Key objectives bank: Year 9 Heads of
Curriculum, Examination
and Assessment
Key objectives bank: Year 9
Heads of
Departments &
Teachers of
Year 9 pupils
Status: Recommended
Date of issue: 05/02
Ref: DfES 0203/2002
Key Stage 3
National Strategy
Key objectives bank: Year 9
Teaching word level objectives
Word level objective 2: High-frequency words
Word level objective 3: Evaluate own spelling
Word level objective 7: Layers of meaning
Teaching sentence level objectives
Sentence level objective 3: Degrees of formality
Sentence level objective 6: Paragraph organisation
Sentence level objective 7: Exploit conventions
Sentence level objective 9: Sustained standard English
Teaching reading objectives
Reading objective 2: Synthesise information
Reading objective 7: Compare texts
Reading objective 12: Rhetorical devices
Reading objective 16: Different cultural contexts
Teaching writing objectives
Writing objective 3: Formal essay
Writing objective 5: Narrative techniques
Writing objective 9: Integrate information
Writing objective 14: Counter-argument
Writing objective 16: Balanced analysis
Teaching speaking and listening objectives
Speaking and listening objective 2: Standard English
Speaking and listening objective 7: Identify underlying issues
Speaking and listening objective 9: Considered viewpoint
Speaking and listening objective 13: Compare interpretations
Key Objectives Bank: Year 9
Key Objectives
In each sub-section of the Framework for teaching English: Years 7, 8 and 9,
certain key objectives have been identified in boldface print. These objectives
are key because they signify skills or understanding which are crucial to pupils’
language development. They are challenging for the age group, and selected
because they are important markers of progress. They are not the only signs of
progress, but they are critical ones. They have been selected to help teachers
in defining targets and as a focus for assessment.
Over the three years of the key stage, the objectives trace a critical path of
progress for pupils. In some cases, the objectives address the same developing
skills over three years, but sometimes the focus changes. This reflects the way
certain strands rise in significance whilst others are secured and therefore
assume less prominence.
Using this bank
This bank provides information and guidance to help teachers to:
◆ translate numerical targets into curricular objectives, defining what pupils
need to do to achieve the standards expected;
◆ focus teaching on those things that will move pupils on;
◆ inform assessment tasks, so that critical indicators of progress are addressed.
Each key objective is allocated its own pages of guidance, but this does not
imply that teachers should approach them in isolation or teach them in a
reductive way. Objectives benefit from being taught explicitly and from being
identified and deployed in context. Planning should draw together objectives
from word, sentence and text level, and teachers are encouraged to find ways
of clustering together complementary objectives.
Teaching word level objectives
This section contains a bank of teaching ideas to help the teaching of key
word level objectives in Key Stage 3. They are designed to support teachers in
teaching spelling and vocabulary systematically and enjoyably, in ways that
help pupils to develop a positive perspective on themselves as spellers and in
the extension of their vocabulary.
Spelling matters to readers and it matters to writers because it is part of the
process of making meaning through the written word. Competence in spelling
releases the creativity of the writer. Young writers need to be so confident
about their spelling that they can concentrate on composing ideas and
making stylistic choices at word and sentence level that reflect the purpose
and the context of their writing.
English spelling is more regular than it may seem: there are fewer than 500
wholly irregular words in modern English, but some are words that we use very
frequently. Since English spelling is more than 80% predictable, it makes
sense to teach spelling systematically, not just incidentally. David Crystal
makes that point very clearly in his Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English
“If the spelling system contains such regularity, why is there a problem? The
answer is complex, but a major factor is that children are rarely taught how to
spell. They are made to learn spellings by heart, and are rigorously tested on
them, but few attempts are made to explain what it is they have learned. They
are not generally told why spellings are as they are, or about how these
spellings relate to the way words are pronounced. Without such perspective,
spelling becomes a vast, boring and time-consuming memory task.” (p. 272)
It is important to use the bank of ideas selectively since pupils will have met
many of the objectives before: less confident pupils may need reinforcement
and consolidation, whilst more able pupils should be encouraged to pursue
investigations which develop their appreciation of the origins and patterns of
English spelling.
Objectives are explored through a number of activities and are approached
from different angles in a deliberate attempt to embed understanding.
Literacy across the curriculum training file, DfEE 0235/2001
English Department training file 2001, DfEE 0234/2001
Year 7 Spelling Bank, DfEE 0047/2001
Literacy Progress Unit: Spelling, DfEE 0475/2001
W2: High-frequency words
Pupils should be taught to
spell accurately all highfrequency words and new
terms from all subject areas
About this objective
Following on from the emphasis on spelling strategies in Year 7, and the
consolidation of these in Year 8, pupils in Year 9 are expected to develop a
more independent approach to their spelling. Expectations for spelling must
remain high, and pupils need to be conscious of their own weaknesses, so that
they can be regularly and effectively addressed. This objective is particularly
suitable as a whole-school focus, with teachers ensuring that key words are
introduced along with helpful spelling strategies, and the expectation that
they will be used and spelled accurately.
What to teach
◆ All new terms and key words as they become relevant, including strategies to
help pupils remember how to spell them.
◆ Revision and consolidation of familiar high-frequency words that still remain
a problem for some pupils.
Teaching approaches
Introducing and investigating the objective
◆ Ask the class to audit errors in high-frequency words by trawling through
their exercise books, working in pairs. Each pupil draws up a list of target
words for inclusion in a spelling journal. The words are also written in
English books to provide a marking focus for the teacher. The list of
commonly misspelled words in the Year 7 Spelling Bank (p. 36) can also
be used to identify target words for pupils.
◆ Set up an investigation of homophones (one of the most common sources
of error in high-frequency words). Pupils are required to draw up lists of
such words and devise ways of remembering them. It is possible to
differentiate this activity by asking more able pupils to investigate the
phenomenon of heteronyms instead. (See list of examples below.)
◆ Identify a group of children working well below expectations and focus
on homophones from a list of very high-frequency words. Focus the
learning on strategies for remembering the correct contexts for the use of
each word. (See list below for examples.)
◆ Use ‘show me’ card starter activities to identify quickly which pupils still
have problems with high-frequency homophones.
◆ Play hangman – pupils work in pairs or teams to correctly spell mystery
key subject words written on card or board.
◆ Lead a whole-class look, cover, write, check starter activity with white
boards to introduce the spelling of new subject-specific vocabulary. The
class is then encouraged to decide on their own best individual strategies
for remembering the words.
◆ Play Team Challenge – the class is divided into groups, each one
responsible for a different curriculum/topic area. Each group identifies
10 key words from that area. Group A then disperses, one member to each
of the other groups, and challenges the other group members to a
spelling test. The process is repeated with each group challenging the
others in their subject areas.
Teaching in the context of reading
◆ Highlight ‘troublesome’ words as they occur in shared texts for pupils to
enter in spelling journals where necessary.
◆ When new terms are introduced during the study of a text (e.g. irony),
ensure that the spelling of the word is noted in spelling journals, together
with learning strategies.
Teaching in the context of writing
◆ Teach pupils how to develop their own ‘Pocket Spell-Checker’ from an
analysis of their own errors. This is used as an aide memoire when
drafting or checking work.
◆ Ensure that pupils use spelling journals while drafting and proof reading
their writing.
◆ Ensure pupils have access to dictionaries and spell-checkers when
◆ Ask pupils to choose a pair of homophones and write a rhyming couplet
or two that exemplify the correct use of the words, e.g. When in the woods,
we always bow, or hit our heads upon a bough.
◆ Ask pupils to write a short piece of nonsense verse that incorporates as
many of their target spelling words as possible.
◆ Make pupils’ target words a focus for marking written work.
Very high-frequency homophones
for/four, there/their/they’re, one/won, where/wear, saw/soar/sore,
would/wood, be/bee, our/hour, what/watt, see/sea, two/to/too,
your/you’re, made/maid, by/bye, night/knight, way/weigh,
morning/mourning, heard/herd, through/threw, know/no, which/witch,
hear/here, right/write, hole/whole, past/passed, new/knew, its/it’s,
road/rode, days/daze, died/dyed, side/sighed
Heteronyms (example list)
buffet, sewer, lead, read, tear, wind, wound, bow, entrance, row, sow, live
To assess this objective
◆ This objective will need regular attention if pupils are to address spelling
weaknesses. There should be an expectation that pupils spell accurately first
time, as far as possible. The objective is highly suitable for a whole-school
literacy focus and its assessment could be coordinated across subjects.
◆ Pupils could be given a number of subject-specific key words to learn for a
test at a later date. The accurate spelling of these words could also be
assessed in a summative piece of work at the end of a unit, where the use of
these words is expected.
◆ For high-frequency words, pupils or teachers could carry out a spelling audit
of exercise books and identify patterns of error.
◆ Starter activities of the ‘show me’ variety with white boards could give
instant information to the teacher after pupils have been focusing on
◆ Pupils’ ability to monitor their spelling of high-frequency words can be built
into checking routines: during the proof reading stage of a piece of writing,
pupils can show spelling corrections in a different colour pen. This allows the
teachers to assess where the routine errors are down to carelessness or
insecurities in spelling.
Sample tasks
◆ Pupils are given a list of words around the study of different religions at the
beginning of the unit: religion; worship; Judaism; Jewish; synagogue; Islam;
mosque; Mecca; Buddhism; Buddhist; Hinduism; Hindu; temple; Christian;
Christianity; Bible; Lourdes; Sikh; Sikhism; pilgrimage; festival. Pupils have
been actively introduced to the meaning of these words throughout the
course of the unit. They are asked to write a summative piece at the end of
the unit, which includes these subject-specific words. The pupils are then
assessed on the outcome.
◆ Pupils are given five minutes in silence to self-monitor spelling in a piece of
work they have just completed. They must cross out misspellings of highfrequency words and write the correct word in a different colour.
Performance indicators
Always sometimes rarely
◆ Can spell high-frequency words correctly.
◆ Can spell subject key words in context correctly.
Example script
From RE Words highlighted by teacher – key words used underlined
This term we have looked at many religions, so that we can see how similar
and different they are. We have learned more about the places of
worship such as the sinagogs in the Jewish religion (Judaism) and the
mosques for Muslims in Islam.
All religions have holy books that show followers how life has been for
others like them and also how they should live their lives. These are the
bible in Christianity and Muslims have the Koran.
There are also special places where people travel to, its called a
pilgramige. For instance there is Mecca or Lourdes. Festivals are put on
every year to celebrate VIPs in all of these religions.
All religions have moral codes that are rules and tips on the right way to
live your life and treat people. Hindus have the Dama. This is all about
your duty to others.
This pupil has managed to learn a reasonable range of key words and is able to
spell other high-frequency words accurately. This pupil is quite a successful
speller, but would benefit from using the key word spelling list for writing to
check all words. A spelling target for the incorrect spellings can be set, giving
the pupil strategies to aid correct spelling.
Example script
Page from a pupil’s English exercise book which demonstrates correction of
high-frequency words at the proof reading stage of writing.
History of Green Lake
Visitors today at Green Lake would see a vast, empty wasteland, a sea of
dry, cracked, golden dirt meeting a crisp, clear blue sky. What may seem
strange is that the ground is pitted with holes. These holes are dugg dug
by the boys who leave here as there their punishment for various crimes.
What dose does strike the visitor is the strangeness of the setting, the
picturesc log cabin in the distance between too two large oak trees seems
an odd place to be punished.
This pupil has successfully self-monitored his mistakes in spelling highfrequency words at the proof reading stage of writing. This pupil obviously
knows how to spell these words, but is failing to spell them correctly first time.
This pupil needs to focus on developing self-monitoring strategies at the point
of writing, rather than leaving it all to the end.
W3: Evaluate own spelling
Pupils should be taught to
recognise their strengths as
spellers, identify areas where
they need to improve and
use appropriate strategies to
eliminate persistent errors
About this objective
Year 9 brings a greater independence to pupils; it is now that they begin to
take responsibility for identifying and rectifying spelling weaknesses, using
techniques and strategies introduced during Year 7 and Year 8. In tackling
personal spelling, teachers need to guide pupils through a regular process of
analysis and evaluation of the pupils’ own writing so that pupils are better able
to home in on problem areas and apply the appropriate strategy.
What to teach
◆ The expectation that drafts are always proof read and corrected.
◆ Reminders about effective strategies: different ways of remembering
difficult spellings; applying knowledge of word origins; identifying common
spelling patterns and conventions.
◆ The effective use of dictionary, thesaurus or spell-checker.
Teaching approaches
Introducing and investigating the objective
◆ Show pupils how to do an analysis of their own spelling difficulties and
help them to set personal spelling targets. For example, use a checklist
like the one shown opposite.
◆ Revise the range of spelling strategies introduced in Years 7 and 8 and
ask pupils to identify the ones that they will find most helpful in meeting
their targets.
◆ Expect the continued use of spelling journals to develop further the good
habits established in Year 7 and Year 8.
◆ Introduce pupils to any new dictionaries and thesauruses that are
available to them.
◆ Review pupils’ progress towards their spelling targets in the Spring Term
and help them to set new targets to be achieved by May.
Teaching in the context of reading
◆ Identify important words that relate to the texts pupils are studying (e.g.
characters’ names or literary terms). Ask pupils to consider whether these
words are likely to cause them problems given their profile as spellers.
Expect words to be added to the spelling journal when appropriate.
◆ Pupils identify words from their own reading that they may want to use,
and enter them in their journals.
Teaching in the context of writing
◆ Expect pupils to use spell-checkers when writing.
◆ Expect pupils to use their spelling journals when writing.
◆ Ensure that dictionaries and thesauruses are readily available whenever
pupils write.
◆ Expect proof reading to be routinely done when drafting a piece of
◆ Focus the marking of spelling around pupils’ targets and reward progress
◆ Reward pupils who show evidence that they are taking responsibility for
the accuracy of their spelling.
◆ Introduce a ‘Spelling Analysis’ sheet to enable pupils to keep a record of
their own areas of uncertainty. (See next page.)
Type of mistake
Freinds (friends)
Recieve (receive)
intrested (interested)
Stoped (stopped)
Ocasion (occasion)
Targett (target)
Number of mistakes
of this kind found
Common letter patterns -ful, -ght, -le, -tch, -tion
wh-, wrTricky words
(unusual, difficult or
irregular words)
Wierd (weird)
Busness (business)
Plurals and other
word endings
Watchs (watches)
Babys (babies)
Quickley (quickly)
Moveing (moving)
Personal blind spots
(Not many people
make these mistakes
– but you do!)
Whant (want)
Missing the ‘e’ off the
end of common words
My most common type of mistake is: _______________________________
To improve my spelling I am going to: ______________________________
To assess this objective
◆ This objective will need regular and systematic assessment. Once the
strengths are established, the focus will be on the strategies to eliminate
persistent errors.
◆ Pupils could audit their exercise books and identify error patterns. This will
rely heavily on there being a marking policy for spelling; if pupils’ errors are
marked indiscriminately it will be difficult to spot patterns.
◆ A diagnostic spelling test could be given without preparation with spellings
clustered according to patterns. Pupils can then make a statement about
where their strengths and weaknesses lie and set targets to address areas of
◆ The pupils’ ability to use appropriate strategies could be addressed through
a mini guided session where spelling strategies are discussed and pupils
reminded of those strategies taught in Key Stage 2 and Years 7 and 8. Pupils
could then keep a note of strategies and targets in a spelling notebook.
◆ Persistent errors across the curriculum can be listed, learned and peer tested
in times such as tutorials and during registration.
Sample task
Pupils are designing a leaflet on healthy eating as part of a media project.
Using the word-processed leaflet, ask pupils to make a list of all the words
underlined in red. They should then go through and correct as many as they
can eliminating ‘typos’ and careless misspellings. They should then remove
these words from their original list. Ask pupils to use the spell-checker to get
correct spellings which they will need to write down next to the incorrect
spellings. Pupils should then be asked to think of ‘best fit’ strategies to help
them with the spelling of identified words. Pupils could then work in pairs to
test each other on personal spellings.
Performance indicators
Always sometimes rarely
◆ Can identify areas of weaknesses.
◆ Can self-monitor to eliminate misspellings and typographical mistakes.
◆ Can identify a range of strategies to learn spellings.
◆ Can select an appropriate strategy to learn a particular spelling or persistent
Example script
Title of work: Looking After Your Health
Careless error/
Don’t know
Word web – medi =
medic = paramedic=
Put the ‘e’ on the end
dis 1 ‘s’ and x2p
Like disappoint
igh same as night
not kite
cian for jobs
mem o ry
3 syllables
medi medicin medicine
mem o ry memory
job – cian optician
This pupil is able to apply a range of strategies to improve spelling as well as
eliminate words that are carelessly misspelled. The elimination process has
helped the pupil to identify the weaknesses and focus on these words. Over the
course of a week, this pupil was able to work with a partner to consistently spell
these words correctly as one of the tests demonstrates. The test also shows the
pupil reinforcing the strategies as suggested by the teacher. This pupil should
use these strategies at the point of writing in order to continue to improve.
W7: Layers of meaning
Pupils should be taught to
recognise layers of meaning
in the writer’s choice of words,
e.g. connotation; implied
meaning; different types or
multiple meanings
About this objective
Most pupils will know that the way words are used sometimes gives them a
different meaning, but they need to recognise when writers are doing this in
subtle ways. Emotive language, juxtaposition and emphasis all give words
additional meanings, as do the use of figurative language, puns, irony and the
use of inverted commas. Pupils need to recognise that different readers will see
different connotations, or read different implied meaning because of their
viewpoint. Pupils may be aware of the different interpretations that can be
placed on poetry, but less aware of the similar interpretations that can be made
about non-fiction texts. They should also be taught to make close reference to
the text when referring to this use of language. Note: recognising layers of
meaning may be particularly challenging for EAL pupils. This objective links
with 9S&L7
What to teach
◆ Emotive or partisan language – using newspaper headlines, interpret the
editorial perspective, e.g. Developers Grab Meadows for Building Site
compared with Company in Land Development Deal.
◆ Juxtaposition – demonstrating how placing two points side by side can
affect how they are interpreted.
◆ Connotation – revisiting at a more sophisticated level than in Year 7 the way
in which the meaning of a word can go beyond what it denotes, because of
the feelings and ideas that are associated with it either by an individual,
group or a whole culture, e.g. cheap could be understood as inexpensive, or
good value; alternatively it could be interpreted as value-less, poor quality, or
lacking morals. Benjamin Zephaniah’s poem White Comedy is an example of
a useful text for exploring this in a shared reading session.
◆ Irony – how this can communicate a writer’s real viewpoint through the
(sometimes) subtle use of the opposite point of view.
◆ Shades of Meaning – how similar words or synonyms can have varying
degrees of meaning, e.g. girl, lass, maiden, young woman, young lady.
◆ The use of inverted commas either to signal irony or sarcasm explicitly (e.g.
Why is John’s music so loud? He’s ‘revising’ for his exams.), or as so-called
scare quotes which signal an author’s attitude to the word being used e.g. His
children saw him as a complete ‘saddo’.
◆ Figurative language: the understanding that writers have made a choice
about the techniques and the imagery that they employ and that this
contributes to the overall meaning carried by the text – e.g. ‘Out, out, brief
candle’ (Macbeth).
Teaching approaches
Introducing and investigating the objective
◆ Ask pupils to sort sentences or headlines into favourable or unfavourable
meanings, e.g. Their troops cowered in dugouts; the soldiers waited
cautiously out of sight.
◆ Using a variety of newspapers, rewrite headlines to reflect a different
editorial perspective.
◆ Select a poem for paired discussion about meaning, e.g. ‘Spellbound’ by
Emily Brontë. Ask pupils to change certain words in the poem to change its
The night is darkening round me,
The wild winds coldly blow;
But a tyrant spell has bound me
And I cannot, cannot go.
◆ Ask pupils to write short sentences using a common word with both negative
and positive connotations, e.g. ‘I was so happy I felt I could fly.’ ‘A large, fat fly
landed on his cake.’ White boards could be used for this activity so the best
examples can more easily be shared with the class.
◆ Set up an investigation into word meanings by assigning a particular section
of the thesaurus to each pair of pupils. Ask them to choose the words from
the section with which they are reasonably familiar and represent them on a
poster in a way that shows up the variation in meaning e.g. whisper, talk,
shout could be written with the loudest word in the biggest print. Select the
sections to provide suitable challenge according to ability. Pairs of pupils
explain their posters to the class.
◆ As a starter activity, give pupils the beginning phrase of a series of similes,
e.g. Her voice was like …, her hair was like … Pupils write their ideas for
completing the similes on white boards. Ask pupils who have written
interesting examples to explain the meaning they intended.
