BlogEnglishThe Ultimate Guide to Year 3 English

The Ultimate Guide to Year 3 English

Letter bracelet beads - Year 3 English

A warm welcome to Year 3, and to Stage 2 of the English Curriculum, the next stage in your child’s English journey! We know that it can be tricky to wrap your head around the syllabus, but no fear — we’ve outlined the key features and things that you and your child will need to know about their learning for the next year.

This article is a quick summary on the key learning areas of the curriculum, the new skills your child will acquire, the types of texts they’ll encounter and create, and the achievement standards they should reach by the end of the year.

Let’s get started!

The Year 3 English Curriculum
#1: Language
#2: Literature
#3: Literacy
Assessment Types in Year 3 English
Standards for Year 3 English
Year 3 English Worksheets and Resources

Looking for English guides for other year groups?

If you have a child in a different year group to Year 3, we’ve also got guides for them! Have a look at our guides for the various year groups:

Year 1 | Year 2 | Year 4 | Year 5 | Year 6 | Year 7 | Year 8 | Year 9 | Year 10

The Year 3 English Curriculum

Primary school English curriculums are divided into three sections:

  1. Language
  2. Literature
  3. Literacy

These areas focus on developing students’ knowledge and understanding of the skills necessary for listening, reading, viewing, speaking, writing and creating. Over the course of the year, your child will be introduced to key tenets of these areas, and learn how they are interrelated, before attempting to combine all three areas into one through their own writing.

All three curriculum areas are designed to enhance what your child has previously learned in Stage 1, and your child’s teacher will explore these topics in ways that sharpen existing skills while providing your child with tools they’ll use for the rest of their English study.

Let’s have a look at each area in depth now!

#1: Language

English grammar exercise on table

The Language component of the syllabus serves as the backbone for the rest of your child’s English study, and is an incredibly important section of the curriculum.

Language Variation and Change

Importantly, your child will be introduced to language variation and change, and begin to understand how languages can have different written and visual communications (for example, words and signs), different oral traditions, and different ways of constructing meaning.


Teachers will then use this as a jumping-off point to introduce your students to language as a form of interaction. Your child will be guided through the importance of language to social conventions, such as ‘turn-taking’ and levels of formality in conversations.

Finally, your child will be able to apply these skills in class, by engaging in lots of discussion about texts and other topics in class!

Enhancing Word Knowledge

Throughout the year, your child will also enhance their word knowledge. They’ll be introduced to a broader range of prefixes and suffixes, and be able to recognise and write most high-frequency words (words that appear a lot in written texts).

Teachers will also enhance students’ understanding of phonics and word knowledge, which will solidify prior understandings of word patterns and letter-sound relationships so that students can sound out words when reading and spelling.

Teachers will guide students through a discovery of the use and construction of clauses in written texts, and how verbs can represent different processes (doing, thinking, saying). Your child will be introduced to concepts of time and tense, in order to root their writing in the past, present, or future.

Putting Their Knowledge Into Practice

Finally, your child will use all of these language skills to understand and develop their own texts! Students will be introduced to a wide range of texts, and understand how different text types are used to convey different things, depending on their purpose and context.

Your child will understand the construction of texts, and delve more deeply into paragraphs as a key organisational feature of a text. Introducing elements of multimodality, teachers will also guide your child through basic visual techniques.

Students will go through basic analyses of camera angles in film and pictures and layouts in picture books to understand how visual texts can be moulded to create meaning. 

To summarise, the Language component of the curriculum is designed to:

  • Broaden your child’s understanding of the construction of language;
  • Help your child increase their interaction and discussion skills; and
  • Allow your child to bring together all of these language skills by analysing and constructing their own texts.

#2: Literature


The Literature component of the syllabus is designed to introduce your child to broader concepts of literature, in order for them to gain a greater appreciation of context and purpose.

Exploration of Various Texts

Your child will discuss the different ways in which characters, events, and settings are portrayed across a number of texts. They’ll be encouraged to question the purpose behind these portrayals, in order to better understand purpose, and how they can change their depictions to suit their own purpose.

This exploration will be solidified by discovering a range of multicultural texts, including texts from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, as well as texts from Asia, including from India, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Burma, Laos, Tibet and Malaysia!

