Working towards:

  • Making simple points about the text
  • Supporting comments with textual examples
  • Making straightforward inferences e.g. he was crying so it shows he was upset
  • Some relevant points from the text identified
  • Comments supported by some general textual reference
  • Comments make inferences based on evidence from different points in the text e.g. interpreting a character’s motive from their actions at an earlier point
  • Inferences often correct but may be generic or not securely rooted in the text


  • Comments are generally supported by textual references or quotations
  • Comments make inferences and deductions based on textual evidence
  • Comments are supported by appropriate textual references and quotations
  • Layers of meaning are beginning to be identified


Aiming higher:

  • Increasing precision in use of textual evidence
  • Making connections between insights
  • Identifying textual subtleties
  • Forming perceptive and original interpretations


Working towards:

  • Showing an awareness of textual organisation e.g. identifying an engaging story opening or a twist in the tale
  • Identifying basic features of the writer’s use of language e.g. there are lots of scary adjectives
  • Identifying the main purpose of the text e.g. the writer doesn’t like violence
  • A few basic features of organisation at text level identified, with little or no linked comments e.g. the text tells us about all the things you can do at the zoo.
  • Simple comments made on the writer’s word choices e.g. ‘disgraceful’ shows he’s upset
  • Simple comments made on the text’s overall effect on the reader e.g. the writer’s use of scary adjectives makes the reader feel anxious
  • Some basic features of organisation at text level are identified e.g. the writer uses bullet points to highlight the main reasons why you shouldn’t smoke
  • Comments show some awareness of the effect of writer’s language choices e.g. ‘inked up’ is a good way of describing blackberries as they go a blue-black colour as they ripen.
  • The main purpose of the text is clearly identified, often through general overview
  • General awareness the effect on the reader is shown
  • Comments on structural features show an awareness of the writer’s craft
  • Uses some correct terminology to explore the effects of the writer’s language choices
  • Clearly identifies the writer’s viewpoint and the text’s effect on the reader at word/sentence level


Aiming higher:

  • Explaining how a range of structural features contribute to the effects of the text
  • Explaining in detail, using accurate terminology, how language is used to achieve specific effects
  • Explaining the writer’s viewpoint through close textual reference


Working towards:

  • Showing an awareness of the text’s context e.g. the time or place in which it’s set
  • Recognition of some features of the context of texts e.g. historical or cultural setting
  • Simple comments made on the effect the reader’s or writer’s context has on the meaning of the text e.g. showing an appreciation of the backdrop of the Holocaust in ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’
  • Some simple connections between texts identified e.g. similarities in books by the same author or in the same genre.
  • Some explanation of how the contexts in which texts are written contribute to their meaning
  • Some comments identify similarities and differences between texts


Aiming higher:

  • Detailed discussion of how the contexts in which texts are written affect meaning
  • Exploration of textual conventions used by writers e.g. comparing different biographies or poems of the same form