Teaching in the context of reading
◆ Introduce a range of texts in which there may be different interpretations of
meaning, or in which the writer has used specific techniques to reveal
his/her meaning e.g. Vernon Scannell’s ‘A Case of Murder’; DH Lawrence’s
‘Snake’, Jonathan Swift’s ‘A Modest Proposal‘; Andrei Voznesensky’s ‘First Ice’.
◆ Model the process by which readers question texts in order to ascertain
meaning. Show pupils how some interpretations are more valid than others
because of other evidence in the text and how the exact meaning of a word is
affected by its context.
◆ Annotate texts to identify words where there may be more than one
interpretation of meaning.
◆ Delete five or six significant words from a short text. Ask pupils to select from
a list of synonyms the words they believe have been deleted. Ask pupils to
justify their choices by elaborating on the shades of meaning.
Teaching in the context of writing
◆ Model the process of word choice while demonstrating writing, making the
criteria for choosing particular words explicit. During shared composition,
stop at key words (e.g. a significant verb), list a number of suggested words
from pupils at the side of the board and discuss them before the final choice
is made.
◆ Encourage pupils to experiment with techniques in their own writing, e.g.
using emotive language when writing persuasively or using irony to achieve
an effect.
◆ Model how to comment clearly on an author’s word choice when
demonstrating to pupils how to write about the effect of language on the
meaning of a text.
◆ Encourage the use of the dictionary and thesaurus during the drafting and
proof reading processes.
◆ Ask pupils to write about a text, demonstrating their understanding of the
author’s intention in his choice of vocabulary, e.g. Seamus Heaney’s ‘Midterm
◆ When marking pupils’ writing, reward effective vocabulary choices and any
pupil commentary that recognises the implications of vocabulary choice in
texts under study.
To assess this objective
◆ This objective is key in preparing pupils for examinations and can be
assessed whenever pupils are required to comment on writers’ choice of
language and its effect. The assessment of this skill could therefore easily be
built into any reading response task where the focus is on the writer’s use of
◆ The issue here is depth of understanding. Focused assessment of the ability
to recognise layers of meaning is probably best carried out on short extracts
or poems to allow a thorough and wide ranging examination of the writer’s
choice of words. Although poems would seem the ideal text, pupils are
expected to comment on writer’s choice of words in a wide range of texts,
both non-fiction and fiction.
◆ The assessment could take place through both oral and written responses to
Sample tasks
◆ Pupils might annotate a text (fiction or non-fiction) to identify words with
more than one meaning and indicate their understanding of the different
ways particular words can be interpreted. Alternatively, they might produce
a written response incorporating references to alternative meanings.
◆ Pupils might discuss meanings in a poem, noting different ways multiple
meanings are achieved.
◆ Pupils might discuss the various meanings and connotations of the words in
a media text such as an advert and identify how this impacts on a reader’s
◆ Pupils might look at how ambiguity adds to the humour of Act 2 Scene 3 in
Performance indicators
Always sometimes rarely
◆ Can identify and explain the implied and literal meanings of the words in a
◆ Can explain how words might be interpreted differently by different readers.
◆ Can explain the writer’s possible intentions behind the use of multiple
◆ Can explain cultural and historical relevance to a writer’s choice of words
where appropriate.
◆ Can link words to other associated words in the text which give added
◆ Can use specific terms to explain layers of meanings such as ‘pun’,
‘ambiguity’, and ‘connotation’.
◆ Can justify interpretations of the text by close reference.
Example script
This text annotated by a student shows literal comprehension and recognition
of some other layers of meaning that underpin the poem.
An anthem is a song of
praise or a hymn. This
poem has lots of
references to religion
but Owen hasn’t written
a joyful song.
The bells sound when
someone dies.
Instead of the nice
sound of bells, the
soldiers die to the
sound of gunfire.
The soldiers do not get
a proper funeral.
Voices singing are
sometimes high pitched
but demented suggests
that they are mad.
Calling them to come
home? Or calling to the
Candles remind us of
churches. We
sometimes light a
candle in memory of
If something glimmers
it is faint and feeble. It
shines but it might go
Flowers are put on
coffins and graves and
were also given when
people went away.
Anthem For Doomed Youth
What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
- Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
Only the stuttering rifles’ rapid rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons.
No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells;
Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs, The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
And bugles calling for them from sad shires.
What candles may be held to speed them all?
Not in the hands of boys but in their eyes
Shall shine the holy glimmers of goodbyes.
The pallor of girls’ brows shall be their pall;
Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.
Wilfred Owen
Doomed means that
they were going to die.
It is sad because they
are young.
Owen is comparing the
soldiers with cattle. This
simile makes us think
they are treated like
animals: a herd of
cattle, slaughtered
without feelings.
I think this means the
guns are angry because
of the noise they make
and because they are
involved in fights.
Orisons means prayers.
Choirs = sound shells
make and reminds us of
funeral singing.
Bugles would be played
in a band at the funeral
for soldiers.
People at the time
believed the dead
needed to be helped on
their way to Heaven.
Is this the goodbyes of
people at a funeral or of
people saying goodbye
to the soldiers when
they leave to go to war?
Darkness outside is like
drawing the curtains
inside. People
traditionally draw the
curtains when someone
Understanding the multiple meanings in this piece requires cultural and
historical awareness of the traditional ceremony of funerals and the practice of
Christian religion as well as the very different conditions in which soldiers were
buried. The layers of meanings here are conveyed using a limited number of
techniques: figurative language and word associations.
This pupil has shown awareness of some of the more obvious comparisons of
the funeral ceremony at home with that of war. Some literal meanings and
some other associations are made that develop the idea further, e.g. ‘drawingdown of blinds’ in the final line. The student understands something of the
atmosphere of battle – the noises of the shells and the comparison with choirs.
The student is also beginning to recognise ambiguity by questioning the
meaning of some lines.
However, multiple meanings (beyond 2) tend not to be sought. The pupil has
missed the deeper layers of meaning for example, attached to “passing-bells”.
There is some recognition that the bells are associated with death, perhaps
even a funeral ceremony, but the pupil misses the irony in the fact that cattle
used to have bells that signalled where they were.
The pupil isn’t yet making links back to previous lines to put phrases in the
context that will give them other meanings. For example, the pupil explains the
meaning of the word “orisons” but does not link this with the fact that it is the
noise of the guns that is being described as prayer, suggesting that this is the
only noise that accompanies the deaths of the soldiers. The pupil needs to have
further practice in reading across the text.
The difficult “mockeries” idea, where Owen questions whether the overceremonial attitude to death is any more appropriate than the other extreme
on the battle field, is missed. To understand this, the pupil would need to more
fully appreciate how elaborate funerals were in late Victorian times and
people’s fascination with death.
Teaching sentence level objectives
This section contains a bank of teaching ideas to help the teaching of key
sentence level objectives in Key Stage 3. The focus of this guidance is on
teaching sentence level objectives in the context of shared and guided
reading and writing. The emphasis should be on putting knowledge about
language to use, rather than treating it in isolation. The aim is to help pupils
write more successfully the first time round, rather than the more traditional
model of trying to rescue poor writing after the event.
Good writers tend to be good readers who internalise the structures and
techniques that have become familiar through their reading. However, not all
pupils make the connection between what they read and what they write. The
following recommended teaching sequence suggests how sentence level
objectives can be taught, drawing first on reading, and then helping pupils to
generalise from their reading and apply what they have learned in their writing.
1. Explore the objective
Activities are used to raise awareness of sentence level features and prepare
pupils for in-depth discussion. These include:
◆ analysing how a writer gains a particular effect, then trying it out for
◆ carrying out an investigation such as collecting, categorising or prioritising;
◆ encouraging pupils to generalise from experience;
◆ carrying out problem-solving activities such as sequencing or cloze to shed
new light on everyday language.
2. Define the conventions
At this stage the teacher builds on the pupils’ investigations to articulate any
rules or conventions. But this needs to be preceded by investigation and
exploration so that pupils have a grasp of the language feature before any
terminology is introduced. Terminology only makes sense if it is grafted onto
existing concepts.
A glossary of grammatical terms is available on the Standards website at
3. Demonstrate the writing
The teacher takes the objective and models for the class how to apply it in the
context of a short text. This teaching technique means composing in front of
the class, thinking aloud about wording, expression and the choices made.
4. Share the composition
Once pupils can see what the teacher is doing they are drawn into the
composition. The teacher will continue to ‘scribe’ and to lead discussion of
language choices but will ensure that everyone is engaged by asking pupils to
generate short sections of the writing – for example, by asking pairs to
produce ‘short burst’ contributions that can then be discussed. The teacher
focuses pupils’ attention on the objective, and discussion revolves around the
quality and skill of applying it.
5. Scaffold the first attempts
Now the teacher asks pupils to try using the objective in their own writing and
supports them by providing a task rich in opportunities for practice, with the
support of a prompt sheet, a writing frame or a set of sentence starters, for
example. Alternatively, pupils can be helped to concentrate on language
choices if the content of what they are writing has been provided. Guided
writing, where the teacher sits with a small group to guide their writing and to
talk them through the act of composition, or enables pupils to discuss
together drafts or completed work, is a very effective way of ‘bridging’
between shared and independent writing.
Care must be exercised in providing the right kind of support. In due course,
pupils should be able to generate their own writing structure and starters, and
avoid dependency on ready-made models.
◆ Statutory tests 2001 KS2 English, Mathematics and Science – Mark Schemes
pack 2, QCA/01/695
◆ Improving Writing at Key Stages 3 & 4, QCA/99/392
◆ Not Whether But How; Teaching Grammar in English at KS3/4
◆ Year 7 Sentence Bank, DfEE 0046/2001
◆ English Department training file 2001, Module 10, DfEE 0234/2001
◆ Literacy Progress Unit: Sentences, DfEE 0478/2001
◆ Grammar for Writing, DfEE 0107/2000
S3: Degrees of formality
Write with different degrees
of formality, relating
vocabulary and grammar to
context, e.g. using the active
or passive voice.
About this objective
Pupils should be consolidating their understanding that texts (even of the
same text-type) can vary in formality and that writers sometimes deliberately
manipulate text-types, according to the needs of different audiences and
purposes. Pupils need to understand the effects of changing active and passive
voices; the formality associated with different sentence structures, especially
the use of subordination; and the need to make appropriate vocabulary
choices. This objective is closely associated with and should usually be taught
in conjunction with objective 9S9.
What to teach
◆ This is a key objective because it is about consolidating and securing the
ability to choose the appropriate register for audience and purpose
◆ This differs from Year 8, Sentence 11 because it deals with formality and
informality rather than dialectal variation. There is a continuum on which
pupils need to hang their language choices:
Very formal
Standard English
very informal
◆ Formal English is usual in written text, except for dialogue, and magazines
such as fanzines.
◆ Part of formal written English is being able to select and maintain an
impersonal style. Pupils need to be taught to find alternatives for you in
formal writing. You, in this context, has the generalised meaning of one, an
impersonal pronoun. English does not possess a comfortable, generalised
impersonal pronoun: alternatives include the inclusive, generalised we or the
passive voice in such phrases as it might be said that …
◆ In active sentences, you are told who did it and what they did.
◆ In passive sentences, you are told what was done and to whom, but the
agent is omitted. The passive ‘depersonalises’ the writing, contributing to
increased formality as in scientific writing, reports and explanatory texts,
where its use is entirely appropriate. The passive voice can also be used to
deliberately omit the agent to remove any sense of responsibility, as in ‘the
poll was lost by 200 votes.’
◆ Many pupils confuse colloquial registers and regional variation and need to
be taught the difference as part of their developing ability to choose the
appropriate style and register.
Teaching through reading
◆ Take examples of texts, e.g. broadsheet headlines and tabloid headlines and
ask pupils to place them on the continuum above. Sports writing and
magazines are also useful for this. Discuss why the choices have been made,
what statements it makes about the intended audience and its relationship
with the publication.
◆ Ask pupils to keep a diary of the spoken and written registers they use over a
day/week and note why and how they varied their register. Ask them to give
examples of formal/informal English.
◆ Compare, for example, an extract from a Michelin guide to an area and a
piece from The Rough Guide and a travel brochure on the same area. Discuss
the relative formality/informality and decide on the intended audience and
purpose. Discuss how differences in purpose and audience affect language
◆ Take an extract from a novel or a poem which contains both dialogue and
intervening narrative. Discuss the formal and informal choices and the
effects of the dialogue as it contrasts with the intervening narrative.
◆ Take a very formal text which uses impersonal language and model
annotating it to show why, where and how the impersonal tone arises.
◆ Take examples of headlines, reports and discursive pieces which use the
passive voice and omit the agent. Discuss how and why this happens. Ask
pupils to convert to the active and discuss the effect of the change.
◆ Evaluate a persuasive speech for how words and grammar are used to
persuade the audience. Note the blend of personal and impersonal
◆ Compare text messaging and e-mail and discuss how written language is
used in these more informal contexts. Discuss the fact that informality might
be expressed by ‘netiquette’ items such as or to denote feelings; that
shouting is expressed through the use of block capitals and the way in which
abbreviations are used. Consider how far it is possible to send a formal text
◆ Compare web pages for different audiences, e.g. BBC local sites for students
and those from the local council/tourist office. How far does audience
dictate formality? How is formality/informality shown?
Teaching through writing
◆ Ensure pupils are always clear about audience and purpose before they
write. Discuss the effect of audience and purpose on choosing an
appropriate register.
◆ Model how to change a report of a school event written for
parents/governors, e.g. the school fayre, for the pupils’ newspaper. Discuss
audience and purpose before starting and model the effects on language
◆ Model the opening of a formal discursive text which is designed to permit the
reader to make up her/his own mind. Move into shared and independent
writing to complete it.
◆ Ask the pupils to write an information leaflet about the same topic e.g.
keeping fit, for young people and the over 50s and ask them to provide a
commentary about their language choices.
◆ Write travel pieces based on their area for a Michelin type guide and The
Rough Guide.
◆ Write a recount or report in the passive voice, then change into the active
voice and write a brief commentary on the differences and what the impact
might be on the audience.
To assess this objective
◆ It is likely that this objective will be assessed on a number of different
occasions to allow for the ‘differing degrees of formality’. The key to this
objective is an understanding of audience and purpose and how this dictates
the degree of formality required when writing.
◆ It is likely that most assessment will centre around the more formal contexts
as pupils are, by this stage, very adept at writing in informal contexts.
◆ Pupils could be given a sample text to adapt and change to suit a different
purpose and audience. They could then be asked to provide a commentary
identifying what changes they made at word and sentence level and why
they made them.
◆ Some assessment of this objective could be made during the redrafting
process: pupils could discuss with a partner how far the appropriate degree
of formality has been achieved and identify any improvements that need to
be made to meet the objective.
◆ The objective could be assessed with regard to vocabulary, with ‘a washing
line’ or sequencing starter activity.
Sample tasks
◆ Pupils might be given an informal text and be asked to transform it into a
formal text. This will involve working from definitions of the features; textmarking to identify the features of the original text; substituting the
alternative expression and checking for consistency. This could be done
using ICT to alter the text on screen, using different colours to indicate
◆ Pupils write for a particular audience and purpose extracted from the class
novel. The conscious decisions about the vocabulary and grammar needed
to suit the formality of the context could be annotated so that the writer’s
choices are made visible.
◆ Different groups of pupils could write for a different context and the final
pieces compared in a group.
◆ Pupils could work from various example texts and continue the piece, or
reply, in the same degree of formality. Again, the features could be
annotated, or an additional commentary provided.
Performance indicators
Always sometimes rarely
◆ Can select vocabulary appropriate to audience and purpose.
◆ Can use nouns rather than verb phrases in more formal contexts.
◆ Can use the vocabulary and grammar of standard English for formal
◆ Can use complex sentences to present information more economically in
formal contexts.
◆ Can use formal connectives and other phrases to link or introduce ideas
where appropriate.
◆ Can use the passive voice in formal writing.
◆ Can identify in their own writing how the degree of formality has been
NB These performance indicators can be reversed to suit informal writing,
e.g. Can use verb phrases rather than nouns in more informal contexts.
Example script
After a disastrous holiday, Darren sent the following e-mail to his friend. Darren
complains to the holiday company in a formal letter. The pupil has annotated
the changes that need to be made.
Hi Pete, Need formal greeting
We’re back! Didn’t have a good time, though. Need full sentences It was a
disaster from the word go. The plane was late so we arrived half way
through the night and we hadn’t got a clue where we were. Jo Say who she
is more formally kept tripping over things and ended up with a bruise on
her leg. Change the underlined informal phrases.
In the morning we realised that our sea view wasn’t any such thing. If you
used your imagination you could see a tiny speck of blue (well, grey – the
weather wasn’t up to much either!) Too much like speech here in the
distance but in front of that was this massive building site. Standard
English needed It was noisy too, and the dust got everywhere – it was
worse than the sand. Organise these points better.
As you know, we went all-inclusive and I was looking forward to loads to
eat whenever I wanted it, but the food wasn’t very nice. It was all overcooked and everything tasted the same. They weren’t very big portions
either and I couldn’t be bothered to keep joining the huge queue to go
back for more. I think they should give us a refund. What do you think?
Anyway, I’ll bring the pics round when we meet.
See ya soon! Need a formal ending Darren.
Dear Sir/Madam
We have just returned from our holiday and we wish to complain about
the problems we experienced.
We arrived at the hotel late at night as our plane was late. My wife, Jo,
hurt her leg as we tried to find our way in the hotel.
It was stated in the brochure that we would have a sea view. This was not
the case. The sea was only just visible in the distance and immediately
overlooked by our room was a building site from which came excessive
noise and dust. Photographs of the site are enclosed.
The food was also disappointing. We paid for an all-inclusive package but
couldn’t eat the food that was served. There were always big queues and
the food was tasteless and overcooked.
We believe that we should receive compensation for the fact that our
holiday did not meet our expectations and your promises.
Yours faithfully
Darren and Jo Miller
This pupil has recognised the slang and colloquial phrases used in the e-mail
and has replaced these with more formal vocabulary and expressions in the
letter of complaint. The pupil has also noticed where incomplete sentences
were used informally and has used full sentences throughout the formal letter.
In the e-mail, some of the sentences ramble, with afterthoughts added, but are
more tightly controlled in the letter. The passive voice has been used in the
letter, too. There is clear evidence that the pupil has considered the new
audience of the letter, by explaining who “Jo” is, for example. There is an
effective new ending to the piece. As a next step, the pupil needs to compare
the formal letter with others and consider alternative ways of expressing the
information formally. Parts of the letter could be developed more precisely (e.g.
on what/where Jo injured her leg) and a wider vocabulary used (instead of
“big” and “hurt”). Economical use of pronouns and complex sentences to
emphasise particular information and contrast ideas are also possible future
areas of development.
S6: Paragraph organisation
Compare and use different
ways of opening, developing,
linking and completing
About this objective
This objective builds on the Year 8 key objective S6 and seeks to secure the
construction of a text so that it coheres both within and across paragraphs. This
is a key objective because it will enable pupils to present thoughts and ideas
logically so that linkages and meaning are clearly signalled to the reader.
Pupils should be familiar with topic sentences to open paragraphs and
recognise the need to organise material within the paragraph. They now need
to develop a repertoire of strategies to structure and link paragraphs in
different text types. Pupils particularly need to focus on the endings of
paragraphs for different purposes, e.g. to effectively conclude the paragraph; to
have impact; to prepare the reader for what follows. This objective is linked to
9S5: evaluate their ability to shape ideas rapidly into cohesive paragraphs.
What to teach
◆ How paragraphs are organised and linked in different text types.
◆ Different ways of organising information, e.g. point/quotation/comment;
point/evidence; list of points in order of importance.
◆ Within paragraphs, contradictory argument may be introduced half way
through by using connectives such as: however, on the other hand, yet.
◆ Linking between paragraphs can be signalled by repetition of a word from
the last sentence of a paragraph in the first sentence of the next. It might be
the same word or, more usually, a synonym.
◆ Cohesion across paragraphs can also be signalled by connectives such as
however, or links such as This means.
◆ Pronouns are used to link back to the person considered in the previous
paragraph, e.g. These measures may seem extreme.
◆ Adverbial phrases often start a new paragraph to link to the previous, e.g.
Today, though, the region is important once again.
◆ How to conclude with a paragraph summarising key points.
◆ How to signal the passing of time at the start of a paragraph, e.g. Several
days later; Saturday was the day when it all went wrong.
◆ How to signal a character’s location or actions before s/he is introduced, e.g.
