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Scan a Text 1

In this worksheet, students practise scanning an information text to answer questions on its content.

'Scan a Text 1' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 3

Curriculum topic:   Reading

Curriculum subtopic:   Check Understanding

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Scanning is a way of reading a text quickly to find specific information. Instead of reading the whole text word for word, you focus on the particular words, phrases or numbers you need.

 

The following passage describes a famous event that took place in the 1960s, when thieves stole a total of £2.6 million from a train in a crime that became known as the Great Train Robbery.

 

In this worksheet you will be asked to scan the passage to find the answers to a range of questions. You can look back at the passage as often as you want to by clicking on the Help button.

 

1963: Train robbers make off with millions

Thieves have ambushed the Glasgow to Euston mail train and stolen thousands of pounds. Banks estimate they have lost over £2m in used, untraceable banknotes in the biggest ever raid on a British train. The Post Office train - known as the Up Special - had run every night, without interference, for 125 years until it was brought to a halt by a red light at 0315 GMT in Buckinghamshire.

“This was obviously a brilliantly planned operation,” said the Detective Superintendent of Buckinghamshire CID. Driver Jack Mills, 58, has been detained in hospital in Aylesbury with head injuries after being coshed by the raiders, who police believe were masked and armed with sticks and iron bars.

But most of the 75 mail sorters working on the train were unaware of the 20 minute incident as the thieves uncoupled the engine and front two carriages of the train and drove them up to Bridego Bridge a mile away. There they broke into the second carriage - restraining the four postal workers inside - and loaded 120 mail and money bags into a lorry waiting on the road beneath.

Investigators - including Buckinghamshire Police, the British Transport Police and the Post Office - were on the scene, near Cheddington, in the early hours of the morning and found signals had been tampered with and telephone wires cut.

Rewards totalling a record £260,000 have already been offered by insurers, banks and the Post Office for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the gang and return of the money. The Postmaster-General Mr Bevins explained the robbery may have been an "inside job" and has called for a "full and urgent" inquiry into security on Royal Mail trains.

The front of the train was uncoupled by the robbers.

In Context

The total amount stolen was put at £2.6m in a heist that became known as the Great Train Robbery. After a massive police operation the gang's abandoned hideout was found at Leatherslade Farm in Bedfordshire. Just over six months later 12 - of a gang of 15 - thieves were sentenced to jail-terms totalling more than 300 years. The robbery's mastermind, Bruce Reynolds, evaded capture until 1969, when he was given a 10 year sentence. Biggs only returned to the UK in 2001 for medical treatment and was imprisoned to serve the remainder of his 28 year sentence.

Jack Mills never worked again and died in 1970. He was concerned the money on board had not been defaced, since much of it was en route to be destroyed. Labour MP for Burnley Dan Jones proposed a bill to improve security on mail trains two years ago and in the House of Commons today expressed outrage that the matter had still not been addressed.

In which year did the Great Train Robbery take place? Write the number in the answer box below.

 

Click on the Help button to go back to the introduction and scan the passage.

Where was the train heading when it was ambushed?

Glasgow

Edinburgh

Euston

Paddington

What was the name of the train driver? Write his name in the answer box.

The train was a Post Office train, where workers sorted mail as the train travelled. How many mail sorters were working on the train that night? Write the number in the answer box.

What was the total of the rewards offered for catching the criminals?

£160,000

£260,000

£360,000

The gang had their hideout in a farm. What was it called? Write the name of the farm in the answer box.

  • Question 1

In which year did the Great Train Robbery take place? Write the number in the answer box below.

 

Click on the Help button to go back to the introduction and scan the passage.

CORRECT ANSWER
1963
EDDIE SAYS
The date is likely to be near the beginning of the text. In fact it is in the title!
  • Question 2

Where was the train heading when it was ambushed?

CORRECT ANSWER
Euston
EDDIE SAYS
Take care here. You may have scanned the text and found the word Glasgow, but then you need to read that part carefully and you will see that the train was travelling from Glasgow, not to Glasgow.
  • Question 3

What was the name of the train driver? Write his name in the answer box.

CORRECT ANSWER
Jack Mills
EDDIE SAYS
You could scan the text for the word 'driver', and you are looking for words beginning with capital letters.
  • Question 4

The train was a Post Office train, where workers sorted mail as the train travelled. How many mail sorters were working on the train that night? Write the number in the answer box.

CORRECT ANSWER
75
seventy five
seventy-five
EDDIE SAYS
You are looking for a number, so you can scan quite quickly.
  • Question 5

What was the total of the rewards offered for catching the criminals?

CORRECT ANSWER
£260,000
EDDIE SAYS
Scan the text for a number beginning with a pound sign.
  • Question 6

The gang had their hideout in a farm. What was it called? Write the name of the farm in the answer box.

CORRECT ANSWER
Leatherslade
Leatherslade Farm
EDDIE SAYS
You could scan the text for the words 'hideout' or 'farm', and you will be looking for a word beginning with a capital letter.
---- OR ----

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