Te Kete Ipurangi Navigation:

Te Kete Ipurangi

Te Kete Ipurangi user options:

You are here:

Reporting in plain language for reading


The essential purpose of reading is to make meaning. When reporting in plain language in reading the teacher is likely to provide information that supports this purpose by including information about the student’s ability to read text and their ability to respond to, understand and use what they have read. In the early years characteristics of reading focus more on the knowledge and skills that students need in order to decode. In the later years reading for a purpose becomes more important with a greater emphasis on thinking and responding to texts critically.  

Reporting in plain language can be challenging for teachers as we use complex education language so routinely. In addition, as students progress through school, the texts they read and the tasks and language they use become more complex.

The following table provides examples of ‘education language’, the language teachers use routinely, and then how this might be rephrased as plain language. Teachers gather a range of information when forming an overall teacher judgment and there are many resources, such as The New Zealand Curriculum, Reading and Writing Standards, the Literacy Learning Progressions, and the English Language Progressions that provide characteristics of the stages students move through. The examples follow a broad progression from after one year at school until the end of year 8. In reading, a written report comment is likely to cover:

  • the student’s ability to read text and their ability to respond to, understand and use what they have read.
Written Report Comments - Reading
Level Education language Rephrased as plain language
In the first year of school 

With the support from the teacher draw on oral language skills.

Consolidate basic reading skills and knowledge of letters and sounds.

Learn how to make meaning of and think critically about increasingly challenging texts. 

  • Kate willingly talks about things in the past, present and future. She engages in well know texts such as nursery rhymes asking questions and laughing at the funny parts. Kate is working within the early stages of level one.
  • Tane participates in group reading lessons with interest and enthusiasm, attempting to repeat familiar words aloud as the teacher reads. He enjoys reading his name when he sees it displayed on work as well as other signs and symbols around the school environment.
After one year at school  

Developing early concepts about print.


Learning to decode unfamiliar words.


  • Nafitalai enjoys reading and is making sound progress learning his basic words. He is proud of not using his finger to point to each word and is letting his eyes do the work by moving quickly to the next line of words when he reads. At school I am helping Nafitalai recognise sounds in more difficult words. He is working within level one of the NZ Curriculum. 

Uses and discusses visual language features.


Recognises high frequency words.




  • uses the pictures in stories to help his understanding of the story and new words
  • reads to a buddy before school to support him to progress with his reading
  • likes when Aunty reads to him at home
  • is working within level one of the NZ Curriculum.
After two years at school

Makes appropriate choices of text for independent reading.

Uses intonation and phrasing.


  • has made rapid progress this year and is reading longer stories on his own
  • has extra help from Marie and now varies his voice to make his reading sound interesting
  • enjoys getting books from the library caravan and has plans for his big sister to help him read his books in the holidays
  • loves telling us about the Tongan stories he learnt about at church
  • is working within level one of the NZ Curriculum.

Locates information that is explicitly stated in the text.


Notices  complex punctuation and phrasing.

  • Kereama is skilful at finding information about tikanga in the te reo Māori books she reads. Her reading group have decided that they are going to work on answering questions by finding information from more than one place in the book. Matua Hauaurai worked with Kereama and her friends to read plays in te reo Māori. Kereama uses her letters and sounds knowledge to work out new words in te reo and English. She continues to make great progress and is working within level two of the NZ Curriculum.

After three years at school


Uses texts to meet the demands of the curriculum.


Integrates and uses comprehension strategies.

  • Rosie is working within level two of the NZ Curriculum. She has achieved her goal of reading chapter books from the library. She is going to continue with this goal and plans to keep reading more books at home over the holiday. When reading true stories and information during the class topic studies Rosie confidently uses clues such as the diagrams and her general knowledge to help explain ideas to her group.
  • Makes connections between ideas in the text in order to make simple inferences.

Sia is working within level two of the NZ Curriculum. He:

  • is making strong progress in finding facts, and inferred messages in text, to help him answer questions
  • can retell a story accurately
  • is very interested in model making, can use his computer to find and read plans, and follows instructions carefully.
By the end of year 4
  • Uses processing and comprehension strategies to read texts accurately.