Below in the garden, Julie was weeding the roses. Taking care not to make a
noise, he tiptoed down the stairs…
Teaching through reading
◆ the structure of a range of texts, paying attention to links within and across
◆ the structure of a number of linked paragraphs from a variety of texts,
looking at last and first sentences for cohesive links;
◆ the way in which narrative writers use temporal connectives to pass over
large amounts of time, e.g. Three weeks later …;
◆ how pronouns are used in narrative texts to delay naming the main
◆ the function and effect of key connectives and pronouns in a text using an
OHT with them blanked out. Ask pupils to suggest suitable words and
phrases, and to discuss their effect in ensuring cohesion and coherence;
◆ how ideas and themes in non-narrative texts are linked and ways in which
the reader is prepared and guided through the text – for example, by asking
pupils to discuss and write sub-headings for each paragraph.
Use whole-class discussion to come to conclusions about the above and display
as a wall poster to support pupils to apply their learning in new contexts and
move to independence.
Teaching through writing
◆ Model the process of gathering, grouping and prioritising information into
◆ Model writing an introductory paragraph which introduces the topic, and a
concluding paragraph which summarises key ideas and information.
◆ Model writing a central paragraph which has a topic sentence and
◆ Use white boards to share the writing of introductory sentences and links
within and across paragraphs.
◆ Show pupils how to use synonyms for words in the first and last sentences of
consecutive paragraphs, e.g. trees and woodland when writing about the
need to conserve forests.
◆ Discuss a range of ways to convey the passage of time in narrative writing.
Provide pupils with a handout to use when writing their own narratives.
◆ Encourage pupils to plan a whole text and then think and talk the
paragraphs through before they write.
To assess this objective
Where paragraphing has been a focus, review the success in a piece of writing
or several pieces of writing that each make differing demands on paragraph
organisation. Look at the four elements of the objective or focus the
assessment on just one of these elements at a time, depending on the needs of
Sample tasks
◆ Pupils compare paragraphs from different text types and annotate the ways
they each begin/develop/end and how links are made across paragraphs.
◆ Set pupils specific demands to incorporate into the paragraphs they write.
◆ Pupils experiment (perhaps using ICT) with different ways of organising
information in a paragraph and comment on the most successful. Peer
evaluation could be linked to this.
◆ Pupils plan and draft a piece of writing (or several of different text types)
with a particular focus on the four aspects of paragraphing.
Performance indicators
Always sometimes rarely
◆ Can explain how paragraphs are organised differently in different text types.
◆ Can open paragraphs effectively, e.g. linking to previous paragraph; topic
sentence; surprise the reader.
◆ Can develop paragraphs appropriately for the text type, e.g.
point/quotation or evidence/comment; points listed in order of importance;
emphasising some points; use connectives to link points; argument and
◆ Can end paragraphs effectively, e.g. concluding statement; personal
◆ Can make links across paragraphs, e.g. using connectives; using adverbial
Example script
A paragraph from an essay about a controversial issue – leaving school at 14.
The paragraph was planned to focus on one side of the argument.
Plan: useful experience. On the job training. Being with adults. Grow up
quicker. Helps career. Take orders – so don’t lose job or pay.
Getting a job at the age of 14 gives young people a chance to gain
experience of a trade or occupation as well as mix with adult company. At
school, they will just be learning more about subjects they are not
interested in. Instead, pupils can learn something useful to their future
career. While some people think 14 year olds are too immature to work,
being in adult company would help them to grow up more quickly.
This paragraph begins with an appropriate topic sentence setting out the main
arguments relating to the experience 14-year-olds would gain from the world
of work. The pupil then gives an argument before opposing this introducing a
counter-argument with a new sentence beginning with ‘instead’. Argument and
counter-argument are then provided in one complex sentence at the end of the
paragraph. What the pupil has not done is rounded this point off, specifically, or
shown evidence at the beginning or end of the paragraph of linking the
paragraph to another. Also, points made in the plan (training/taking orders)
are not included, but there is no indication of where else the pupil might be
planning to put these relevant points.
S7: Exploit conventions
Analyse and exploit the
stylistic conventions of the
main text types, e.g. parody
About this objective
Pupils should now be aware of the main text types and increasingly familiar
with their stylistic conventions at word, sentence and text level. They need now
to recognise that some texts are a mixture of text types and that writers
sometimes deliberately exploit the conventions, or exchange one genre for
another to achieve particular effects. Parody is one particular example of this,
where a writer imitates in order to ridicule. Often this involves exaggerating the
conventions. Another example is using the stylistic conventions of a letter or
newspaper report to advertise a product.
What to teach
◆ How the stylistic conventions of non-fiction can be manipulated for comic or
satirical effect, or to surprise and engage the reader by mixing genre and
purpose as in, for example:
– A sensational news report on Goldilocks’ theft of porridge, which offers a
parody of tabloid journalism and the tendency of such papers to
exaggerate the relatively unimportant.
– Written instructions to do something trivial like cleaning teeth or making
a sandwich, parodying the style of instructions found in self-build
◆ How to ‘mix’ text types for effect – for example, combining report and
persuasion in a campaigning leaflet; incorporating elements of explanation,
report, instruction and discussion in an article on mobile phones for a
teenage magazine.
◆ A parody can exploit both a text type and satirise a behaviour or belief. For
example, Jonathon Swift’s A Modest Proposal parodies the enthusiasm for
offering proposals or solutions in the eighteenth century and satirises a set
of commonly held beliefs.
Teaching through reading
Use good examples of mixed text types to enable pupils to analyse key features
and to identify the effects of combining and overlapping genres:
◆ Select texts which combine text types such as a leaflet from a tourist
attraction which combines information and persuasion. Model annotating
the text to show the ways in which the text types combine, such as using
information to support a comment or setting the context of the discussion
before the persuasive element.
◆ Share the reading of a suitable teenage magazine article which entertains,
informs, persuades and instructs. Show how far the language and layout
provides the entertainment and the text and pictures the other text types.
Discuss the differences between the use of cartoons and photographs to the
◆ Use a polemic where the construct is a series of unsubstantiated assertions
and a persuasive piece which will have support, additional information or
evidence as part of its construct to demonstrate the more subtle differences
between text types.
◆ Model/share the reading and annotating of a section of parody of a
traditional tale or a satirical text such as A Modest Proposal. During the
modelling, ensure that the key features of the text type are noted in terms of
language and how the parody works, by taking the text type and altering the
expected content through exaggeration or illogical conclusion.
◆ Use texts which involve photographs where the text might inform, but
pictures are carefully chosen to persuade or influence the reader.
◆ Use moving images such as advertisements or public service campaigns and
discuss the text types found in them. Discuss how verbal/pictorial
information is combined with music and voice over to meet audience and
◆ Use extracts from moving image texts such as The Chicken Run or Shrek to
demonstrate how well-established genres (escape films, traditional tales)
are parodied.
◆ Compare similar text types from different times to help pupils to identify
differences and the possible reasons for these – for example, contrasting two
different pages from a recent and thirty year old geography text book.
Teaching through writing
◆ Model how to plan the overall structure of a text which combines text types.
Encourage pupils to complete the task independently.
◆ Share the creation of a photomontage which uses pictures to persuade and
written text to inform.
◆ Based on the reading above, use shared writing to compose an article for a
teenage magazine which entertains, informs, persuades and instructs. Pupils
can comment on the various types and how they have used them for effect.
◆ Ask pupils to share in the writing of a parody after the conventions of the
selected text type have been defined, e.g. rewriting the nursery rhyme, Jack
and Jill, in the form of a newspaper report.
◆ Based on reading, invite pupils to prepare the content of a satirical parody
like A Modest Proposal and write an introduction on a white board or OHT to
share with the class.
◆ Invite pupils to plan and write a piece which deliberately mixes two or more
text types, then swap writing with each other in order to discuss and
annotate to reveal where the mix occurs and key features used.
To assess this objective
This objective could be assessed by reviewing a completed piece of writing,
giving feedback during guided writing sessions or through peer evaluation and
self-evaluation. Using the assessment criteria, the extent of pupils’ ability to
recognise and manipulate the basic conventions at word, sentence and text
level can be gauged. Evidence of analysis of the stylistic conventions should be
present at the planning stage and the conscious use of these in the drafts of
the writing.
Sample tasks
◆ Pupils write with the purposes of one text type but using the stylistic
conventions of another: e.g. an advertisement written as a letter or a
newspaper article.
◆ Pupils discuss texts (e.g. the varied writing in newspapers/magazines) and
identify/annotate the stylistic features in order to identify which different
main text types they draw on.
◆ Pupils write a parody of a text that uses conventions with which they are
familiar: e.g. fairy story; tabloid news story; instruction text, advertisement.
Performance indicators
Always sometimes rarely
◆ Can identify the stylistic conventions of the main text types at word,
sentence and text level.
◆ Can identify where there are different text types within a text and identify
the features.
◆ Can imitate a text type and manipulate its conventions.
◆ Can explain the effects of manipulating a text type on the reader.
◆ Can make deliberate use of the conventions of different text types in one
coherent piece.
NB Specific criteria could be added to reflect a specific text type.
Example script
This example is part of a newspaper article written to parody the style of
tabloid newspapers.
Yesterday, blonde mother of two, Amanda Jenkins, new editor of the
Daily Scoop, put a news story on the front page. Amanda, 34, got the
chief’s job last month and vowed readers would see changes.
The story, containing 450 words, concerned the serious plight of Donald,
the duck whose pond will be destroyed by a housing development.
Environmentalists are fighting to save the stranded duck and locals have
started a petition.
One reader said, “I am surprised but news stories on the front page is a
good idea.” Others were worried that the paper would become too
serious. “There is enough unhappiness without another newspaper writing
about it,” said truck-driver, Stuart.
Here, the pupil has used the content to make it clear that it is a parody: the
headline and reference to the duck’s “serious plight”. The newspaper features
are also exaggerated: the inappropriate focus on the personal details of the
editor; the use of exclamation marks and dramatic language: vowed, plight,
fighting, stranded. The opening does this effectively, but it is less clear later in
the script. The pupil could use peer evaluation to support the redrafting
process, focusing particularly on sustaining the style more consistently and
making the purpose of the text (parody) more obvious.
S9: Sustained standard English
Write sustained standard
English with the formality
suited to reader and purpose
About this objective
This objective continues and develops work from Year 7 where pupils are
expected to be able to vary the formality of language in speech and writing to
suit different circumstances, and in Year 8 where they are required to recognise
the differences between standard English and dialect variations. The ability to
vary word, sentence and text level features of a text to suit the audience and
purpose is a critical skill. Pupils need to be taught how to write a range of texts
with a clear awareness of purpose and audience. In sustaining the use of
standard English in writing, pupils need to understand the effects of using the
active and passive voice; the formality associated with different sentence
structures, especially the effective use of subordination; and the need to make
appropriate choices of vocabulary. Sustaining a formal tone in a piece of
writing involves attending to matters of overall textual coherence such as
consistency in tense, use of pronouns and connectives usually associated with
formal written language. Formal oral presentations place the same linguistic
demands as formal written text: indeed formal oral presentations like speeches
are often written first, prior to presentation.
What to teach
◆ How to adopt an impersonal tone, when writing discursively in an essay
which evaluates a text or discusses a topic of importance. Formality often
depends on being objective.
◆ How to use the passive voice in such phrases as It might be said that …; and
avoiding the use of you as an impersonal pronoun, as in finding alternatives
to You can see.
◆ How to make effective use of subordination to ensure clarity of meaning and
appropriate linkages between ideas. Pupils need to secure the effective use
of connectives to indicate cause/effect; comparative/contrastive;
qualifying and illustrating, and so on. Qualifying connectives like although
and if/then constructs can be the most difficult for pupils to acquire, and so
need regular teaching.
◆ How to make effective use of pronouns, so that anaphoric reference (where
the pronoun refers back) and cataphoric reference (where the pronoun
refers forward) is clear.
◆ How to ensure consistency of tense. Discursive essays often use the present
tense; for example, as long as Macbeth or Twelfth Night is extant, then the
present tense applies to any discussion of the text or characters. Others may
move from present as the topic is discussed to past for illustrative or
supportive examples or anecdotes.
◆ Pupils also need to be aware that there is an oral narrative style which uses
the present tense, e.g. ‘I’m going along this street, when I see this man. He
comes up to me and he says …. ‘ Pupils need to know that narrative largely
uses the past tense unless the present tense is required for dramatic effect.
◆ How to sustain formality by ensuring that features of speech do not intrude
into writing. Pupils need to know that speech markers like anyway/right are
paragraph indicators in speech and need to be removed in writing and a new
paragraph started. Other oral links such as As I was saying indicate lack of
planning when they are written. Pupils need to plan paragraph content and
progression to avoid such phrases.
◆ Pupils need to know that formal English demands formal, standard
vocabulary, so pupils need to be taught the difference between formal,
standard English and colloquial English.
◆ The number of contractions of negative verbs and pronoun + verbs, e.g.
didn’t; you’re, etc. should be restricted in formal writing. Restricting the use
of contractions can improve spelling as the nature of the contraction may be
poorly understood. In formal oral presentations the use of the auxiliary can
be important for emphasis.
Teaching through reading
◆ Select a range of texts from formal through to informal and ask pupils to
arrange them in a line from the most formal to the least formal: ask them to
state why they have placed them as they have, and to cite reasons based on
features of language at word, sentence and text level.
◆ Choose a piece of formal text such as a persuasive pamphlet or broad sheet
editorial and demonstrate by annotation its formal features and what its
formality says about audience and purpose. Then ask pupils to do the same
on a different piece of text and explain their reasoning to the class.
◆ Take a spoken text and model what needs to be done to transform it into a
formal, written text.
◆ Ask pupils to keep a reading journal for a week which should include a TV
advertisement; a piece of news text, a magazine of some kind and a media
text such as Radio 4 or Radio 1 news. Ask them to comment on the differing
degrees of formality and intended audience.
◆ Read a variety of texts which are mismatched in terms of register and
content, audience and purpose. Invite pupils to describe clearly the extent of
the mismatch and which language features demonstrate the mismatch.
Teaching through writing
◆ Before any writing, refer pupils to the audience and purpose and ask them to
decide how that will affect degrees of formality. Ensure that they are aware
that the ability to sustain formal, standard English when appropriate will be
an assessment criterion.
◆ Ensure pupils are clear about when formal, standard English is always
required such as critical evaluation essays or letters of complaint.
◆ Set pupils the task of rewriting one of the mismatched texts referred to
above so that language matches audience and purpose.
◆ In pairs, ask pupils to recount a brief life event which a partner writes down;
the text is then returned to the speaker for transforming into a written text.
Pupils comment on what they did to effect the transformation.
◆ Model the rehearsal of a more formal tone and choice of vocabulary in
discussion and insist pupils use formal, standard English during discussion
prior to writing.
◆ Model the opening paragraph of an essay, formal letter or speech and ask
pupils to continue in the same register and style.
◆ Encourage oral rehearsal before writing, during writing and after writing.
Sometimes the use of a Dictaphone can help at the first draft stage and then
speech influences can more easily be spotted and transformed.
To assess this objective
It is important to assess this objective on a fairly regular basis as the level of
formality in writing is important for public examinations. Pupils will be writing
in standard English in formal contexts with increasing frequency. There are
therefore likely to be several occasions when pupils’ written work can be
assessed for this objective. As there are quite a number of performance
indicators, it is probably a good idea to vary the focus of assessment. The
objective could be assessed alongside other objectives such as 9S3 and 9Wr3
where pupils are required to write in a formal style.
Sample task
Pupils could be set a piece of independent writing which requires the use of
sustained standard English, e.g. a formal essay, report or formal letter. The work
can then be scrutinised for how consistently the word, sentence and text level
features of standard English have been deployed. It is also possible to assess
this objective in a range of writing that the pupil has been required to produce
over a period of time. This objective could also be assessed in the light of pupils’
work in other subject areas.
Performance indicators
Always sometimes rarely
◆ Can write in an appropriate tone, demonstrating a clear understanding of
the purpose and audience.
◆ Can select suitably formal vocabulary appropriate to the purpose and
◆ Can write with consistent subject-verb agreement.
◆ Can form tenses correctly and consistently appropriate to the text.
◆ Can uses clauses to elaborate sentences.
◆ Can write confidently in the third person.
◆ Can use the word level features of standard English consistently, e.g.
pronouns are used correctly, avoiding ambiguity; prepositions are used
correctly; adjectives and adverbs are used appropriately.
◆ Can use paragraphs effectively to guide the reader through the text, e.g.
with appropriate openings, development and endings.
◆ Can use nouns rather than verb phrases.
◆ Can use complex sentences to present information more economically in
formal contexts.
◆ Can use formal connectives and other phrases to link or introduce ideas
where appropriate.
◆ Can use the passive voice where appropriate.
Example script
Response to a Key Stage 3 test style question:
Explain the different ways Shakespeare creates a mood of evil in Act 4,
Scene 1 of Macbeth.
Shakespeare created a mood of evil and sinister foreboding from the
beginning by starting with a spell. The ingredients of the spell are
revolting and the repetition of the “double, double, toil and trouble, Fire
burn and cauldron bubble“ adds to the tension.
The sense of menace is also developed by the Second Witch saying “By
the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes; open locks
whoever knocks” she is calling up Macbeth and he appears, developing the
sense of evil.
Near to the end of the scene, when Macbeth is shown the eight kings and
Banquo’s ghost, the sense of evil is further developed by Macbeth’s
responses to the witches and the way he searches for them when they
have disappeared. Shakespeare adds to the sense of menace and evil
lurking close to the surface as Macbeth appears confused by the
apparitions and is not even further unnerved by the fact that Lennox has
not seen them.
This pupil is clearly aware of the purpose and audience of the task. He is able to
write in a sustained manner deploying some of the word, sentence and text
level features of standard English. He shows a clear awareness of audience and
purpose and is able to use language appropriately. The vocabulary choices are
apt and of a suitably formal tone and the pronouns are clear and without
ambiguity. Consistency in the use of the present tense is maintained
throughout. The paragraphing leads the reader through the text with some
links made across paragraphs. Although complex sentences are present, this
pupil needs to use a greater variety of sentence structure.
Teaching reading objectives
This section contains a bank of teaching ideas to help the teaching of key text
level objectives for reading in Key Stage 3. They are designed to support
teachers in teaching reading in shared and guided sessions, and to support
pupils when they are reading independently.
1. In shared reading
◆ Use an OHT or enlarged copy to annotate a text to help make the reading
process visible.
◆ Use modelling and demonstration to show pupils how to infer, deduce, use
evidence, predict.
◆ Target questions at different levels of attainment.
◆ Ensure pupils are fully involved and required to think throughout.
◆ Use brief ‘time out’ strategies such as quick pair discussion or asking pupils to
note a response in a few words to keep the session interactive.
2. In guided reading
Focus on those reading skills that different groups need to develop.
Choose teaching approaches that are best matched to pupils’ needs.
Set appropriate group targets.
Use questioning effectively, by using sequences of probing questions.
Engage pupils in discussion by making your own contributions, or by using a
‘tell me’ approach to draw out more extended ideas.
◆ Literacy Progress Unit: Reading between the lines, DfEE 0476/2001
◆ English Department training file 2001, Module 8 ‘Reading’, DfEE
◆ Literacy across the curriculum training file, Module 5 ‘Active Reading
Strategies’, DfEE 0235/2001
R2: Synthesise information
Synthesise information from
a range of sources, shaping
material to meet the reader’s
About this objective
This objective builds on the R2 objectives in Years 7 and 8. Pupils are expected
to find and extract information independently although these skills will need to
be consolidated and made explicit in any information gathering exercise. In
addition, they will need to apply their knowledge of how texts work, including
ICT texts. The objective expects pupils to be selective and discriminating when
gathering information. They need to be clear about what they need to research
and the perspectives to be covered. Once appropriate information is selected
pupils need to be able to combine and organise it into a coherent whole
according to audience and purpose. The cross-curricular potential of this
objective is worth exploring with colleagues as it addresses a much demanded
skill across Key Stage 4.
What to teach
◆ How to assess texts for relevancy, referring back to task, audience and
◆ To discriminate between fact and opinion in carrying out accurate research.
◆ To use appropriate planning grids/formats, systematically acknowledging
◆ How to use notes in order to shape information from a range of sources into a
coherent plan.
Teaching approaches
◆ Use a shared writing session to show pupils how to marshal and categorise
information under headings, and to organise and shape into a coherent plan.
Provide sets of cards with diverse information and ask pupils to discuss in
pairs/groups before making their own decisions about grouping
information, selecting only what is relevant to a particular purpose and
◆ Play the relevance game. Provide pupils with a range of relevant and
irrelevant facts on card related to an essay title or task. In groups pupils
discuss, select and justify the relevance of the fact to the example
e.g. The title of the essay set is, ‘Why did the protest in Soweto get out of
control?’ ‘The children did not want to be taught in Afrikaans’ should be
deemed irrelevant while, ‘The police fired tear gas into the crowd’ would be
Differentiate by providing target groups with simpler card choices.