Linking Stories to Personal Experiences

Another big part of the syllabus is drawing links between stories and a student’s personal experiences. Teachers will encourage students to make meaningful connections to the stories that they read and the people, places, events, and ideas that these texts incorporate.

Importantly, your child will be introduced to the idea of ‘the moral of the story’: they’ll engage with stories that have a moral message, and discuss dilemmas that they spot.

Doing this will allow them to more broadly apply principles to their own lives, and understand parallels between real life and fiction. They’ll then be able to analyse their personal preferences for literature (i.e. non-fiction vs. fiction, fantasy vs. science-fiction, etc.).

Putting Their Knowledge Into Practice

Once again, all of this will arm your child with the tools needed to create their own texts! Teachers will guide your child through how language, settings, and characters are used to shape events and influence the mood of narratives.

Your child will understand how best to show a character’s motivations, their actions, and their traits, as well as how to describe their settings and environment.

Finally, they’ll be able to make their own literature, creating imaginative texts based on characters, settings, and events from their own lives and cultures, as well as other cultures! They’ll create both written and visual texts, and experiment with techniques like perspective, distance, angle, layout, mood, dialogue, and sound effects.

The Year 3 curriculum covers an extensive range of texts, including spoken, written, and multimodal (texts made up of more than one type of text) texts. Teachers will guide students through concepts of aesthetics and extend their knowledge on informative and persuasive writing.

Some of the texts your child will unpack include:

  • Classic and contemporary literature from around the world, including from and about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Asian cultures;
  • Dramatic performances;
  • Film, and other digital/multimodal texts;
  • Oral narrative traditions from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures;
  • Picture books;
  • Rhyming verse and poetry; and
  • Simple chapter books.

By the end of the year, your child will be a literary maestro! To sum up, the Literature section will allow your child to:

  • Understand the context and purpose of texts, by comparing and contrasting texts from different cultures;
  • Discover meaning behind texts, including moral messages and parallels between fiction and reality; and
  • Use all of these tools to create their own works, including both written and visual texts.

#3: Literacy

Writing on a chalkboard

The final component of the curriculum is Literacy, an area designed to combine critical reasoning skills, creative writing, and discussion and interaction practices.

Different Perspectives

Importantly, your child will be introduced to the concept of understanding texts from different points of view. Teachers will encourage students to consider the perspectives of different characters within the same text — for instance, the main vs. side characters — and guide your child through discovering that different people see the same events in different ways.

This will further enable your child to engage in critical analysis of texts by identifying audiences and purposes of imaginative, persuasive, and informative texts.

Active Participation

Your child will then combine these skills with discussion and interaction skills!

Students will participate in group and class discussions, presenting their findings and sharing ideas regarding texts and the information that they get from them. This will allow them to integrate English learning with collaboration and effective communication.

Your child will also learn how to relate specific information through planned presentations, and learn the different speaking and listening skills of different roles (i.e. note taker, group leader, reporter). Through these activities, your child will gain confidence in public speaking, and learn how to better collaborate with students, including understanding how to deal with other people’s opinions and ideas, even if they contrast their own.

Putting Their Knowledge Into Practice

Finally, your child will craft and edit their own texts (a recurring theme through all three curriculum areas, as we’re sure you’ve noticed!). By combining the knowledge they gained from their readings, as well as from other sources such as their fellow classmates, your child will plan, draft, edit, and publish their imaginative, informative and persuasive texts.

By collaborating with others and sharing their ideas, your child will be encouraged to refine their ideas and plans, and will gain better control over text structures and features.

The Literacy aspect also attempts to enhance students’ awareness of and proficiency in software, including word processing programs, and also develops students’ writing skills, including their ability to use clearly-formed joined letters (cursive handwriting).

To conclude, the Literacy segment will:

  • Introduce your child to critical analysis and presenting ideas;
  • Encourage your child to broaden their horizons by considering different perspectives and analyse texts from more than one angle;
  • Enhance your child’s communication and collaboration skills, by facilitating active discussion in class; and
  • Broaden the scope of your child’s persuasive, informative, and imaginative writing, and introduce your child to both technical/digital and handwritten writing skills.

