention of the narrator or a character

  • draw together ideas to identify a character's attitude

  • interpret dialogue to describe a character

  • connect ideas to infer a character's intention or misconception, or the significance of the character’s actions

  • interpret the significance of an event for the main character.

When reading a poem, students can:

  • identify the intention of the narrator.

When reading an information text, students can:

  • identify the main idea of a paragraph and the main purpose of the text

  • link and interpret information across the text

  • recognise the most likely opinion of a person

  • use text conventions to locate a detail.

When reading a persuasive text such as an argument, students can:

  • locate and interpret directly stated information, including the meaning of specific words and expressions

  • identify the main message of the text

  • identify the purpose of parts of the text

  • interpret the main idea of a paragraph

  • infer the writer's point of view

  • identify points of agreement in arguments that present different views

  • identify and interpret language conventions used in the text, such as lists, order of online posts and the use of punctuation for effect

  • identify the common theme in a variety of writers’ opinions.

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Year 9

In Year 9, reading texts include those that describe, explain, instruct, argue and narrate, often in combination. Texts will use less familiar vocabulary, including subject-specific words, and complex sentences that contain detailed information. More extensive use of figurative language is evident.

At the minimum standard, Year 9 students generally infer the main idea in more complex texts and connect ideas across the text. For example, students at this level identify the tone of an argument and infer the feelings of a character by interpreting descriptive text, figurative language and dialogue in a narrative.

When reading a complex narrative, students can:

  • locate a directly stated detail

  • connect ideas across a paragraph or across the text to interpret a description or the motivation of characters

  • infer the main idea

  • interpret and evaluate a character’s behaviour and attitude

  • interpret dialogue to describe a character

  • interpret the reasons for a character's response

  • connect ideas to interpret figurative language

  • interpret the effect of a short sentence.

When reading a poem, students can:

  • identify the main idea of the poem.

When reading a complex biographical text, students can:

  • locate a directly stated idea in the text.

When reading a complex information text, students can:

  • locate directly stated information

  • connect ideas in the introduction of the text or in the body of the text and illustrations

  • identify the main purpose of a text or an element of the text

  • identify the main idea of a paragraph

  • identify the purpose of a labelled diagram

  • identify the intended audience of the text

  • identify conventions used in a text, such as abbreviations or italics for a foreign word.

When reading a persuasive text such as an argument, students can:

  • connect ideas across the text or in two arguments

  • identify the tone of an argument.

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