◆ Model the process of establishing if something is a fact or opinion, e.g. ‘If I
can put ‘I think…’ in front of a statement then there is a high chance that it
will be an opinion while a fact is something that is true and can be proven.’
Provoke responses with a series of facts and opinions for pupils to apply this
method to, e.g. ‘Newcastle United are the best team in the Premier league’.
◆ Provide pupils with a review of a film and ask them to annotate it, labelling
the facts and opinions it contains. For a higher level of challenge provide two
newspaper reports on the same subject – the task is to find the facts behind
the stories.
◆ Analyse texts that deal with the same subject, e.g. a news report in a
newspaper and on ‘Newsround’. Groups should explore who they think the
audience is and why. Model the use of a grid comparing the content,
language and style of the two reports, then model writing a news report on
the same topic for a different audience (older teens perhaps),
acknowledging sources as and when relevant. Encourage the class to
contribute during a shared write by giving them pieces of information from
the original text to re-write in short burst activities.
◆ Introduce a QUADS grid as a means of planning and guiding more detailed
Model using the headings to structure the recording process, encouraging
pupils to record a brief summary in the ‘Answers’ column and more detailed
notes in the next column.
e.g. ‘My question was ‘What were the children protesting against in Soweto in
1976?’ I have found out from this newspaper article that it was changes in
the education system. What changes? I now need to find out what these
changes were and record them in more detail. Once I have done that I will
write ‘The Guardian, June 1976’ in the source column. My next question was
who ordered the police to start shooting. I found that out in this text book
and I’ve made a note of it in the sources column but I want to find out why he
gave that order…’
Provide groups with two extracts from adult encyclopaedias on the same
topic. The challenge is to create an entry for an encyclopaedia aimed at
seven year olds. Model the process of reshaping it; highlighting key points,
simplifying the language as you reflect upon what the reader can cope with,
and the use of bullet points to break down the text into manageable chunks.
Differentiate by adding in the further challenge of, for example, an eighty
word limit.
Divide the class into groups and provide each group with the same facts. The
task is to write a three minute speech on the topic but each group has to
shape the facts to a different audience i.e. school governors, peers, Year 3
class. Ask some of the groups to write their speech on an OHT for analysis by
the whole class. Groups deliver their speeches and note the differences upon
hearing them. Move on to closer analysis with pupils explaining language
and style choices.
Analyse relevancy and audience awareness in the first paragraph of a
research text produced by a pupil of the same age. Model the process of
referring back to the task to check appropriateness. Assign further
paragraphs to groups to continue the analysis. Create ‘Rainbow’ groups to
share the findings.
Encourage pupils to be critical and evaluative. Create with the class a
checklist of questions to ask about research, e.g. ‘Is that a fact or opinion?’
‘Are those your ideas?’ ‘Can you explain that more simply?’ ‘Is that appropriate
to your audience?’ ‘Is that relevant to the task?’ ‘Have you acknowledged the
source?’ ‘How reliable is that source? Could it be biased?
Pupils can use the checklist individually or with response partners.
Provide pairs with a piece of synthesised text and the two (or three) original
sources. The task is to identify and provide footnotes for original material
used in the synthesised text.
To assess this objective
This assessment will be focused largely on non-fiction. It would be possible to
assess this objective in other subject areas as most subjects require research
work at some point or another. Pupils could be set a piece of work that requires
the gathering and synthesising of information such as a project, giving a talk or
a discursive essay. The final product should have a clearly defined purpose and
audience. The assessment will be best informed if the process as well as final
product is taken into account: a clear view is required of how well the original
information has been gathered, synthesised and re-presented.
Sample tasks
◆ ‘Pollution is bad for us and the environment.’
Write a discursive essay using this title. You will also present your research
to the class.
Top Tips!
You will need to build on our whole class brainstorm by conducting your
own research.
Use information from at least three sources, one should come from the
Use the class plan to help you decide what information you need to look for.
Show how one source might give you extra information or a different view
on pollution and its effects.
Remember to make a note of your sources as you go along.
◆ (History) Write a magazine article about life during the Blitz. You will be
expected to make reference to the primary and secondary sources we have
examined in class.
◆ (Geography) Prepare a presentation on why the new supermarket should or
should not be located on the proposed site. You must use different sources to
support your view.
Performance indicators
Rarely sometimes always
◆ Can use a plan to direct the research.
◆ Can locate and extract in note form specific information from a range of
◆ Can select information relevant to purpose and audience.
◆ Can demonstrate how one source might offer more relevant information
than others.
◆ Can combine and re-present information in a coherent structure appropriate
to the task: e.g. an essay with a clear introduction, middle and end;
paragraphing using subheadings; information within paragraphs organised
in a suitable manner; bullet points for a talk.
◆ Can write or speak adopting a tone suitable for the intended audience.
◆ Can edit the final product to eliminate discrepancies in tone and style.
◆ Can cite sources appropriately: e.g direct reference within text; footnotes.
Example script
Pollution is bad for us and the environment
Pollution is a real problem in society today. Because of my research I have
been able to find out some of the reasons why. I looked at a local
government website and found out how the council sorts out rubbish
problems. They provide bins everywhere and bottle banks. I also found
out that there are a lot of cycle routes to get people to not use cars as
Pollution means making foul or filthy. The air that we breathe is so bad
that is why when I saw the news the other day I had to agree with the
mayor of London about charging people to use their cars.
I also found out about noise pollution. I read a newspaper about people
living near Heathrow airport. They suffer with the noise of planes. A new
terminal might be built which means that the future looks bleak for them.
I have discovered more than I thought about pollution. Our geography
book says that recycling is the only way to cut down on all the rubbish,
noise and smells we make. It also says about how you are more likely to
get asthma if you live in the city because pollution is worse in the city.
Newham website
TV news
Geography book
This pupil is able to locate information using a range of sources. However, the
synthesis of the information is fairly limited as each source is referred to
separately. This pupil needs to work on note taking and planning formats to
enable her to organise the information more coherently. She also needs to be
taught to use a more impersonal style suited to this particular text type. Whilst
the pupil cites sources, she has not grasped a formal approach to doing so.
Overall, this objective is not secure and other opportunities to develop this skill
should be planned for.
R7: Compare texts
Compare the presentation of
ideas, values or emotions in
related or contrasting texts
About this objective
Pupils need to be able to recognise how ideas, values and emotions are
different to facts and how different writers convey a particular idea, value or
emotion. They need to be able to explore the nature of these presentations in
texts which are similar and contrasting and be able to discuss how the writers
achieve their effects. The objective builds on the Year 8 objective R5.
Texts could be from the same or contrasting periods, forms or genres, and may
focus on one or more authors. Pupils need to be directed to specific aspects of
the texts.
What to teach
How to recognise and describe an idea, value and emotion.
The difference between fact and opinion.
How to recognise bias.
How to explain a writer’s viewpoint.
How ideas, values and emotions can be expressed through text type chosen,
audience addressed, structure and vocabulary choice.
◆ How to use appropriate terminology when comparing texts.
◆ How to read across different texts noting the way ideas, values and emotions
are presented and synthesise this information into a coherent critical
Teaching approaches
◆ Brainstorm a list of facts about the local area and record on flipchart.
Organise pupils into groups of four. Ask one third of the class to write a
positive description of the area using those facts as a base, one third to write
a negative description and the remaining third a more neutral response.
Rearrange groups so each version is shared in new groups. Draw out
relevant points: texts with similar content can present very different views
and values, all texts convey values, sometimes through what they exclude
and don’t comment on (gaps and silences), the language used is the vehicle
for values and emotions to be conveyed.
◆ Distribute leaflets or brochures on a controversial issue, e.g. whaling. Ask
groups to compare the emotions and values endorsed by each text.
◆ Model during the shared reading of the opening of a class text how values
and emotions are conveyed. As you annotate on enlarged text or OHT, think
aloud, asking questions like “how does this word/phrase make us feel?”
“How would you feel if this phrase/word was used instead?” “What
predictions do you have for the rest of this text and where do these
expectations come from? – you may consider the genre, context and
language”. Ask pupils to discuss responses for a few minutes with a partner,
then draw out the sense of a more critical stance expected at Year 9.
◆ Model how to use quotations effectively in writing, to support the comments
they make. Give pupils a few minutes to work in pairs to locate quotes for
statements or vice versa (page references could be provided). This activity
could link with a starter exploring objective ‘Year 9 S4 integrate speech,
reference and quotation effectively into what they write’.
◆ Give all pupils a different quotation from a shared text. They have one
minute to read the quotation and be able to explain the ideas, values and
emotions it conveys to a response partner for another minute. Differentiate
activity through different coloured cards. Draw out importance of
articulating critical responses to texts.
◆ As a starter or in a plenary session, organise pupils to read responses from
reading journals regularly or give more formal presentations to the class .
Work with all groups in a guided way on rotation, supporting their growing
confidence in talking about their reading of texts.
◆ Model how to “read across” a range of texts and synthesise the information.
Pupils then use a grid that has space to note similarities and differences
between the emotions and values conveyed by the texts. Pupils are given a
grid with columns for “What if?” questions, and “effect on the reader”
responses to encourage the pupils to situate themselves as a reader in a
shared context with a writer.
◆ Show a variety of comparison grids and frames on OHT and point to A3
copies on display. Annotate the word, sentence and text level features of
comparative writing. Opportunity here for useful links with sentence level
starters on “Paragraphing and cohesion”.
◆ Model how texts can contrast by showing, for example, how a pre-1900 text
could convey different values towards gender roles than a contemporary text.
◆ Ask pupils to discuss the question in groups, “How has my reading of the last
text I read been influenced by the other texts I have read as part of this unit?”
Point out to groups how comparing and contrasting texts should enable
them to be clearer about their role as a critical reader of texts and the values
they convey. Less able groups would benefit from guided support and/or a
series of support questions and sentence starters, e.g. “I used to think that …
but now I think that..”
To assess this objective
It is likely that this objective will need to be assessed over a period of time. It
will probably include a range of texts, both fiction and non-fiction, some of
which may have been explored in class but also ideally texts that the pupil has
read independently.
Sample tasks
◆ Formal presentation where the pupil is required to discuss a range of texts
read and then make comparisons focusing on specific aspects.
◆ Written task where the pupil may be required to respond formally to a set
◆ Group discussion.
◆ Reading journal that maps the pupil’s understanding and development of
Performance indicators
Always sometimes rarely
◆ Can demonstrate an increasing awareness of ideas, values or emotions in a
range of texts.
◆ Can use appropriate vocabulary to talk about the texts read and is able to
make comparisons.
◆ Can read “across” a range of texts to compare and synthesise information.
◆ Can discuss ideas, values and emotions in related or contrasting texts.
In fiction
◆ Can recognise how ideas, values and emotions are expressed, e.g. through
representation of character; dialogue; description and vocabulary choice.
In non-fiction
◆ Can identify and explain a writer’s viewpoint.
◆ Can identify how the structure and purpose of a text or texts support the
presentation of ideas, values or emotions.
◆ Can identify how the evidence cited has been selected to support certain
ideas, values or emotions: e.g reference to third parties/experts.
◆ Can recognise bias.
Example scripts
◆ Extract from a reading journal – the pupils are required to include texts that
have been read in class as well as texts they have read independently –
Below are extracts from the pupil’s reading journal where he has tracked the
idea of power through the texts read independently.
Holes – Louis Sachar
In this novel, the writer deals with a number of themes, crime
punishment, loyalty and friendship. The theme of power is also explored.
An example of this is when the Warden asks Stanley if he is thirsty and
her conversation with Mr Pendanski ‘ “So what will it be?” she asked Mr.
Pendanski. “Do you want to fill the canteens or do you want to dig?” The
theme of power is also explored in the novel when Stanley finds the
object in his hole and gives it to X- Ray then moves him up a place in the
water line.
Kit’s Wilderness- David Almond
In the novel the theme of power is explored through the central
character and the effect he has on the others in the story. This is
particularly evident through the relationship Askew has with Kit.
I feel this novel has a far darker feel to it than Holes, for example the
drawings that Askew shows Kit are all very dark and bleak, “They were
dark things, black things; silhouettes of children on a grey field; black
slow river; black tilting houses…. “
The extracts from the pupil’s reading journal show that he is beginning to think
carefully about common themes in texts and how the writers develop and
support them. He has the terminology to explore the techniques used and he is
beginning to use evidence from the text to support his opinions. In order to
develop further he needs to explain more explicitly how the themes are
developed through vocabulary.
◆ Pupils have been asked to compare representations of girls on a number of
suitable teenage magazine covers.
On the cover of ‘Mizz’, there are two girls and they both look very
innocent. The girl in the main image is wearing a fluffy, innocuous looking
polo neck jumper with a matching bobble hat. These items of clothing are
pink, a colour traditionally associated with girls. She is looking directly at
the camera with a very sweet expression. She has her arms crossed
protectively across her chest. She looks very asexual. The overall
impression is of a sweet innocent girl who would not do anything wrong.
For this reason, parents of young girls might buy this magazine because
the image on the front is childlike and innocent.
The image of the young girl on the magazine ‘Star Girl’ is also represented
as sweet and innocent although on closer inspection, she is striking quite
an adult pose with her hand under her chin. She also has make up on and
her hair is styled to look a bit sophisticated.
This pupil has clearly understood how the representation of the young girls on
the magazine covers as innocent and sweet has been constructed and
presented to the reader. The pupil identifies the associations of certain colours
and styles of clothing which are used to reinforce the representation. The
intention to sell to the parents has been identified and explained as well as the
subtle features of make up and adult pose which will appeal to the young
reader herself. This pupil is already satisfying this objective but could be further
challenged by looking at contrasting rather than similar texts.
R12: Rhetorical devices
Analyse and discuss the use
made of rhetorical devices in
a text
About this objective
Pupils need to know a range of rhetorical devices which can be used in both
speech and writing to achieve effect. They should be able to identify these
devices then analyse and discuss how they are used by writers and the effects
What to teach
◆ Revise with pupils a range of rhetorical devices, e.g. use of rhetorical
questions, repetition, alliteration, metaphor and simile, variation of sentence
length for effect and the use of other types of figurative language.
◆ How to analyse the impact of different rhetorical devices e.g. how to track
the use of an extended metaphor throughout a novel or play to support the
development of a character; how rhetorical questions may be used to
persuade the reader; how alliteration can focus the readers’ attention on a
particular phrase.
◆ How to identify the purpose and audience of a text from the rhetorical
devices used and how some devices are more common to certain text types.
◆ How to make connections across a text, e.g. exploring a theme in relation to
different characters or according to time by the use of timelines and grids.
◆ How imagery can evoke different responses from different readers.
◆ How to identify the devices the writer has used and explain the effect
achieved using relevant quotation as evidence.
Teaching approaches
◆ As a starter, pupils are given any statement or question (e.g. ‘It needs to be
done by tomorrow’). In pairs pupils select a card telling them how to read the
line. Instructions could include: critically, defiantly, aggressively,
questioning, sarcastic, joyful, quiet, uncertain.
◆ Organise pupils into threes. Two pupils have one minute each to convince
their partner of something (no reference being made by the teacher to
rhetorical devices). An observer notes the devices used, based on a checklist.
After pupils are reminded of strategies, and given a few minutes to prepare,
they speak again. The observer feeds back on effective techniques used.
◆ Revise key rhetorical devices, then read a persuasive speech to the class
(Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a dream’ speech, for example), and ask different
groups to record the frequency of different rhetorical techniques on grids or
◆ Model on an OHT the devices used in the King example or another,
highlighting different techniques in different colours. Pupils could have
frequent ‘time-outs’ for 30 seconds to consider the effect of each device used.
◆ Present pupils, in groups, with the ‘I have a dream’ speech or another
passionate speech, with many of the rhetorical devices blocked out. Pupils
replace these devices with more neutral phrases and consider the effect.
◆ Use an appropriate rap or song lyric so pairs/groups can identify and record
examples of emphasis, repetition, alliteration and figurative language.
◆ Model on an OHT how to analyse the effect of rhetorical devices in a
Shakespeare text. For example, use the ‘dagger’ speech from Macbeth, II.1,
circling/highlighting the effect of the rhetorical questions at the beginning,
the powerful images and figurative language, the repetition of ‘I’ and the
changes in pace caused by varying syntax.
◆ Give out another section from a Shakespeare play copied onto A3 paper and
ask pupils to annotate the effect of the rhetorical devices as modelled by the
teacher. The teacher can work with a guided group here, asking questions
like “What mood is the character in at the beginning of the scene?”, “how
would they be speaking at this moment? – pace, gesture...” preparing the
group to read the scene aloud for the plenary. For differentiation, a less able
group could read a version in modern English, assuming rhetorical devices
are still present. A more able group could transform the effect of a speech by
keeping the same language but varying the rhetorical devices.
To assess this objective
Review a pupil’s work where he/she has noted a range of rhetorical devices
used by the writer and presented some analysis possibly through annotation,
or commentary, in a formal essay or a spoken presentation. The skills
contributing to this objective will be built up over time and therefore will need
to be assessed at different points. Competency in the skills of this objective is
very important for public examinations in English and English Literature.
Another possible assessable outcome is therefore a practice examination
question which requires the pupil to comment on the writer’s use of rhetorical
Sample tasks
◆ Pupils are asked to annotate a piece of text to analyse the use the writer has
made of rhetorical devices.
◆ Pupils work in small groups to analyse and discuss a piece of text in relation
to the rhetorical devices used, they present their ideas to the rest of the class.
◆ Pupils are asked to write a formal essay which includes analysis of writers’
use of rhetorical devices.
Performance indicators
Always sometimes rarely
◆ Can identify a range of rhetorical devices using appropriate terminology, e.g.
use of rhetorical questions, repetition, alliteration, variety of sentence
structures chosen for effect, use of figurative language addressing the
◆ Can identify the intended purpose and audience of a text.
◆ Can discuss the impact of the use of different rhetorical devices on the
reader, e.g. how repeating a word or phrase three times is used to persuade
the listener or reader; how the use of an extended metaphor creates a
powerful image which supports meaning.
◆ Can identify how different readers may respond differently to the same
◆ Can explain why and how successfully a writer has used particular devices
supported by close reference to the text.
◆ Can read across a text to make connections.
◆ Can use appropriate sentence structures and paragraphs in writing to
discuss use of rhetorical devices incorporating apt quotations as evidence.
Example script
Repetition of “I”
develops the image of
how this is affecting
Macbeth directly.
Powerful image –
nature seem dead.
The ringing of the bell
draws Macbeth to the
conclusion of this
soliloquy and it is at
this point that
Macbeth is going to
kill Duncan.
Is this a dagger which I see before me,
The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee.
I have thee not, and yet I see thee still.
Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible
To feeling as to sight? Or art thou but
A dagger of the mind, a false creation,
Proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain?
I see thee yet, in form as palpable
As this which now I draw.
Thou marshal'st me the way that I was going,
And such an instrument I was to use.
Mine eyes are made the fools o' the other senses,
Or else worth all the rest. I see thee still,
And on thy blade and dudgeon gouts of blood,
Which was not so before. There's no such thing:
It is the bloody business which informs
Thus to mine eyes. Now o'er the one half-world
Nature seems dead, and wicked dreams abuse
The curtain'd sleep; witchcraft celebrates
Pale Hecate's offerings; and wither'd Murther,
Alarum'd by his sentinel, the wolf,
Whose howl's his watch, thus with his stealthy pace,
With Tarquin's ravishing strides, towards his design
Moves like a ghost. Thou sure and firm-set earth,
Hear not my steps, which way they walk, for fear
Thy very stones prate of my whereabout,
And take the present horror from the time,
Which now suits with it. Whiles I threat, he lives;
Words to the heat of deeds too cold breath gives.
Pupil notes/
Considerable use
made of rhetorical
questions at the
The speaker talks
directly to the dagger,
possibly developing
the image of
increasing instability.
The speculation about
the daggers develops
the powerful image,
the recurring image of
the dagger symbolises
the recurring thoughts
that are going on in
Macbeth’s mind.
A bell rings.
I go, and it is done; the bell invites me.
Hear it not, Duncan, for it is a knell
That summons thee to heaven, or to hell.
The pupil is able to pick out some rhetorical devices used in the text, for
example the use of rhetorical questions and the way the first person is used to
reinforce the idea of Macbeth’s insecure state of mind. The pupil can identify
some use of imagery but needs to develop this by explaining the references
made, its relevance to the speech and the impact upon the reader. In addition
to this the pupil now needs to develop a greater understanding of the
rhetorical devices at sentence level; for example, the line length, use of rhyme
schemes. The pupil needs further work on this objective.