  • is working within level three of the NZ Curriculum 
  • reads longer books over several days remembering the main ideas
  • can quickly and accurately give information in her own words.

We will keep working on finding more than one reason for an answer, and learning how to  bring different ideas together.

  • Selects appropriate decoding strategy when encountering unknown words.

O Mele o se teine e galue malosi i ana meaaoga aemaise le faitaitusi.

Mele has learned some skills to read harder words and is reading a lot more words. Mele has been talking and reading to me before school and reading the books on the computer and this has helped her make faster progress. She is working at level two of the NZ Curriculum. 

By the end of year 5
  • Locates, evaluates and integrates information.


  • has made very good progress with getting ideas from several pieces of information for his topic research
  • can work out the meaning of new words, particularly when reading science and technology material
  • is expert at finding ways to get the answers to questions that come from his love of basketball
  • is working within level four of the NZ Curriculum, exceeding the expected level for his year group.
  • Generates and answers questions to meet specific learning purposes across the curriculum.
  • Congratulations Lee, you are now motoring through tasks and getting your work completed. Reading at home and in the local library has helped, and the class was really interested in your talk about how to get out e-books. You used your 'what does a good reader do' skills when you auditioned for a part in the school play. You must have worked really hard to read and memorise the script. A next step for you is to check that the information you find on web searches is the most useful information. 
Special needs student

Developing early concepts about print.


Learning to decode unfamiliar words.


  • Helen is a member of the year 5 choir and was very proud of performing at the Town Hall. With Mrs Kale’s support she was able to remember most of the songs. She now knows about twenty words and has moved up a reading level. She practises her words and her reading regularly with her buddies and works very hard with her reading. It was helpful talking about Helen’s good progress at the meeting last month so I know the practice she is doing at home is helping her in the classroom.
By the end of year 6
  • Selects appropriate strategies for different reading purposes.


  • is currently working within level four of the NZ Curriculum. This exceeds the expected level for his year group.
  • can locate facts and figures quickly
  • can scan a large amount of material efficiently to find information
  • uses information in texts to understand new words.
  • writes interesting reviews of the novels read for pleasure
  • is making very good progress reading more complex material when researching information.
  • Understands and recognises the differences between figurative and literal meanings of phrases.
  • Annie really enjoys working with her new classmates and works well on group tasks. As we discussed, her poor attendance is a problem, as she is away several days a week. In class we are working on improving her understanding of the information she reads, carefully looking for clues to see what the author is meaning. Annie is currently working at level two of the NZ Curriculum, this is below expectation for year level. At home continue to encourage Annie to read for at least twenty minutes each night.

By the end of year 7



Manages the complexity of the texts in all areas of the curriculum.


  • reads a range of material and understands complex ideas
  • greatly enjoys reading technical information and loves sharing his knowledge with the class
  • organised a Skype session with the electronic whizzes and this certainly helped to answer his and the class’s questions
  • continues to make strong progress and is achieving within level 5 of the NZ Curriculum.

Interprets abstract ideas, complex plots and sophisticated themes.


Uses continuous and non-continuous text types.

  • Congratulations Otis, you are working within level 4 of the NZ Curriculum, this is where you should be for your year. You worked really hard and made good progress to achieve your goal of reading more widely including everyday reading materials such as newspapers, the internet, and magazines. Your inquiry and speech about 'The Death of Newspapers' was really interesting and you showed some very good thinking when comparing newspapers versus online news.
By the end of year 8 Working at Stage 2 of the ELLP.


  • is making rapid progress in learning to read and understand English
  • uses the ipad effectively for English/Arabic translations
  • is reading sentences from left to right
  • continues to learn basic words and key phrases.



Recognises and understands a variety of content-specific vocabulary.



  • This year I have made really good progress. I am working within level 4 of the NZ Curriculum, the expected level for year 8. I am ready for year 9! I had difficulty with understanding the ideas in some of the information at the beginning of term, but have got better at thinking; the thinking maps helped me. Thank you Ms Smith for showing me note-taking using the tablet. I know I need to keep working on my understanding of harder words, like technology words.