National Curriculum KS3: Reading

Pupils should be taught to:

  • develop an appreciation and love of reading, and read increasingly challenging material independently through:
    • reading a wide range of fiction and non-fiction, including in particular whole books, short stories, poems and plays with a wide coverage of genres, historical periods, forms and authors. The range will include high-quality works from:
      • English literature, both pre-1914 and contemporary, including prose, poetry and drama
      • Shakespeare (two plays)
      • seminal world literature
    • choosing and reading books independently for challenge, interest and enjoyment.
    • re-reading books encountered earlier to increase familiarity with them and provide a basis for making comparisons.
  • understand increasingly challenging texts through:
    • learning new vocabulary, relating it explicitly to known vocabulary and understanding it with the help of context and dictionaries
    • making inferences and referring to evidence in the text
    • knowing the purpose, audience for and context of the writing and drawing on this knowledge to support comprehension
    • checking their understanding to make sure that what they have read makes sense.
  • read critically through:
    • knowing how language, including figurative language, vocabulary choice, grammar, text structure and organisational features, presents meaning
    • recognising a range of poetic conventions and understanding how these have been used
    • studying setting, plot, and characterisation, and the effects of these
    • understanding how the work of dramatists is communicated effectively through performance and how alternative staging allows for different interpretations of a play
    • making critical comparisons across texts
    • studying a range of authors, including at least two authors in depth each year.


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