R16: Different cultural contexts
Analyse ways in which
different cultural contexts
and traditions have
influenced language and
style, e.g. black British poetry,
Irish short stories
About this objective
The ability to analyse the cultural contexts in which texts were produced is
important to give pupils a wider understanding and insight into the texts that
they read. Pupils need to appreciate that every text is affected by the culture
in which it was written. The ability to generalise and make connections may
develop naturally in pupils who read and discuss a wide range of texts.
However, all pupils should be given the opportunity and support to read a
range of texts from a variety of cultures and traditions.
What to teach
◆ An understanding and appreciation of a range of cultures and traditions and
how they can affect the content of a writer's work.
◆ The ability to empathise rather than judge, making connections with themes
that are a common experience in any culture (love, friendship, freedom,
oppression, equality, etc).
◆ How to read for context clues to access unfamiliar vocabulary.
◆ The technical terminology that will enable pupils to analyse and explain the
influence of cultural contexts on language and style, e.g.: culture; values;
beliefs; stereotypes; non-standard dialect.
Teaching approaches
◆ Activate prior knowledge and understanding with a class brainstorm around
cultures and traditions. Begin with:
Culture is… (a way of life; language, history, politics, traditions, customs,
religion, ideas, experiences, views, beliefs, knowledge, values, etc)
Traditions are … (aspects of culture. Beliefs or customs which have been
handed down from generation to generation).
Create an immediate appreciation of diversity with small groups reflecting
and sharing their own cultures and traditions. How do they affect who we
are, how we behave, interact, the language we use, etc.? Create new groups
to ensure a range of experiences are shared.
◆ Explore with the whole class a text rich in culture and/or tradition. Focus on
how culture and tradition are evident in ideas, language, tone, imagery and
layout. Model reading strategies; looking at the title and poet's name (what
these suggest or what do I already know about these?), scanning the text for
unusual words, style and layout, skimming then close reading the text.
During a second close reading, model annotating possible evidence of
culture and tradition. Focus on unusual vocabulary and model how to use
context to work out meaning.
◆ Provide pupils with an anthology of poems from a range of cultures and
traditions and a grid to fill in using the exploration points outlined above (old
GCSE anthologies are a good source of texts with which you will already be
familiar). Groups focus on one poem, employing the strategies you have
modelled before filling in the grid. Work with a guided group you have
identified as needing further support. Create rainbow groups to share
findings across the class.
◆ Explore a text without giving background information. Pairs/groups read
the text and create questions they would like answering about language,
content and style. Questions are exchanged with another pair/group to
answer. You may choose to support answers by providing background
information and/or a glossary. Alternatively, pupils carry out research into
the author/poet.
◆ Provide pupils with annotation cards to match with appropriate points in the
text, e.g. use of patois to create impact, evidence of author's religious beliefs,
use of dialect to reflect cultural background, use of imagery to evoke picture in
the reader's mind, activity/event unusual to my own culture, use of rhythm to
re-create actions, use of sounds to bring events to life, use of rhyme to
emphasise/link words together, language which reflects the author's cultural
background, etc.
◆ Model annotating the first part of a text during a shared read using
background information about the writer to inform the location of
evidence/effect of culture and tradition. Involve pupils in a short burst
activity annotating the next part of the text before sharing. Pairs then apply
this approach with the remaining text (some using an OHT). In the plenary
groups share findings and explanations with the whole class.
◆ Explore the oral tradition of some poets. Pupils rewrite poems written in
dialect/patois etc. in standard English. Pairs read/record the two versions
before discussing the effect. Provide prompts for discussion, e.g. What is the
effect? What changes are made to meaning, impact, rhythm, sound etc? Why
was the original written in the way it was? How does the format and style relate
to oral tradition? How is language celebrated in the original? How is the
spoken voice lost in the standard English version?
To assess this objective
This objective may be assessed in a number of ways, for example through group
discussion, whole class discussion or through a written response. When setting
up the task it is important that pupils have had the opportunity to explore a
range of texts and have the appropriate terminology to discuss the language
and style.
Sample tasks
◆ Pupils have read a range of black British poetry and have discussed the
influences on the writer’s choice of language and style as a group. The group
then present their findings to the rest of the class.
◆ The pupils have been asked to produce a display of work from different
cultures and have then presented the poems/stories they have studied with a
Performance indicators
Always sometimes rarely
◆ Can recognise typical features, e.g. those typical to historic period, dialect,
language, religion and culture.
◆ Can explain how these features influence themes, structure and form, word
choice and grammatical structure in a text.
◆ Can discuss the extent to which these features have influenced a writer’s style.
◆ Can use evidence from the text and beyond the text to support judgements.
◆ Can discuss the impact of different cultural influences in text(s) on the reader.
Example script
The pupil is responding to the poem “Indian Cooking” by Moniza Alvi.
When reading this poem I could almost smell the amazing Indian spices
being mixed together. The writer creates a powerful image of a cooking
pan as a painter’s palette. This image is developed through the poem, for
example the use of “Melted ghee made lakes, golden rivers” developing a
landscape painting.
There are detailed references in the poem to specific Indian ingredients
such as Khir, which is a milk pudding, and the reader would need to know
this to make sense of the poem.
Food is obviously very important in the writer’s culture and by using the
image of the cooking pan to create the Indian landscape she reinforces
this. It is particularly relevant when she says “I tasted the landscape,
custom’s of my father’s country – the fever on biting a chilli”.
The pupil is able to make clear connection between the poem and the culture
in which it was written. She is able to pick out the importance of cooking in the
Indian culture but also how the writer has used the cooking pot as an extended
metaphor. She is able to use some of the correct terminology, e.g. imagery
when talking about the painter’s palette. In order to satisfy this objective more
fully, this pupil needs to extend her comments to linguistic and structural
influences in texts as well as cultural influences.
Teaching writing objectives
This section contains a bank of teaching ideas to help the teaching of key text
level objectives for writing in Key Stage 3. They are designed to support
teachers in teaching writing in both shared and guided sessions, and to
support pupils when they are writing independently.
In shared or guided writing sessions
1. Keep the focus on the objective
◆ This means moving swiftly through some parts of the composition, but
spending the bulk of the time on the key objective.
◆ Avoid being side-tracked – keep the focus clear.
◆ Continually refer back to objectives that have been taught previously to
keep them ‘alive’.
2. Rehearse sentences aloud before writing
◆ Model how to think up a sentence, and orally revise it before writing.
◆ Demonstrate how you listen to the impact of a sentence. This helps to avoid
too many errors and allows for revising before, rather than after, writing.
◆ Emphasise the need to apply spelling strategies and to punctuate as
automatic habits that do not interfere with composition.
◆ Model how to refer back to the initial plan, brainstorm or mind map.
◆ Use a ‘crib’ that you have prepared earlier when you are demonstrating
something to ensure you cover all your intended teaching points.
3. Constantly re-read
◆ Encourage constant re-reading as it helps to check that sentences build on
each other, and to spot errors or places to improve.
4. Model writing one step at a time
◆ Purposefully focus attention on modelling aspects of writing that most
pupils find difficult, or that have not yet become an automatic habit.
◆ Model the features of writing that pupils have not yet accomplished, then
help them move from one level to another.
5. Prompt, sift, analyse and evaluate contributions
◆ Every pupil should be challenged to apply and try. Provide brief pauses for
pupils to discuss in pairs, to jot ideas down, or to compose a short section of
text on a white board.
◆ Challenge, and do not necessarily accept first ideas. Avoid voting on which is
best. Ask for explanations, reasons and justifications.
◆ Demonstrate how a first idea can be improved.
◆ Establish the habit of ‘writing as a reader’ – write suggestions down and then
think about which ideas are the most effective, and the impact on the reader.
◆ Avoid over-reliance on the same eager pupils with their hands up. Use them
for good examples, but also ask others, by directing questions and requests
at them. Use misconceptions positively for teaching points.
◆ Statutory tests 2001 KS2 English, Mathematics and Science – Mark schemes
pack 2, QCA/01/695
◆ Improving Writing at Key Stages 3 & 4, QCA/99/392
◆ Not Whether But How; Teaching Grammar in English at KS3/4, QCA/99/418
◆ Grammar for Writing, DfEE 0107/2000
◆ Literacy across the curriculum training file, Module 2 ‘Writing non-fiction’,
DfEE 0235/2001
◆ English Department training file 2001, Module 4 ‘Writing non-fiction’ and
Module 6 ‘Writing narrative’, DfEE 0234/2001
Wr3: Formal essay
Produce formal essays in
standard English within a
specified time, writing
fluently and legibly and
maintaining technical
accuracy when writing at
About this objective
Many students will be familiar with various forms of writing but write formal
essays less frequently. This is an important skill required of them in the
National Curriculum tests and more generally across the curriculum in Key
Stage 4. It is helpful to make pupils familiar with examination mark schemes
and to study examples of successful essays. Pupils should be encouraged to
apply mark schemes to their own work. This objective builds on the sentence
level objectives across the key stage, e.g. Year 8 S11 and Year 9S9 and relates
closely to the Year 9 SL2, which requires pupils to ‘use standard English to
explain/explore or justify’. It focuses attention on the strategies that might be
employed to support pupils working effectively and formally within time
constraints and consolidates the planning objective Year 8 Wr1. Although the
discrete aspects of the objective can be explored separately, the skills required
should be practised as a whole.
What to teach
Pupils should be taught:
◆ To plan swiftly and concisely to support their responses in timed conditions.
◆ To be aware of what they need to achieve in a given time limit as well as
what they can actually achieve so that they plan a balanced response.
◆ The conventions of formal essays: pupils need to become confident in
writing in a formal style so that the formality can be produced at speed and
sustained throughout.
◆ To write concisely, covering a range of points, supported by crisp
explanations and brief examples, containing just sufficient detail: these
techniques need to be rehearsed before they are required under timed
◆ To make precise choices of vocabulary, to be able to manipulate sentence
structures for emphasis and to organise ideas effectively, to facilitate
economy of expression.
◆ To write legibly at speed and to couple this with ‘quick thinking’, when
composing their own responses.
◆ To pay attention to technical accuracy, throughout the writing process:
learning to make quick ‘best-guess’ judgements when they are unsure of a
spelling, and developing the habit of using appropriate punctuation as they
◆ To revise work in timed conditions, focusing on ensuring the planned
information has been provided and that errors made while writing are
corrected, without rewriting the entire piece.
Teaching approaches
◆ Use handwriting at speed as a starter activity, and introduce it as a
requirement during other activities to ensure regular practice. While speed
can be practised in isolation, it is important to couple this with the rapid
composing of ideas to make the context real.
◆ As starter activities, revise the linguistic features of formal essays: e.g.
passive, key phrases, connectives etc. Pupils could be asked to list them
quickly on their whiteboards, or to give an example of each, orally.
◆ As a starter activity, encourage a ‘best guess’ approach to spelling, by getting
pupils to attempt to spell more challenging commonly misspelled words on
whiteboards, as quickly as possible. This can be followed up, in a more
focussed way, in guided sessions.
◆ In shared and guided writing, rehearse sentences aloud to become familiar
with formal phrasing and to encourage speed.
◆ Revise the planning approaches explored in Year 8 and provide
opportunities for pupils to choose independently, justifying their choices.
Reviewing the effectiveness of the planning should be a part of the
evaluation of the finished piece.
◆ Explore sample formal essays to identify the features and summarise the
main conventions from these. Pupils could then use the notes created as a
checklist, when drafting and reviewing their own work.
◆ While writing frames could be provided for pupils initially, it is important that
they are able to work independently. To support this transition, teach pupils
how to develop their own writing frames for particular responses. This
focuses attention on the organisation of the ideas and how they will be
linked. They could also provide key words and phrases and reminders for
writing in a formal style. Stress that this can be a helpful strategy to employ,
when preparing for exams.
◆ Work backwards from a finished example of writing to determine what the
timed-conditions plan might have looked like, and reconstruct it with the
◆ In shared writing, review finished essays and their plans, to determine how
effectively the piece followed the plan – and how useful the plan had been.
◆ Model and give opportunities for pupils to practise the planning of
responses, stressing brevity, focus on structure, and references to examples,
as key features. This is a brief activity that is appropriate to teach at various
stages in the lesson, and could be rehearsed orally instead of written; it may
not be necessary for pupils to be required to go on to complete a final essay.
◆ Model techniques for revising work: adding in details missed, clarifying
phrasing of ideas, correcting technical errors and ensuring consistency. Use
response partners to support pupils in revising their own work before
introducing it as an independent task. Encourage pupils to always use the
checklist of criteria established by the class, when checking their own work.
◆ Use demonstration and independent time to practise writing about familiar
topics within time limits. This could focus on one section, with stamina for
completing a whole piece, built over time. Pupils should be given some
opportunities for sustained timed writing once they have developed their
To assess this objective
Pupils could be assessed for this objective at regular points in the year when
doing test preparation. It is important to assess the whole process from
interpreting the question, to planning, writing, checking and correcting the
final outcome. Pupils will only be able to produce legible, fluent handwriting
under timed conditions if this expectation is there whenever written work is
produced for an audience. It would be useful here to refer to previous essay
tasks and how effectively the student was able to complete the tasks. This
would help to set targets and inform teaching.
Sample task
◆ Pupils are set an essay question from a past test paper and complete it under
test conditions. Teacher marking identifies strengths and weaknesses and
targets are set for future improvements. Peer marking can also be used.
Performance indicators
Always sometimes rarely
◆ Can interpret the demands of the question or task accurately.
◆ Can use an appropriate planning format: e.g. flow diagram of main point
notes around PEE (point explanation evidence).
◆ Can organise contents of essay into clear structure appropriate for the task;
e.g. introduction, development and conclusion.
◆ Can use appropriate paragraph structure: e.g. main point with supporting
evidence or development.
◆ Can spell high frequency words and subject specific words with a high level
of accuracy throughout the final script.
◆ Can punctuate within sentences and at sentence boundaries with accuracy.
◆ Can write using the features of standard English consistently e.g. adopt the
appropriate mode of address; use tenses correctly; use pronouns consistently
and unambiguously.
◆ Can write legibly in cursive hand throughout the script.
◆ Can complete the task at an appropriate level of attainment in the time
◆ Can employ a variety of sentence structures to elaborate ideas.
◆ Can make appropriate vocabulary choices.
◆ Can self-check final script for accuracy and amend errors.
Example script
Task – Write an article about bullying for a local newspaper.
This task was written under timed conditions and was the third task in a
sequence of five.
Large Increase in Local Bullying
Recent statistics show that bullying has become a more and more serious
problem in our neighbourhood. 20% more boys and 32% more girls
admitted to bullying through teasing and 5% of these said that they
sometimes phisical.
We visited both two schools (both of which were not mixed secondary
schools) and the results we got were roughly the same. More children are
turning to bullying and some of the bullied become bullies themselves. The
headteacher of school No.1 said that they did not have much of a problem
with bullying and did not want to make an issue about it. He denied having
any problems with bullies. However head teacher No.2 said that she was
in the process of trying to get rid of all the bullies in her school because a
number of children had come to her asking for help.
Both Heads said that they felt bullying should be iradicated and teachers
and parents alike should help. We asked an expert on child psychology how
parents could help: a parent should never seem angry when tackling a
tender subject such as bullying. A lot of bullies are great people but have
either been bullied themselves and feel angry or are part of a gang and
don’t want to be left out. If your child is a victim it is best to consult a
person of authority rather than the bully or their parents. If the bullying
is physical attacks, maybe classed as assault, then you have every right to
take legal action. If you are a teacher, you should take whatever action
you feel is nessessary.
Teachers and parents do have power. It just takes a little sensitivity to
combat this kind of problem. Many of us here at the paper are parents
and we feel the same way. For more information check our website at
[email protected]
This pupil is a competent writer who has fully understood the demands of the
task. The planning is not evident here so the pupil will need to show planning
in future tasks. The pupil’s work has a clear structure with introduction,
development and conclusion. However, the pupil needs to work on
organisation of information within paragraphs to produce a clear, central
section. The piece begins in formal mode using standard English but this is less
secure in the central section where the pupil needs to adopt a more impersonal
style. There is some attempt to use complex sentences but this pupil needs
more work in this area to become secure. Spelling of high frequency words is
generally accurate but there is evidence of carelessness which could be
improved with checking procedures. Punctuation at sentence boundaries is
secure with the use of the colon within sentences. Vocabulary is well chosen
and precise.
Wr5: Narrative techniques
Explore different ways of
opening, structuring and
ending narratives and
experiment with narrative
perspective, e.g. multiple
About this objective
This objective requires pupils to experiment with different ways of structuring
narrative writing, building upon the Year 8 objective Wr5, which requires the
development of the use of commentary and description in narrative. Pupils
need to explore the effects of a variety of narrative approaches and develop
confidence in choosing these independently. They need to be able to write first,
second and third person narratives, from the perspectives of different narrators
and viewpoints. In particular, pupils need to plan to structure narratives in
unusual ways, and to use multiple narration to help them to link structure to
What to teach
◆ The effective use of the range of narrative voices (first, second and third
person narration).
◆ To use a range of methods for opening their stories (action, dialogue,
◆ To experiment with story structure (including chronological and use of
◆ How to plan for and write effective story endings (including a twist or moral).
◆ To select style and vocabulary to suit changes in viewpoint and to suit the
audience and purpose.
Teaching approaches
◆ As a ‘starter’, compile a list of favourite stories within the class. Establish the
genre, narrative perspective and structure for each story. Record on a chart.
Discuss, Is there a pattern? and use responses to generalise.
◆ Revise story endings by using a ‘starter’ in which story endings featuring
twists, morals or mystery are shared. The pupils’ task is to match the story
ending with the feature.
◆ Again, as a starter, display a range of narrative styles on an OHT, and ask
pupils to state whether they are examples of 1st, 2nd or 3rd person
narratives, using their white boards.
◆ Give pupils a variety of story extracts in different genres and written from a
variety of perspectives. Model text marking of pronouns to establish
narrative voices and highlighting clues to the genre. Pupils then do the same
for further extracts establishing genre and narrative voice for each extract.
In the plenary, discuss whether any specific genre is suited to a particular
narrative voice, e.g. autobiography – first person.
◆ Give pupils a story opening which includes a mystery. Model retelling the
story using flashback to show something that happened earlier. Model
adding a second narrative perspective. Annotate text to show how the story
is improved, and note by the side of it, the effect on the reader. Pupils then do
the same for a second story opening.
◆ Consider T.V. ‘soaps’. Look at their story structure and use of multiple
narration. Features could be recorded on a grid, on OHT, so that pupils can
readily begin to see comparisons between them.
◆ Read a short story written with multiple narration. Text mark, in different
colours, to show the different narrators. Establish the narrative perspective,
e.g. omniscient author, first person main character. Highlight examples of use
of formal and informal language according to character. In groups, pupils
continue with text marking for further extracts. In the plenary, discuss what
multiple narration adds to the story, e.g. Allows different opinions on
characters or events. Forces reader to have own opinion rather than just
adopting opinion of author. Allows for a variety of style and vocabulary.
Take a familiar story (one recently read by class or a fairy tale) and break it
into five sections. Record each section on a card, white board or large sheets
of paper, using only two or three sentences. Experiment with changing order,
e.g. Beginning at the end. Beginning with one of the middle sections and
moving backwards and forwards. (Do this physically.) Add a second or third
narrator. (Write changes in another colour.) Consider how this affects the
In shared reading, look at an opening and an ending for the same story (put
side by side on an OHT). Text mark to show links between opening and
ending, e.g. words and phrases in the ending which remind you of the
opening. Establish questions or problems presented in opening and link with
answers/resolutions in ending.
Give groups a story opening. Highlight clues to how the story might develop,
then use these clues to draft the ending of the story. In the plenary, compare
endings and establish the clues used to write them. A subsequent lesson
could focus on how altering the intended audience of the text might alter
the clues, and in some cases, the endings.
In shared writing, plan a story in a given genre. Pupils then write their own
story opening and use material from their own opening to write an ending.
Write them side by side. Next, response partners read both pieces and
highlight the links between them. S/he then records any questions or
comments about unresolved problems. Pupils then redraft the opening and
write the rest of the story.
Give each group a genre as a basis for a story. In groups, pupils plan the basic
story line and record on 5 cards or white boards . Experiment with changing
order and consider a variety of narrative perspectives. In pairs, use basic story
line and plan it in 2 different ways. Choose one plan as a basis for the first
draft of individual story. In the plenary, review the range of choices made
with reasons for decisions made.
Give a brief story outline to the class and discuss how the plot might develop.
Divide the class into groups and give each group a different set of narrative
devices (these could be on cards). All groups must write in the same genre
and use the same basic outline, e.g.
Group A – open story with action, write in first person, use flashback.
Group B – open with description, use chronological order, omniscient
Group C – open with dialogue, use two narrative perspectives, include
formal and informal language.