Assessment Types in Year 3 English

Your child will encounter and be asked to create a number of texts for assessment over the course of the year. Modes of assessment will vary across schools at the discretion of English teachers, but your child will create a range of imaginative, informative and persuasive texts, including:

  • Expositions;
  • Narratives;
  • Performances;
  • Poetry;
  • Procedures; and
  • Reports and reviews.

Here’s some samples of the texts your child will create, grouped under their performance standards:

Year 3 English Achievement Standards

There are two types of achievement standards that we can use to measure your child’s progress over the year. These are Receptive Modes and Productive Modes.

Receptive Modes:

These are modes concerning a student’s listening, reading, and viewing. By the end of Year 3, your child should:

  • Understand how texts are constructed and organised, in line with their purpose;
  • Be able to use language features, images, and vocabulary choices for different effects;
  • Feel comfortable reading texts with a range of sentence structures, and punctuation and grammatical conventions, and be able to use phonics (correlating sounds with symbols/letters) to deconstruct and read complex words, especially when reading out loud; 
  • Identify meaning within texts, relating it to their own experiences and other texts; and
  • Respond appropriately to other students and their ideas using communication and interaction skills.

Productive Modes:

These measure your child’s speaking, writing, and creating skills. Over the year, your child will work towards:

  • Using language to link and sequence ideas, convey feelings, and express opinions;
  • Creating texts that show in-depth experiences, events, information, ideas, and characters;
  • Contributing meaningfully to class discussions by asking questions, providing useful feedback, and making presentations;
  • Understanding grammar, and choosing vocabulary and punctuation relevant to the purpose of a text; 
  • Understanding patterns in spelling to spell words, and editing their own writing to check for spelling, vocabulary, and structure; and
  • Writing using joined letters that are accurately formed and consistent in size.

Ensure your child’s success in Primary School by enrolling them in our English Tutoring at Castle Hill.

Year 3 English Worksheets and Resources

Searching for English worksheets and other resources for Year 3 students? We’ve got just what you need.

Spelling Worksheets

As you’ve learnt throughout this article, spelling is an important skill your child will continue to develop throughout Year 3 English.

We’ve created a whole range of spelling lists that your child can practise with — check them out below:

 Download Printable Year 3 Spelling Words Worksheets

Punctuation Worksheets

Wondering which specific punctuation concepts your child is meant to focus on in Year 3? We’ve got you covered with worksheets focussed on apostrophes, quotation marks and capital letters.

You can download our FREE Year 3 punctuation worksheets below:

Download Printable Year 3 Punctuation Worksheets

Reading Lists

Looking for the best books for your child to read? We’ve compiled a list from books recommended by NESA and categorised them by picture books, Australian literature and literary texts from other countries and times.

Browse through the list below:

Year 3 Recommended Reading List: Best Books for 7 and 8 Year Olds


In Year 3, your child will be completing the NAPLAN for the first time ever! If you’re unsure of what to expect, we’ve created a guide just for you so that you know the areas in which your child will be assessed.

Read through our Year 3 NAPLAN guide below:

A Guide To The Year 3 NAPLAN For Parents

That’s all from us on our guide to Year 3 English! Check out the full curriculum.

We’re super excited for your child to engage with English this year — good luck to you and your rockstar Year 3! 

Looking for some extra help for your child with Year 3 English?

We have an incredible team of English tutors and mentors!

We offer tutoring and mentoring for students in Years K-12 in a variety of subjects, with personalised lessons conducted one-on-one in your home, online or at one of our state of the art campuses in Hornsby or the Hills (especially if you’re looking for a tutor in Rouse Hill or Bella Vista tutors)! We offer Year 3 tutoring all over Sydney including personalised Year 3 Tutors in Hurstville! Did you know we also have North Shore English tutors specialising in Year 3 English?

Looking for English tutoring in Queensland? Get in touch with our Year 3 English tutors in QLD.

Looking for Year 3 English tutoring in Victoria? We have an awesome team state-wide including in Essendon!

We’ve supported over 8,000 students over the last 11 years, and on average our students score mark improvements of over 20%!

To find out more and get started with an inspirational English tutor and mentor, get in touch today or give us a ring on 1300 267 888!

Rujuta Banhatti is currently a third year Law/International Studies student at UNSW. As a Content Writer at Art of Smart, she is super keen to be able to write (read: academically rant) about texts that she’s absolutely loved, both at school and in general.

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