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Key areas to teach

Address and revisit the key areas of pupils' learning using a checklist of core skills and concepts to teach to help pupils build, develop and secure their ability to understand and respond to ideas, viewpoints, themes and purposes in texts.

What to teach

There are many key areas you might aim to address and revisit over the course of a pupil’s learning, including how to:

  • record and present the evidence collected about a text
  • recognise and describe an idea, value and emotion
  • trace themes, values and ideas as they develop, using a range of strategies such as structural patterning, use of synonyms and determiners, word and sentence level cohesion devices and cohesive devices such as ‘echoing’ language, which enable readers to trace strands of ideas and themes across whole texts
  • recognise the difference between fact and opinion
  • recognise bias
  • interpret and explain a writer’s viewpoint
  • recognise a writer’s voice and distinguish between it and the voice of characters in a story
  • recognise that themes are more than an issue but are represented in texts as a value (for example, power is shown in this text to be destructive)
  • recognise that media and non-fiction texts also convey values (for example, how opinion may be presented as fact)
  • judge the accuracy of some sources and thereby consider the validity of their viewpoint
  • recognise that ideas, values and emotions can be expressed through text type chosen, audience addressed, structure, type of media and vocabulary choices
  • use appropriate terminology when comparing texts
  • read across different texts, noting the way ideas, values and emotions are presented, and how to synthesise this information into a coherent, critical comparison
  • present ideas formally in writing, using an appropriate register and analytical linguistic terminology.