In the plenary, compare how these variations change the story and discuss
Towards the end of the sequence of teaching, review what has been learned
about successful short story writing, by recording as rules or reminders, on a
flip chart, the following: purpose, audience, structure, narrative perspective.
Next, give all pupils the same story scenario to write and, using the prompts
on the flip chart, to experiment with at least two different approaches to
writing the story. Finally, pupils evaluate their plans with a response partner,
decide on the best approach, and then go on to draft their stories.
Texts that employ multiple narration include: Voices in the Park (Browne),
Stone Cold, Abomination (Swindells); Tightrope (Cross).
Short stories make ideal reading to introduce pupils to different story
structures, particularly endings (e.g. Roald Dahl’s Lamb to the Slaughter).
To assess this objective
This objective would be assessed over several pieces of work, possibly based on
parts of narratives written in short bursts rather than whole pieces. These need
not necessarily always be final drafts. Alternatively, pupils may have
experimented with producing the same piece using different perspectives or
structures. Having done this, further evidence of pupils making independent
decisions about a particular structure or perspective suited to the narrative
should be sought. It is possible to assess structure and perspective separately,
although with multiple narration, the perspectives and structure are integral.
Assessment will involve reviewing a piece/pieces of work using performance
indicators to evaluate the extent to which pupils have achieved the various
elements of this objective. Attention to the planning stage should be an
important part of the assessment. Pupils should be encouraged to feed back
objectively to peers on the relative strengths of particular options. Assessment
may involve the pupils explaining changes and choices and their effects to the
teacher or in a group.
Sample tasks
◆ Pupils could plan a story outline or be given a short narrative. They rewrite it
using different perspectives or with a different structure and evaluate the
effects achieved by the different approaches. Pupils could plan their story in
different ways and choose one to write in full and evaluate. The planning
would form part of the assessment.
◆ Multiple narration: give pupils a narrative for them to add a different/
second perspective. Or provide a short story with more than one character.
Pupils write the story as a multiple narration. Having studied a book like
Voices in the Park, pupils could produce their own narrative told from many
◆ Drama could be used for pupils to tell a story from different perspectives.
◆ ICT would make an ideal medium for the experimenting with different
narrative perspectives and structures with pupils altering the text on screen,
perhaps using different colours to indicate various changes, or printing
staged changes.
◆ Different narrative perspectives and story structures could be introduced to
pupils over a period of time and collected together, perhaps with an
additional pupil commentary, for assessment.
Performance indicators
Always sometimes rarely
◆ Can begin stories with action, dialogue, narrative and description.
◆ Can structure stories chronologically, using flashback, using different time
periods, organised around simultaneous events, etc.
◆ Can end stories with a twist, reference to the opening, a different
perspective, suspense.
Narrative perspective
◆ Can choose to write first and second as well as third person narratives.
◆ Can adopt a voice different to that of the pupil.
◆ Can make use of different narrators within a story.
◆ Can plan effectively and economically.
◆ Can sustain the chosen structure and/or perspective appropriately.
◆ Can vary the choice of structure and/or perspective independently.
◆ Can evaluate the merits of various options in terms of their effect on the
I hovered around the room, not knowing whether to extend my arm in
comfort to mum or leave her in the company of her grief. She couldn’t
look me in the face, in fact, she couldn’t focus her gaze on anything in
particular. I examined the grain on the wood of the arm of the chair,
tracing the lines with my finger while I tried to decide what to do.
Example script
At that moment and for many to come, I felt isolated from the world, cut
off from life. I observed my youngest child insecure, unhappy and alone.
She seemed lost in her own thoughts as she sat in her father’s favourite
rocking chair. I had lost all power of communication. I needed to talk to
her, comfort her, but I was unable to. When she left the room, I was
almost relieved.
This short extract from the pupil’s work results from some short burst writing
after teacher modelling. This attempt to use the technique of multiple
narrators is fairly successful; the fact that there are two narrators is clear. This
pupil would need to work on how this technique could be maintained
throughout a piece of narrative writing without becoming confusing or
irritating for the reader. These two paragraphs are also structured around a
simultaneous event; the pupil would need more work around the use of this
structural device to use it successfully in a longer piece.
Wr9: Integrate information
Integrate diverse information
into a coherent and
comprehensive account
About the objective
This objective requires pupils to make notes in appropriate detail, to organise
them so that the writing is clearly structured with ideas logically linked, and to
express points concisely and avoid repetition. Pupils also need to make
decisions about what is relevant to include. They need to pay attention to the
ordering of paragraphs and making cohesive links and to frequently re-read as
they write. As part of the drafting process, they should look for gaps in
information and a consistency in tone and level of detail.
This objective builds upon Year 8 Wr10, which requires pupils to organise
information and guide the reader through the text, and links with Year 9
objectives, R9 and SL7, which both relate to selecting and gathering
information. This objective can be taught cross-curricular. The objective links
closely to 9S6 and 9Wr14.
What to teach
Pupils need to be taught to:
◆ Plan effectively and how to avoid or eradicate repetition.
◆ Organise notes so that points are grouped logically into paragraphs and
linked effectively.
◆ Express points in such a way that there is a consistent style throughout the
final account.
◆ Structure sentences so that several points may be made succinctly in one
sentence, e.g. by using complex sentences and lists.
◆ And, finally to:
i) check that all necessary points have been included;
ii) redraft their work, to include substantial improvements;
iii) edit their work to improve fluency and economy.
Teaching approaches
◆ Use the lesson starter as an opportunity to practise avoiding repetition and
irrelevance. Give pairs of pupils a topic upon which to collect notes and three
short examples of notes from different sources, labelled A, B and C. The
pupils cross out anything irrelevant in A, cross out anything irrelevant and
already mentioned in A or B and anything irrelevant or already mentioned in
A or B or C. Compare what remains with other pairs.
◆ Practise grouping notes in the lesson starter by asking pupils to sort notes
under headings, which, initially should be chosen by the teacher, but later,
should be selected by the pupils.
◆ As a starter, pupils are each given one or two cards with individual points on
them which could be included in an account. Their task is to place them, as
quickly as possible, on sheets of paper (distributed around the room) which
represent paragraphs of the account. They are then asked to give reasons for
placing their ‘point cards’ in their chosen positions.
◆ Use the lesson starter to rehearse checking for consistency of writing for a
particular purpose and audience in a defined context. Cut up three pieces of
writing, giving similar information from different sources into sentences, e.g.
information about free range eggs from an RSPCA advertisement, an article
in a teenage magazine and an information leaflet for farmers. Shuffle the
sentences and ask pupils to put them back into their original groups. Extend
this by asking pupils to identify the sentences that were easiest and most
difficult to place, and then to say why.
◆ As a starter, focus upon linking paragraphs by using domino cards. On the
left side of the card write the beginning of the paragraph, and on the right
side, write the ending. Pairs of pupils play dominoes with the cards or work
together to arrange all the dominoes in the best order. This could be made
more challenging by giving the pupils only one side of the domino filled in,
and asking them to fill in the other side, in order to make a link. Pupils could
then compare their different versions.
◆ Ask pupils, in pairs, to define a list of features that would be found in a
‘coherent and comprehensive’ account; next share these suggestions with
the class, and compile a definitive list on OHT or flip chart, to be used by the
whole group.
◆ Model the various stages of note making: demonstrating striking out
repetition and irrelevance, adding extra detail, highlighting key points,
colour-coding/numbering to show possible grouping, and making the
reasons for these choices explicit.
◆ Model sorting notes into groups, by putting large sheets of paper on the
walls all around the room. Put a title on each large sheet of paper. Have
notes written on Post-its and talk through placing each Post-it on an
appropriate large sheet of paper. Extend this by asking a small group to take
each of the large sheets and to suggest which, if any, of the notes they would
move to another sheet and to say why. They could also begin to look for any
repetition and irrelevance and to order the notes on the sheet, justifying the
reasons for their decisions.
◆ Demonstrate re-reading as the writing takes place, and looping back to
improve fluency and economy.
◆ Show pupils on OHT a text where diverse information has been integrated.
Next, distribute copies of the text and ask the pupils to underline examples
of loss of fluency in one colour, and a lack of economy in another. Consider
first in pairs, and then as a class, what improvements could be made and
annotate the OHT accordingly.
To assess this objective
The assessment of this objective will include all stages of the process from the
note making to the final piece of work and is best assessed in conjunction with
9R2. Drafts can be reviewed to gauge the success with which pupils have
integrated information, particularly the way paragraphs are organised and
linked to enhance clarity and logic.
Pupils’ ability to integrate information and check the logical organisation of
points as they write could be monitored in guided groups.
Sample tasks
◆ Pupils are given a list of information and a word limit. They must organise
the points, focusing on ways of combining details concisely in sentences
appropriate to a particular purpose and audience. A similar activity could be
presented, with pupils organising notes into paragraphs.
◆ Pupils make notes from different sources, combining the information in their
notes before organising it into paragraphs for a defined purpose and
◆ Pupils use their notes to draft a text, following a planned structure and using
concisely expressed sentences for a defined purpose and audience.
◆ Pupils experiment with re-drafting by being given additional information at
intervals as they write that must be included.
Performance indicators
Always sometimes rarely
◆ Can select relevant information from different sources.
◆ Can make concise notes from different sources, avoiding repetition.
◆ Can organise notes so that points are grouped logically.
◆ Can combine and re-present information in a coherent structure appropriate
to the task, e.g. an essay with a clear introduction, middle and end;
paragraphing using subheadings.
◆ Can organise information within paragraphs.
◆ Can use sentence structure explicitly to express several points concisely, e.g.
complex sentences, lists.
◆ Can make purposeful use of the notes or plan during the writing of the draft.
◆ Can edit the final product to eliminate discrepancies in tone and style.
◆ Can add further detail if necessary to the text once it has been written to
ensure a comprehensive account.
Example script
Notes (for one paragraph) made from a range of sources on animal cruelty:
Battery farming: cages small – means they don’t get exercise – put on
weight faster, no fresh air, just eat, they don’t know any different, injure
themselves – pecking. Distress, strange behaviour. Beaks clipped.
Economical, cheap meat but not as nice. Automatic feeding systems –
farmer not seeing them as animals.
Paragraph from the essay
Another way that animals are badly treated is battery farming. This is
where lots of chickens are reared in small cages with no room to turn
round. They are treated like this because it is cheaper. They might not
know any different but it is still cruel. They can’t do natural things like
fly. They have nothing to do except eat and, because they can’t move
around, they put on weight quickly. They sometimes peck at themselves
and each other and show other signs of distress. Their beaks are
clipped to stop them doing this. I’m sure they’d be much happier if they
could roam freely.
The notes cover many different points, including different viewpoints. The
pupil has made an attempt to develop points and link them together in the
plan, but within the final paragraph, the points have the feel of a list rather
than points which are carefully linked to the main idea. Work on connectives
would help the pupil to write more coherently. There is some attempt to use
complex sentences but most sentences are compound or simple sentences. The
pupil would benefit from some explicit teaching of complex sentences in order
to develop a more mature, fluent style. The pupil also needs to work on
developing the writing by adding detail to the main points.
Wr14: Counter-argument
Make a counter-argument to
a view that has been
expressed, addressing
weaknesses in the argument
and offering alternatives
About this objective
Pupils are required to respond to whole texts (written or spoken) as critical
readers/listeners and sophisticated writers. They should go beyond offering
the opposite of an expressed view and identify and express subtle differences
in opinions. Their writing needs to make clear its connection to the original
(through direct or indirect quotation and through its use of connective phrases)
and be structured in an appropriate way. In this way, it builds on its Year 8
counterpart, Wr 14, which requires pupils to signpost arguments clearly. This
objective links to 9SL9, 9R2, 9Wr9 and 9S6.
What to teach
Pupils should be taught to:
◆ Identify the main points of the original argument to address.
◆ Make reference to these either in their own words, summarising, or by
quoting the original.
◆ Ensure that the content of the counter-argument itself is coherent, and that,
at a simple level, a counter-argument would be the opposite view of the
original, but could also be a more subtle difference in opinion.
◆ Remember that facts, opinions and other evidence can be interpreted in
different ways.
◆ How to use connectives and subordinate clauses within complex sentences
to establish the relationship between the argument and counter-argument.
◆ Different ways of structuring the points. It is likely that alternative
interpretations will be suggested after each weakness in the argument is
addressed, and that the structure of the original argument will be reflected
in the response.
Teaching approaches
◆ As a starter, give each pair of pupils a statement which they have to extend,
using the following stems:
For example, Yes, trees are green BUT their trunks are brown AND MORE
IMPORTANTLY the trunk makes up a large proportion of the tree.
In this way, pupils are taught to develop and extend ideas more subtly than
by simply contradicting the original point.
◆ As a starter, construct a card sort activity in which pupils need to group a
mixture of pieces of evidence for each point, some of which will be subtly
contradictory, and then take feedback asking them to justify the ways in
which they organised their points. This activity should be used at the
beginning of the planning process.
◆ Share the reading and analysis of a well-written counter-argument, drawing
attention to its structure and rhetorical devices. Use a range of texts over
time, such as newspapers, feature articles, editorials and letters.
◆ Annotate a piece of text with possible counter-arguments, by the side of it.
Initially, this may be an activity to demonstrate, but gradually pupils will be
able to undertake it as shared work (as a whole class contributing to writing
on the OHT or white board), then as guided work.
◆ Give pupils a planning sheet which has one column to record the key
arguments of a text, and a second column which supports the planning of
the counter-argument, following the structure of the original.
◆ Give pupils a letter of protest and ask them to annotate key points, and then
respond in groups, from an opposing viewpoint. Compare various responses
and share the most successful on OHT.
◆ Show pupils a good example of a speech and get them to write another in
response, in pairs or threes. Finally, ask them to share their responses with
the class, demonstrating clearly how they have responded to the points in
the original text.
◆ Give pupils a deliberately provocative statement to which they can construct
a focused counter-argument, in pairs or groups. This could form a starter
activity, though it is important in Year 9 to nurture the stamina involved in
developing whole and sustained text.
◆ Model how to write an introduction which gives a brief general response to
the original argument, heralding the main points of counter-argument,
without citing the supporting evidence (which will be used in the main body
of the text). Explain and discuss the selected structure and choice of words, as
the writing is modelled.
◆ Print a selection of connectives of explanation and/or contradiction on
cards. Distribute them to groups of pupils. The task is for pupils, in turn, to
select a subject, from a given list to explore, then, in turn to pick a random
card and include the connective on it, in their next sentence. This could also
be used as a starter activity.
◆ Set up a role play in which pupils are told of a decision that has been made
but are not given details of the decision. For example, ‘a friend intends to
leave home’ or ‘the headteacher has closed the tuck shop’. They then need to
anticipate, through drama, the arguments which might have informed the
decision, and construct a counter-argument to the decision. This could then
lead into an independent writing task, which would entail changing the oral
form, to a formal register.
◆ In groups of three, pupils annotate an argumentative piece, construct a
counter-argument and keep a record of how and why they constructed it as
they did. This could then be presented to the rest of the class: with one pupil
reading the argument, a second reading the counter-argument, with the
third pupil providing a ‘voice-over’, explaining the decisions they made.
◆ Set up response groups who can use the plenary to evaluate the strengths of
each other’s counter arguments and suggest further ideas.
◆ In the plenary, get pupils to compose their own checklist of advice for others
who are asked to respond to an argument.
◆ As part of the plenary, ask pupils to identify other school subjects in which
this kind of writing will be required and discuss possible adjustments to the
model proposed in English.
To assess this objective
This objective could be assessed in a completed piece of writing such as a
persuasive essay, working with pupils during guided writing sessions, or
through peer evaluation and self-evaluation. The more successful attempts to
satisfy this objective will be where pupils are using specific techniques such as
agreeing at first with the point made only to then identify several reasons why
such an argument is flawed; less successful attempts will be expressed simply in
terms of opposition. 9Wr9 and 9R2 could be assessed in conjunction with this
objective. Although this objective is suited to non-fiction, an able group could
also use conflicting interpretations of a literary text or texts as the basis for the
work to be assessed.
Sample tasks
◆ Pupils identify key points made about an issue and research facts, evidence
and opinions to identify where there are weaknesses in the argument and to
support other viewpoints. These are used to annotate the original text.
◆ Pupils reply to a letter of complaint or a critical report giving an opposing
view to the one expressed.
◆ Pupils write a formal persuasive speech or essay on a particular issue.
Performance indicators
Always sometimes rarely
◆ Can identify and summarise the main points of an argument.
◆ Can identify specific points to oppose.
◆ Can identify weaknesses in an argument and present alternative facts,
opinions or interpretations to counter such weaknesses.
◆ Can use a range of connectives when countering arguments, e.g. whereas;
despite however; that said; although.
◆ Can organise and link paragraphs effectively.
◆ Can organise points within a paragraph to lead the reader persuasively
through an argument.
◆ Can use complex sentences to present, elaborate and oppose ideas.
◆ Can identify and express subtle differences in opinions.
◆ Can employ specific techniques to counter arguments.
NB If specific techniques have been focused upon in the teaching, the use of
these should be included in the performance indicators.
Example script
Counter-argument to views expressed in an essay criticising battery farming.
Original argument
Another way that animals are badly treated is battery farming. This is
where lots of chickens are reared in small cages with no room to turn
round. They are treated like this because it is cheaper. They might not
know any different but it is still cruel. They can’t do natural things like
fly. They have nothing to do except eat and because they can’t move
around, they put on weight quickly. They sometimes peck at themselves
and each other and show other signs of distress. Their beaks are clipped
to stop them doing this. I’m sure they’d be much happier if they could
roam freely.
Some people believe that battery farming is cruel. However, these people
often know little about the real facts. They claim that the cages are too
small for them to fly in and move around in. However, this is all the
chickens know and therefore they don’t expect the cages to be any
different. The fact that people think this is cruel is just them being
emotional. People also say that they eat all day and put on weight quickly.
That is the whole point. People want cheap meat and it is cheaper if the
birds don’t take a long time to get fat enough to be killed for meat.
Accidents do sometimes happen in the cages, with the birds trying to
peck each other or getting caught on the cage, but accidents happen when
chickens are kept in other ways too. Chickens don’t have feelings like
humans do and don’t think about roaming freely.
The pupil has stated the original viewpoint clearly at the start of the
paragraph. The connective ‘however’ immediately establishes a counterargument. The pupil then focuses on the points made in the original argument
in sequence. The pupil relies heavily on the connective ‘however’ and needs to
learn some alternative ways of linking or opposing arguments. The paragraph
is logically organised and alternative viewpoints are expressed although the
level of detail is somewhat superficial; the pupil tends to simply oppose rather
than develop the point with an alternative view. The pupil needs to look at how
combining arguments in complex sentences could make the writing more
fluent and economical.
Wr16: Balanced analysis
Present a balanced analysis
of a situation, text, issue or
set of ideas, taking into
account a range of evidence
and opinions
About this objective
This objective differs from its counterpart in Year 8, Wr16, in terms of the extent
of the range of evidence and opinions that will be considered. Pupils should also
be given opportunities to analyse less concrete matters like ideas and
situations as well as texts. By Year 9, pupils should be able to recognise the
varying viewpoints more readily and concentrate on the different ways of
structuring them to produce a balanced analysis. It could be taught in
conjunction with 9R2, which requires pupils to synthesise information from a
range of information. This objective links with 9S3, 9S4, 9Wr14 and 9Wr15.
What to teach
Pupils should be taught to:
◆ Compose an effective introduction that sets out the main issues to be
explored, but does not include evidence or other details; and a conclusion
which is similarly impartial, but which may contain some personal
◆ Present a balanced analysis by comparing and contrasting or arguing, for
and against all the way through, taking one aspect of the topic at a time.
◆ Employ alternative methods of organising essays: for example, how one
viewpoint can be presented in its entirety, followed by a contrasting view,
presented in a way that draws links between the two.
◆ Use a variety of ways of organising points within paragraphs, and to revise
the use of connectives to support this.
◆ Select information and detail with the audience in mind, and how to
successfully integrate quotations and reference into their essays. For
example: as separate sentences using connectives, e.g. Many zoos try to save
endangered species through their breeding programmes. For example,
London Zoo has recently bred Panda cubs. Likewise, Edinburgh Zoo has… ;
within sentences with details given as a list in brackets, e.g. There are zoos
(e.g. London Zoo, Edinburgh Zoo) that breed endangered species (e.g. Pandas,
White Rhino); and by integrating quotations into the sentence, e.g. The
description of Lady Macbeth as a “fiend-like Queen” suggests that she has
connections with the devil… or might require introduction, e.g. Lady
Macbeth is described in words that link her with the devil, “fiend-like Queen”.
◆ Write a conclusion in which key points are summarised, and a personal
opinion my be expressed.
Teaching approaches
◆ During starter activities, revise the use of connectives and how they link one
point of view or piece of evidence with another and make the relationship
between them clear: adding (as well as; moreover); contrast/comparison
(whereas, however, similarly, on the other hand); cause and effect (because,
since, as a result); illustrating (for example; such as); introduction and
comment on evidence (this shows that; I know this because).
◆ The impartial, formal style required for this type of writing could also be
revised during starter activities: pupils could be asked to change sentences
and phrases into a more formal or passive form.
◆ Model writing effective introductions; in particular the skills of extracting key
details, summarising and organising them, in order to convince the reader to
read on.
◆ Follow the teaching sequence for writing, starting by sharing sample texts
with pupils to identify key features and define the conventions re:
connectives; text structure; words introducing different viewpoints in a
balanced way; the different opinions represented; how evidence and
quotations are incorporated.
◆ Model the way in which points need to be matched logically against each
other, and where there is not an obvious opposite point to make, a point of
similar importance or interest might be made, instead.
◆ Model various ways of organising essays: for example, either by stating the
most significant points first, or by chronology, or by building up to a particularly
important, emotive or convincing point at the end. After modelling, the
merits of the various alternatives should be discussed with pupils.
◆ Model the use of appropriate planning strategies to support the response
required. Pupils could brainstorm ideas, but categorise them by colourcoding, listing in columns, moving cards around into the different viewpoints,
to ensure the response will provide a balance. They could then organise their
notes to support their way of structuring the response.
◆ Demonstrate how to plan with the final structure of the essay in mind, for
example by listing points in columns representing different viewpoints,
colour-coding points to identify the viewpoint, numbering points to indicate
sequence. Some points should be identified as major points to be explored in
stages, and others as smaller points that can be integrated with others. (Card
sort activities can be used in the independent part of the lesson, to practise
this skill further).
◆ Demonstrate the writing of one part of the response, with a clear focus on
the conventions: e.g. introduction or conclusion, including integration of
◆ Some pupils, including pupils at the early stages of learning English as an
additional language, might require scaffolds, for example, sentence starters
to demonstrate the use of connectives or formal expression; questions and
other prompts; word bank (e.g. connectives).
◆ In the independent part of the lesson, pupils can work in groups to examine
particular pieces of evidence or opinions, and combine these in home groups
to reach a balanced understanding, before they start writing their response.
This is followed by writing a concise summary of the various viewpoints
◆ After modelling adding alternative viewpoints to a one-sided argument,
pupils then practise the skill, on subsequent sections of an essay, in
pairs/small groups. This focuses attention on how to structure a more
balanced response and how ideas should be linked. It also involves pupils in
frequent re-reading to assess the effect of the fluency and logic of the
arguments, on the reader.
◆ Encourage peer evaluation: allow opportunities for pupils to annotate a
partner’s work using the agreed criteria.
◆ In the plenary, use an enlarged copy of students’ work to identify particular
features focused on during the lesson: e.g. the way evidence has been
integrated; the use of connectives to link points; punctuation; use of passive
voice and other formal, impersonal writing.
To assess this objective
Pupils could be asked to write a discursive essay. The final draft of the essay
could be used to assess this objective, focusing on the overall structure of the
text; the effectiveness of the sequence of information; the different ways
quotations and references are integrated and the appropriateness of the style
of the writing for the audience and purpose. It would also be useful to assess
the planning as the success of the final piece is reliant upon sound preparation.
Sample tasks
◆ A formal essay on a literary or non-fiction text, e.g. representation of youth
culture in the media.
◆ A review of a book or event.
◆ A discursive essay offering an analysis of options available in a particular
Performance indicators
Always sometimes rarely
◆ Can organise notes and use an appropriate planning format for the task.
◆ Can summarise evidence and opinions concisely extracting key points to
introduce the topic.
◆ Can use an overall structure appropriate to purpose and audience, e.g. use
introduction, development and conclusion in a discursive essay.
◆ Can sequence information, arguments and ideas logically and helpfully for
the reader.
◆ Can structure paragraphs appropriate to the task e.g. presenting one side of
the argument first, then the opposing arguments in a sequence of
paragraphs; comparing and contrasting arguments or viewpoints within the
same paragraph.
◆ Can use connectives to signal the links between ideas, opinions or evidence.
◆ Can write in a formal, impersonal style, e.g. use of the passive voice, use of
the third person.
◆ Can write using the vocabulary and grammar of standard English.
◆ Can integrate supporting evidence, e.g. quotations, references.
◆ Can draw concise, balanced conclusions.
◆ Can relate own opinions to those expressed.
Example script
The class has seen two versions of Macbeth: Polanski’s film and a version made
for television. They then discussed the two productions, focusing on particular
scenes, such as when Macbeth meets the witches.
The two versions of Macbeth that we have seen both have strengths and
weaknesses. The Polanski version is eerie and dramatic but set in the
correct historical period for the events depicted. The television version
is modern but is nonetheless disturbing as it shows the relevance of the
themes in the play to life today.
The scene where Macbeth goes to see the witches shows how different
the interpretations are. In Polanski’s Macbeth, the scene is set in isolated
countryside on a desolate beach and the witches are really old and ugly.
This makes us think they are evil. Also they cackle a lot so their voices
are scary. However, some people thought they were funny because of the
way they looked and talked. They probably didn’t understand the evil in
their words.
In the television version, the witches are younger and are wearing masks
so they seem weird. They skate around Macbeth on roller blades in a car
park so it is more modern but some people find it difficult to understand
why they are there. One person thought they were disturbing because it
is like a nightmare with evil things going round and round you making you
feel trapped. They are like bullies on the playground. This is frightening
because it is something we can relate to. I think this scene is more
effective in the television production because it is different. The witches
aren’t just typical witches but are like something that would be evil today.
This pupil has a clear structure to the piece with an introduction setting out the
arguments and paragraphs that analyse the relevant scene. A conclusion,
however, is not in evidence here. Each paragraph looks at one interpretation of
the scene and presents differing views about the interpretation. Reference is
made to opinions other than the pupil’s own although these need to be
introduced in a more formal style. There is occasional use of connectives to
show the relationship between ideas but a wider range of appropriate
connectives in conjunction with greater use of complex sentences would result
in notable improvements to this piece of work.
Teaching speaking and listening objectives
This section contains a bank of teaching ideas to help the teaching of key text
level objectives for speaking and listening in Key Stage 3. Teaching with the
speaking and listening objectives either involves linking them in with other
objectives from the Framework for teaching English; Years 7,8 and 9, or setting
up specific sequences of work on speaking and listening designed to teach
clusters of objectives. A typical teaching sequence will look like this:
Teaching objectives – made explicit to the class
Provide an example/model and use in class/group
investigation or discussion
Identify purposes, outcomes, ‘ground rules’
and key language conventions
Set an activity or task that enables pupils to
rehearse and explore the objective in
a supportive context
Reflection and review (plenary),
refocusing on the objective(s)
One of the practical difficulties in teaching speaking and listening is gaining
access to good models to enable investigation, analysis and reflection. In some
cases, this may involve using examples on audio and videotape. On other
occasions the teacher will need to model or demonstrate what is expected.
Identifying ‘ground rules’ and language conventions
Because spoken language is ephemeral, key ingredients in teaching it are to
engage pupils in preliminary discussions about the purposes, outcomes and
approaches they will need to adopt, and to pick out some key criteria for
The section in the following pages entitled ‘What to Teach’ focuses specifically
on features of language typical of different purposes for speaking and on
what pupils need to know and do as listeners when listening for different
purposes. Pupils need to draw these out after they have analysed and
investigated models and examples, but teachers may need to draw explicit
attention to key features, especially as looking this closely at the language
and structure of interactive talk may be a new challenge for pupils at Key
Stage 3.
Activities and tasks
Teachers should plan tasks and activities that will focus pupils’ attention on
the objective and will prompt and provoke successful usage. Close attention
will need to be given to:
◆ groupings: size; composition.
◆ tasks: group outcomes (spoken as well as written); clear time constraints;
that promote different kinds of speaking and listening.
◆ classroom layout and organisation: to enable a move from whole- class
to pair/group talk and back again; to enable groups to form and reform, or
for pupils to move from group to group.
◆ feedback: setting different aspects of a task to different groups to avoid
repetition; using ‘envoys’ to take a group’s ideas to a new group; determining
the spokesperson at the outset; managing it centrally if there are messages
everyone must get in the same way.
Encouraging reflection and review
◆ Teach pupils specific terminology such as: turn-taking; contribution;
anecdote; spokesperson; appropriateness; non-standard; monologues;
dialogue; tone; emphasis; ambiguity; intention; sub-text; pace; eye-contact;
body language.
◆ Introduce talk logs or journals. Encourage pupils to note down successful
contributions, and areas for improvement.
◆ Discuss and agree in advance specific criteria for success, and use to assist
◆ Use pupil observers to stand back and observe others and then to feedback
at a plenary session.
◆ Build in quick pair/group discussion as a matter of routine at the end of an
oral activity.
Drama techniques
◆ Freeze-frame:
Pupils select a key moment and create a still picture to recreate it.
Use for reflection by other groups, or to lead into thought-tapping.
◆ Thought-tapping:
Pupils speak aloud private thoughts and reactions in role. The teacher
freezes an improvisation or scripted piece, and activates an individual’s
thoughts by tapping them lightly on the shoulder.
◆ Mime:
Pupils show a key moment or interpret it without words, using exaggerated
gesture and facial expression.
◆ Hot-seating:
One person takes on the role of a character from a book or from real life/
history, etc; others plan and ask questions and the pupil responds in role.
◆ Role on the wall:
Draw an outline of a character on a large sheet of paper. With either
improvised or scripted drama, ask pupils to build up a picture of the
character by writing key words and phrases inside the outline. The teaching
focus is on justifying the words that are written by reference to the text
being studied or situation explored.
◆ Transporting a character:
In groups pupils take a character and transport them to a different
place/time zone, or to interact with a different set of characters.
The aim is to preserve the key features of the role. For example,
transporting a character into a chat show, or on trial.
◆ Alter ego:
Groups offer advice to another character at a critical moment in his/her life.
◆ Forum theatre:
One group acts out a scene in front of others surrounding them in a circle.
Watchers are able to stop the action and make suggestions for
improvement, possibly by demonstration, before action proceeds.
◆ ‘Teaching speaking and listening in KS1 and 2’, QCA/99/391
◆ Year 7 Speaking and Listening Bank, DfEE 0141/2001
◆ English Department training file 2001, Module 7 ‘Speaking and Listening’
DfEE 0234/2001
◆ Literacy across the curriculum training file, Module 8 ‘Listening’, DfEE
SL2: Standard English
Use standard English to
explain, explore or justify an
About this objective
The use of standard English should be related to purpose and audience. It is
important to be clearly understood when conveying ideas to an audience.
Pupils need to practise explaining ideas in formal contexts and need to move
beyond tentative, exploratory talk into more incisive comments. Pupils should
be aware of differences between spoken and written standard English.
Although in formal spoken English full sentences are not always used, pupils
may make use of more formal devices: subordinate clauses, passive voice,
connectives to show the relationship between ideas. At word level, vocabulary
needs to be understood by all, with both vagueness and jargon avoided. Pupils
might self-correct as they speak, to ensure that the use of standard English is
What to teach
◆ That there are choices to be made about use of standard English (SE) in both
written and oral work.
◆ The importance of spoken SE: some people have very strong views and
expectations about its use and some situations demand it, e.g. debates, job
interviews. Attitudes may change over time but it is empowering to have a
good grasp of when SE is appropriate and develop confident use of its
features as part of a spoken language repertoire.
◆ That use of SE is determined by audience, purpose, context and that it can
vary in degree of formality.
◆ The specific features of SE and how it differs from dialectal variations, e.g.
subject/verb agreement, past tense, adverbs, negatives, pronouns,
◆ When SE is likely to be required in the classroom, e.g. formal debates,
prepared presentations, whole-class discussion. Point out when very formal
SE may be inappropriate, e.g. pair work.
◆ Standard English can be spoken in any accent.
◆ How to start by orientating listeners, including a logical sequence of points
which needs signalling to the audience, e.g. In this talk I am going to ... , First
of all, I would like to ... , Now I am going to explain how ... , Finally ...
◆ How to use the first person and present tense to explain ideas about texts or
issues, e.g. I think David Hill includes comedy in order to ...
◆ How to illuminate points by examples or evidence, e.g. An example of this
can be seen in the final paragraph when ... ; In Holland, for example,
euthanasia has ...
◆ How to elaborate or clarify, e.g. You can perfect this skill by ... ; This technique
is used again in the second stanza when the poet ...
◆ How to monitor audience understanding by questions during or after the
explanation. Does everyone understand what I mean by ... ?, Before I conclude,
are there any questions...?
◆ How to conclude explanations by phrases such as I hope everyone now has a
better grasp of my point of view on this issue.
◆ How to signal tentativeness by incorporating tentative words or phrases
such as perhaps, maybe, it may be possible to ... .
◆ How to establish an exploratory tone at the outset by a statement of intent,
e.g. I would like to consider what would happen if... .
◆ How to use rhetorical questions to draw in the audience, e.g. What could this
possibly mean? Have you ever wondered why ...?
◆ How to link ideas to ensure listeners follow the speaker’s thinking e.g.
Another issue raised by the article is ... ; An alternative interpretation is that
Dickens is ... ;
◆ How to explore the implications of ideas through constructions such as If ...
then, e.g. If this is the case, then it is likely that ... ; If I am right, it may also
mean that ... .
◆ How to justify ideas by evidence of some kind: data, quotations, illustrative
examples. The common pattern for justifying an idea is: explain it, provide
supportive evidence, confirm your point.
◆ How to use formal orienting phrases such as I shall now explain why I ... or
Support for my view is provided by … .
◆ How to introduce specific evidence by phrases such as For instance; Take the
case of ... and to justify an idea with reasons using because.
◆ Different factors may be itemised, e.g. Firstly ... Another reason is ... , Finally...
◆ Earlier points by other contributors may be countered using formal phrases
such as Unlike the previous speaker, I believe ... because... .
Teaching approaches
◆ Use a two-column grid to itemise and compare the key differences between
spoken standard and non-standard English. Include points related to
grammar, e.g. adverbs (I want to move on quickly vs I want to move on quick)
and vocabulary (Ray Bradbury likes to mess around with ... vs Ray Bradbury
experiments with...)
◆ Use a role play to explore the impact of inappropriate language in formal
contexts, e.g. the use of slang by the headteacher in assembly or nonstandard grammar by a newscaster reading the ten o’clock bulletin.
◆ Analyse the features of a transcription of a more formal spoken text , e.g. a
parliamentary speech or the Queen’s Christmas message. Read it together,
then ask pupils to highlight and annotate features of the text before
discussing it.
◆ Interfere with specific features of a transcribed formal spoken text. Change
occasional words or phrases so they are too colloquial for the context. Ask
pupils to identify interferences and to provide alternatives with reasons.
◆ Ask small groups to brainstorm the features of more formal talk, using a
diagram such as a star chart: each group should focus on one of: explain,
explore, justify. Get the class to report back ideas: discuss, record on the white
board or OHT, revise, then ask groups to produce a poster or leaflet
explaining key features.
◆ Model one type of talk to the class, e.g. explaining a hobby in a more formal
presentation to the class. Demonstrate the beginning of the talk. Ask pupils
to note key phrases and other features as you go. Discuss and record key
points then continue with the next stage of the talk, asking pupils to take
over. Then ask pupils to work in pairs to complete the task.
◆ Specify your expectations of SE and degree of formality when you set oral
tasks. Discuss, agree and record key features. Remind the class as they carry
out the task.
◆ During oral work, praise good use of SE and comment constructively on how
less appropriate language could be improved.
◆ Provide journals for speaking and listening work. Ask pupils to write
reflectively about their own and other pupils’ oral work, focusing on specific
aspects, e.g. use of SE grammar and vocabulary. Expectations for specific
tasks could also be noted here.
To assess this objective
This objective could be assessed through paired, group or whole-class talk.
Assessment could be based on relatively short tasks and is likely to focus on a
few pupils on any one occasion. Pupils need to demonstrate that they can use
the vocabulary and grammar of spoken standard English. Peer and selfevaluation using the performance indicators are also useful ways of assessing
this objective. The purpose and audience for the task is key: pupils need to
show an awareness of which contexts demand the use of spoken standard
Sample tasks
◆ Pupils participate in a whole-class debate, explaining and justifying their
ideas in formal, standard English.
◆ In groups, pupils explore an issue, perhaps in a role requiring standard
English. A pupil in the group could be an observer, recording any nonstandard English.
◆ Individually, pupils present a proposal, explaining the concept and justifying
their idea. Again, this could be a task done in role.
Performance indicators
Always sometimes rarely
◆ Can identify contexts where standard English is necessary.
◆ Can select vocabulary suited to the context and for clarity.
◆ Can elaborate points using complex sentence structures and connectives.
◆ Can elaborate points using clear examples.
◆ Can avoid the use of dialect, colloquialisms and words or expressions
pertaining to specific social groups.
◆ Can explain the effect of using standard English on the intended audience or
◆ Can identify and self-correct when non-standard forms are used.
◆ Can use the appropriate form of address.
◆ Can maintain correct subject verb agreement.
◆ Can structure talk in a clear, logical way, showing awareness of spoken
Example script
Speaking and listening record
Objective: Standard English
Task: Pupils present a proposal to the school council.
Student A noted observations about Student B during the task.
Proposed more drink/snack machines.
1 Explained problem with current situation: made lots of complaints,
not always in SE when got excited about the problems. Colloquial:
“dead bad” and non-standard: “we was” during anecdote about current
2 Details of what pupils want & reasons why each of these is necessary:
– more choice – so can have what want e.g. hot and cold drinks, sweets
and crisps;
– machines that work – so don’t lose money;
– different venues – so can get to a machine more quickly.
More formal here – SE used. Points clearly stated and confident –
3 Justified ideas further – sensible reasons – q. detailed – keep
occupied at breaks; stop the rush to the few machines that work and
the crowding, hot drinks to keep them warm in the winter – healthier
than pop. Some comments about the behaviour it would stop were
informally expressed (“doing their heads in”) but used some formal
expressions in a complex sentence to convince: “If these extra
machines are made available, the school will become a happier place”.
This pupil has understood the purpose and audience of the task, and has used
spoken standard English effectively at times, particularly when expressing
rehearsed arguments. The pupil has chosen some appropriate vocabulary and
used the passive tense on one occasion. The use of non-standard English was
present when the pupil was responding to points raised thus demonstrating
that this pupil still has work to do to satisfy this objective. After the activity,
the pupil could have been asked to record any non-standard English
vocabulary or sentences he/she used and discuss alternatives so that the
learning can take place in context. The pupil needs to learn to maintain a
detached and impersonal style, even when making points strongly.
SL7: Identify underlying issues
Identify the underlying
themes, implications and
issues raised by a talk,
reading or programme
About this objective
Pupils should be able to listen carefully, to select particular information for
comment, and identify how messages are conveyed. They need to interpret
what they hear, recognising what is implied and detecting bias. This involves
being aware of audience and purpose, recognising connotations at word level
as well as stylistic conventions at sentence level, and organisational
implications at text level. While some pupils will recognise implications and
issues immediately, others need support to explore beyond the surface. The
objective is likely to be taught alongside other objectives clustered around
persuasive texts, both spoken and written.
What to teach
◆ Listening for different purposes:
– to identify the main points made.
– to understand main points and formulate own responses, e.g. own views
or questions.
– to identity key points and recognise how they are being made, explicitly
or inexplicitly.
– to identify what significant issues are raised and why.
◆ How different types of spoken texts may be organised and especially what
techniques may be used. For example, at text level, a prepared talk designed
to persuade the audience of a particular point of view may be carefully
structured: an introduction which orientates the listener > a series of linked
points > a concluding overview. At sentence and word level, the speaker may
deploy rhetorical questions, irony, emotive language, imagery, repetition.
◆ What is meant by theme. In a talk, it means an idea or topic which is
expanded upon, for example a pupil speaker may explore the theme of
friendship and loyalty among teenagers.
◆ What is meant by implication – something that is not directly stated but
suggested or hinted at. Listeners need to hear between the lines. A particular
meaning may be implied by:
– a rhetorical question, e.g. Would you like to live next door to a noisy
– an invitation to the listeners to work out something for themselves, e.g.
Think about it
– emphasis given to a particular word or phrase, e.g. Yes, it seems like a
convincing argument
– apparent denial, e.g. I wouldn’t go so far as to say he was an out and out
– connotation, an association or idea suggested by a word or phrase, e.g.
maiden connotes chastity.
◆ How to detect bias in different types of material. Pupils need to ask
searching questions about the underpinning beliefs of the speaker, writer or
television programme maker/presenter. They need to be able to detect
illogical thought, unsubstantiated arguments and distortion of data. They
need to recognise emotive language that seeks to persuade the listener
against his or her good judgement.
◆ How a talk, reading or programme may set out to deal with an explicitly
identified issue or how it may unintentionally raise issues for the listener.
Effective listeners need to be able to identify:
– important points of interest raised by the material;
– their own views on these points.
Teaching approaches
◆ Focus pupils’ attention on the idea that writers, speakers, programme makers
have a specific purpose which readers, listeners, viewers need to recognise to
avoid being hoodwinked. Provide a list of different examples and ask pairs to
suggest the purpose of each:
– newspaper editorial;
– Ten o’ clock television news;
– Queen’s Christmas speech;
– campaign leaflet;
– banquet scene in Macbeth;
– public information bulletin on radio or TV;
– political party’s election broadcast;
– short story.
Discuss: why is it important to recognise the purpose? What may happen if
you don’t?
◆ Analyse key features before pupils listen to more demanding material. For
example, provide an outline of the structure of a television documentary:
introduction, the case for, case against. Provide pupils with a list of key words
or phrases to be on the alert for when listening.
◆ Explain listening tasks precisely. Provide guidance on what the class should
do while listening and what will happen afterwards. Provide a handout
which will help them complete the task effectively, for example an outline of
the television programme with space for notes under each heading or a
specifically designed note-making template.
◆ If the focus of the listening task is to identify themes, explain before you
start what sort of material the class will be trying to identify. Pause at
appropriate stages during the talk, reading or programme to monitor
understanding and model noting of key points and supporting evidence.
Afterwards, ask questions about notes and evidence. Discuss the different
themes that have been identified.
◆ To tune the class into implied meaning, ask pairs to role play a conversation
in which each speaker implies points but is never explicit. To help the class
identify implied meaning in the main listening task, discuss likely features
before you start. Again, pause at the first example: ask pairs to identify what
is being implied then take comments and agree on likely meaning.
Demonstrate how to note the point in a grid:
Explicit points
Implied points
1. Current school terms too long
1. Implies pupils are bored by ‘Do
pupils really want a 14-week term?’
During subsequent listening, ask pupils to note further key points.
Afterwards, discuss points from both columns.
◆ To identify what might be the implications or consequences of ideas
expressed, provide a two-column note-making grid: points made and
consequences. Model the note-taking and discuss the main consequences
noted by pupils after the listening task has been completed.
◆ If you want pupils to focus on issues raised, again encourage noting of key
points. Ask pupils to highlight or circle significant issues for later discussion.
When taking feedback, ask pupils to explain why a point is of interest or is
contentious. Note key issues on the white board for a possible written followup task.
To assess this objective
◆ Observe a group, pair or whole-class discussion in which pupils are discussing
a live talk, audio or video tapes. Record evidence of the extent to which
individuals in the group are able to fulfil the assessment criteria. Record
some of the details of what is said in order to ascertain later the quality of the
◆ While being aware of the level of performance across the class, assessment
will focus on a few pupils in the group rather than trying to record evidence
about all pupils on any single occasion.
◆ Teacher assessment can be supplemented by pupil self-assessment and peer
assessment using the same criteria. This helps to ensure that pupils know
what is expected of them, can reflect upon what they have achieved and
identify the skills they now need to develop.
Sample tasks
◆ Pupils could listen and make notes on a talk, perhaps on video, tape, radio or
delivered to the class. They discuss what has been said in order to identify
firstly the intended audience, purpose, viewpoint of speaker and themes,
then what the talk implied about these, and finally the issues raised.
◆ Pupils could listen to a talk about a controversial issue that affects them (e.g.
whether pupils should be able to leave school at 14), and then specifically
discuss the underlying themes, the implications and the issues .
◆ Pupils could present their own talk in role, to help them to demonstrate
understanding of how information is perceived by listeners. For example, the
proposal to build on local land or ban a popular recreation would be seen
differently by environmental groups, local children, health and safety
officials, those financing the project, local workers, etc. Groups of pupils
representing each category could discuss the themes and their implications
and how these would be presented in the talk before moving into mixed
groups to debate the issues.
◆ For pupils still working towards this objective, possible themes, implications
and issues based on a talk they have heard could be given on cards. Pupils
select and sequence in order of significance, the cards that are relevant and
categorise them into theme, implication and issue. In addition, discussion of
a visual stimulus before the talk can help pupils to focus their listening.
◆ The task could be made more complex by increasing the length of the
listening required, the complexity of the content, audience and purpose and
the number of different views expressed.
Performance indicators
Always sometimes rarely
◆ Can recognise stance and purpose of speaker.
◆ Can identify themes and issues.
◆ Can contribute to the discussion of each element: themes, implications and
◆ Can move beyond literal understanding and recall to interpret what has
been said.
◆ Can identify the implications of specific words and phrases.
◆ Can refer to the effect on the listener of tone, pace and intonation.
◆ Can recognise stylistic effects, e.g. repetition, rhetorical question, quotation.
◆ Can demonstrate awareness of the effects of what is said on the intended
◆ Can support points with evidence from what has been heard.
◆ Can identify and explain bias.
Example script
Pupils have listened to the speech Mrs Thatcher gave after the British victory in
the Falklands War.
Pupil notes
Speaking and Listening record
Objective: Identify underlying issues
Task: Group discussion about Mrs Thatcher’s speech.
Lots of short contributions – some points explained. Understood
purpose of speech.
Noted “positive” tone of speech – persuading. Makes you want to
believe what she says. Flatters people who agree with her –
insults people who don’t.
Says “we” – so everyone agrees with this view.
Doesn’t mention casualties or cost – biased. No evidence.
She was confident, looked frightening – wouldn’t argue with her –
personal response. She’d upset some people.
Liked way she said they were like robbers getting away with
goods – gives a funny picture.
Some words louder than others – makes us remember these,
think they are important.
The pupil has contributed frequently to the discussion but should now be
encouraged to extend these contributions and perhaps take on a particular
role in the discussion.
There is evidence that the pupil is aware of the themes, implications and issues
and is interpreting what is being said with brief isolated references to the text.
The pupil could now try to make these references more methodical and
thorough, tracing themes and how they develop.
There is some comment on specific words and phrases but not a precise
awareness of formal and informal language.
Similarly, the pupil recognises some elements of the presentation of the speech
and gives a personal reaction and empathy. These could be developed and
more precise terminology used to explain techniques like emphasis and tone of
voice. There is little reference to underlying issues.
SL9: Considered viewpoint
Discuss and evaluate
conflicting evidence to arrive
at a considered viewpoint
About this objective
Through discussion of conflicting evidence, pupils should become more aware
that views can be diametrically opposed or simply differ slightly on certain
points. They need to clarify their understanding of what is being said, be
attentive to details and read between the lines to identify any sub-text. In
evaluating evidence, pupils should consider bias, flawed arguments, inaccuracy
and extreme views. They also need to be aware of how their own opinions or
assumed stance influences the consensus they reach. They need to develop
their ability to work together to avoid polarisation in the group. Contributions
will often respond directly to what has just been said, acknowledging the views
of others. In reaching a considered viewpoint, pupils will justify and modify
details of their own views. They could be required to explain their considered
viewpoint to others.
What to teach
◆ How to give evidence, reasons, anecdotes or illustrations to support views:
For example, To support this…; Evidence demonstrates…; Research proves…;
The facts show… .
◆ How to use adverbs to temper one’s views: sometimes, often, always,
◆ How to make interjections, accompanied by a shift in views: Oh, I see…; Oh, I
understand now… .
◆ How to offer statements of opinion or judgement: In my opinion…, I think…,
I believe…, I prefer…, I would rather… .
◆ How to evaluate evidence using:
comparative/ contrasting connectives: compared with, similarly, likewise,
alternatively, whereas, on the other hand, despite;
causal connectives: because, therefore, so, in that case, still, even though, as a
result, consequently;
verbs to indicate judgements: believe, think, prefer, would rather, trust.
Teaching approaches
◆ Through discussion with pupils, clarify the process involved in reaching a
considered viewpoint. For example:
1 Listen to or read and then discuss the evidence.
2 Ask questions to clarify understanding (if possible).
3 Be attentive to detail and read between the lines to identify sub-texts.
4 When evaluating the views of others, be aware of bias, inaccuracies, flawed
reasoning, extreme views.
5 Be aware of your own bias and views.
6 Be willing to modify your views in the light of new evidence or good
7 Aim to be objective when discussing the merits of different situations or
◆ Set up various scenarios with conflicting evidence where a decision has to be
taken, e.g. a proposal to alter the school year to 5 terms; plans to build a new
housing development on a green field site. Ask pupils to work in groups to
discuss the evidence and decide what action they would take. Each member
of the group adopts a role and the group then discusses their given situation
in role. After the group discussion, the group reaches a decision about the
evidence and makes their recommendations.
◆ Give pupils a controversial statement to discuss. Allow thinking time and
some initial discussion, then give the pupils additional pre-prepared
statements, on cards, to add to the discussion. Pupils use these statements to
extend or modify their views. For example: Initial card: Is it always wrong to
tell lies? Additional cards: What about if someone lies to protect someone
else? What if the lie is temporary (short-term), for a specific reason, such as
protecting someone, and the person then planned to tell the truth? What if
the person asking the questions was corrupt and powerful, such as a dictator?
◆ Watch a video of a television programme, such as a crime investigation, and
stop the video to discuss the evidence at various points in the programme.
Ask pupils to discuss and justify their views in groups, and then to give their
group’s decision at that stage of the evidence.
◆ Read various opinions or listen to talk shows about a suitable controversial
issue, such as a proposal with an environmental impact. Pupils work in
groups to discuss and evaluate the ideas, and then agree a group consensus
to justify to others.
◆ After studying a drama text or novel with a character who behaves in a
contentious way, place the character on trial. A range of evidence and
viewpoints is presented before the jury considers its verdict.
To assess this objective
A group discussion could be observed and notes on pupil performance
recorded. Pupils might also carry out peer or self-evaluation. The group might
have a pupil observer who studies how the group interacts, how the evidence is
evaluated and conclusions reached.
Sample tasks
◆ Read various viewpoints on an issue (e.g. concerning proposals for a local
development; solutions to a topical environmental issue like landfill sites).
Evaluate the ideas and agree a group consensus to justify to others.
Alternatively, an individual opinion could be reached.
◆ Present and discuss a viewpoint in role, culminating in a final statement of
◆ Put a character on trial. A range of evidence and viewpoints are presented
before the jury considers its verdict.
◆ Act out an argument and its resolution.
Performance indicators
Always sometimes rarely
◆ Can distinguish between viewpoints, including those which are implied.
◆ Can understand the basis for challenging a viewpoint: e.g. bias, inaccuracy,
flawed logic.
◆ Can challenge a viewpoint assertively, with justification in a positive manner.
◆ Can use questioning to explore ideas, seek clarification and challenge
◆ Can work in role, assuming a particular stance.
◆ Can listen closely and link their response directly to what has just been said.
◆ Can modify their opinions in the light of what has been heard.
◆ Can summarise the main points of the discussion before moving on to the
next stage.
NB These can be shared with pupils in relation to their performance.
Example script
Pupil Speaking and Listening Log
Activity: Trial of Macbeth.
Role: Juror. After listening to witnesses giving evidence for and against, the jury
considered their verdict on the extent to which Macbeth was responsible for his
actions leading up to the murder of Duncan.
Points to consider
How much you took part
How well you worked as a group
How you supported others and they supported you
What you did well
What you could do better next time
I really enjoyed doing this because we got to say what we thought. There
were lots of different views to discuss but I had made some notes and
that helped me to remember what they said. We started by saying what
we each thought then discussed all the evidence. We started with the
evidence against Macbeth. Then we talked about nicer things that were
said about him. I made lots of points. I realised that the same thing can
be seen as meaning completely different things to different people. I
noticed that some of the things that Banquo said were just his opinions.
He couldn’t prove them. The best bit was when Rob said Macbeth was
excited about the murder but I said he didn’t want to do it and at the end
of his dagger speech he sounds like he doesn’t have a choice and
something has taken over him. The others then said they agreed with me.
I think we worked well in our group. Next time I will ask more questions
to make other people explain what they think. I also need to speak slower.
Give examples to support your comments.
Teacher comment:
You worked really well in your group and you did encourage others to take
part. You listened to what they were saying and responded to their points.
You could try to take a leading role in the group, summarising the main
points of the discussion for clarity before guiding the group to the next
The teacher and the pupil agree that participation in the discussion was
effective. The pupil seems to have understood the content of the evidence and
its possible interpretations and contributed frequently. The pupil recognises
different viewpoints and can identify when changes take place. He is able to
pay attention to detail and give opinions. There is brief information in the pupil
commentary on the evaluation of evidence, but it isn’t very structured. A critical
stance was taken during the discussion in relation to what others argued. If the
pupil does take a leading role by questioning others and summarising group
understanding for the benefit of all, that will help to secure the expression of a
considered viewpoint.
SL13: Compare interpretations
Develop and compare
different interpretations of
scenes by Shakespeare or
other dramatists
About this objective
Pupils will have evaluated presentations, including their own, in previous years
but will need to be taught strategies for comparing and understanding that a
scene or play can be performed in different ways to show different
interpretations. The objective requires pupils to understand character, setting,
plot and theme and be able to visualise and explain how these can be
presented and explored in different ways using a range of dramatic techniques
and devices. The objective requires pupils to develop interpretations of specific
scenes through practical drama sessions, as well as classroom-based textual
analysis and from viewing different versions of the same scene. It is likely that
pupils will initially need prompting when comparing different interpretations
so that they focus in sufficient detail on the evidence in the text. They should
also focus on how to express views, using connectives and appropriate
sentence structures to compare and contrast and provide evidence to support
What to teach
In developing interpretations:
◆ How to value others’ contributions: That’s a good idea; We could include Joe’s
idea when we…; Yes.
◆ How to draw others into the discussion: What do you think, Mike? That
would enable us to develop Mary’s role… Sam, you made a similar point
earlier; how do you feel about…?
◆ How to use effective listening skills: Is that what you meant? Have I
interpreted your ideas accurately?
When comparing interpretations:
◆ How to use statements of opinion, judgement, likes/dislikes: I think, I feel, I
believe, I found, In my opinion, It seems, I prefer.
◆ How to use:
– Connectives to compare and contrast: whereas, on the one hand, however,
similarly, in that respect, while, elsewhere, in comparison, a different
approach, in spite of this, in other respects, on the contrary, instead, also,
– Connectives to give reasons: because, therefore, consequently, as a result,
even though, accordingly, due to/owing to, so, in that case.
– Adjectives (including comparative and superlative to indicate degree):
good, excellent, fair, indifferent, pleasing, strong, convincing, authentic,
realistic, powerful, moving, sensitive, more/most, better/best.
– Verbs to express evaluation/judgement: preferred, liked/disliked, would
have rather, enjoyed, appreciated.
– Subject-specific vocabulary: character, presence, body language,
movement, gesture, interaction, tension, dramatic pause, setting,
atmosphere, symbolism, imagery, dramatic irony, voice projection (volume,
pace, clarity, tone, expression), soliloquy, interpretation, pace, action, sight
lines, spatial awareness.
Teaching approaches
◆ The teacher performs two versions of the same speech, from different
viewpoints, then invites comments from the pupils about the performances,
and models how to evaluate and compare the two interpretations. From the
process, a suggested template or proforma for such an activity is devised
with the pupils.
◆ Model rehearsing two different versions of the same speech, from different
viewpoints. As you rehearse, speak your thoughts out loud, explaining
choices made to the pupils. Next, using a forum theatre approach, pupils
intervene to direct the teacher at appropriate moments. The teacher then
performs the speeches without direction. The post-performance discussion
and evaluation focuses on the impact of each speech, and the pupils’
responses to these. Model how to write a comparison of the two
◆ Watch two versions of the same scene, interpreted by different directors.
Pupils complete a template comparing the two scenes. For example, they
could consider: characterisation, setting and atmosphere, dramatic tension,
viewpoint/purpose. Model how to write a comparison, incorporating
contributions suggested by the class.
◆ Share evaluative, comparative responses to performances written by other
students, and ask the pupils to assess these. Pupils devise a checklist for
success criteria when comparing performances.
◆ Give each group a different viewpoint/perspective, such as, ‘traditional’,
‘modern’, ‘sympathetic to a particular character’ or ‘critical of a character’.
Groups annotate their scripts, then have a working rehearsal, in which both
director and actors contribute their views on how the scene should be
staged; including, how specific speeches should be said. This could be
developed into a forum theatre approach, where the other pupils also make
suggestions during the rehearsal. Alternatively, groups could annotate and
then act out the same scene in different ways, to fulfil specific criteria, as
suggested above. Pupils then consider which performances worked best, and
◆ To focus more specifically on audience impact and involvement, pupils
present a scene as though on a traditional stage, and then present the scene
again, using a promenade theatre. (This is where the cast use the audience
to become people in the crowd, for example in the market place in Romeo
and Juliet.) Pupils then consider which performances worked best, and why.
To assess this objective
This objective can be assessed through discussion tasks or drama. Observe a
group discussion where ways of interpreting scenes are generated and
compared. Alternatively, review a written study of different performances. Peer
assessment could take place through the use of a speaking and listening log. In
each case, the level of awareness of different ways of interpreting a scene and
the validity of these interpretations based on evidence from the text should be
Sample tasks
◆ Compare two performances of Macbeth, focusing in detail on the way a
particular scene is interpreted by different directors. These could be film or
theatre productions or include pupils’ own interpretations.
◆ Pupils annotate and/or act out a scene in different ways to fulfil different
criteria: e.g. different audience, different viewpoints (sympathetic or critical
view of a character’s situation). Some pupils could be directors while others
act out the parts.
◆ Individually, groups perform or discuss an interpretation of a scene, then
share these with the class and discuss similarities and differences.
◆ Pupils act out or annotate a scene, then see a video version and compare the
interpretation with their own.
Performance indicators
Always sometimes rarely
◆ Can explain the themes and ideas present in a text.
◆ Can demonstrate understanding that texts can be interpreted in different
◆ Can take on role of director.
◆ Can justify own interpretation with reference to text.
◆ Can discuss, act out or annotate a text to show an interpretation.
◆ Can explain similarities and differences between two explanations or
◆ Can comment on and compare details of plot, character and setting.
◆ Can visualise how written scenes will be performed.
◆ Can use sentence structures to support comparison and contrast, e.g.
complex sentences, acknowledging one view and developing a different one.
◆ Can use connectives to indicate comparison or contrast.
NB Addition and performance indicators should be added to repeat the
specific interpersonal aspects of the speaking and listening task.
Example script
Discussion of two film versions of Romeo and Juliet
Student A: I think that the Lurman version of Romeo and Juliet is
better. Kids will prefer it to the Zeffirelli one. Romeo and
Juliet’s love is put over really well. I mean the acting is
wilder, more spontaneous.
Student B: Yes, but I prefer the Zeffirelli version. It’s more romantic
and elegant, more suited to Shakespeare. I mean
Shakespeare shouldn’t be mucked about with.
Student A: Yes, but if you want lots of people to watch it, it’s better to
use a modern interpretation. I mean, look at the prologue.
The language sounds completely in place and using a news
broadcast with the news footage really tells us how big and
important the feud between the two families was. It’s really
fast and tells the audience how serious the situation was.
Student B: But isn’t the Zeffirelli film closer to what Shakespeare’s
normally like. I mean I thought the prologue was just to tell
the story before it happened – doesn’t the simple opening bit
of Zeffirelli do that? Isn’t the Lurman one just a bit over the
These pupils are beginning to meet the needs of the objective. The discussion
these pupils are engaged in is at a rather general level and would be better
focused on one key scene to allow depth of analysis. They could be more closely
directed by a series of prompts for discussion. They engage in some analysis of
how the themes are best communicated to a modern audience but do not root
their discussion in the text. They need to focus on a wider range of aspects. The
exploration of one text is in greater detail, leaving the comparison rather one
sided. While some precise vocabulary is used, e.g. reference to the ‘prologue’
and ‘elegant’, the language used to express their opinions is very informal; they
need more practice in expressing what they want to say, using appropriate
vocabulary and sentence structures, linking ideas with connectives. The pupils
are working cooperatively as a pair, listening and responding to each other’s
ideas, prompting and using rhetorical questions.
Further copies of this document are available from:
DfES Publications
0845 60 222 60
0845 60 333 60
Textphone: 0845 60 555 60
e-mail: [email protected]
Ref: DfES 0203/2002
© Crown copyright 2002
Produced by the Department for Education and Skills.
Extracts from this document may be reproduced for
non-commercial or training purposes on the condition
that the source is acknowledged.
27-06-05 R1
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