Last Updated: Friday, April 29, 2022

Literacy across learning in secondary schools

What is this?

​​This resource contains practical advice for practitioners in all curricular areas on how to plan learning and teaching experiences to develop and extend young people’s literacy skills.

It contains ‘Reading’, ‘Listening and Talking’ and ‘Writing’ sections.

Each section of the resource includes reflective questions for practitioners or groups of practitioners to use to develop self-evaluation and inform planning.

The resource outlines teaching and learning approaches to support literacy teaching in the classroom. These can be downloaded as PDF documents.

An informative PowerPoint with voiceover introduces the resource and explains how to use it. It offers clear links to the key documentation linked to literacy across learning including Building the Curriculum 1 and 3-18 Literacy and English Review as well as highlighting the core skills required to improve literacy across all subjects.

Who is this for?

​This resource is designed for use by literacy leaders and secondary non-English teachers and others who support literacy in secondary schools.

How to use this learning and assessment resource to improve practice

The resource can be used to support individual and whole-school career-long professional learning (CLPL).

The leadership and professional learning section offers advice for strategic leaders and supports professional learning.

The case study demonstrates an effective approach to literacy across learning in one school.

This resource can be used in sections at INSET or at department meetings to explore literacy across learning in curricular areas. It can also be used in its entirety as a means of checking on progress and next steps for departments as they work on literacy across learning.

The listening and talking section identifies the key areas for focus of these skills:

  • Active listening
  • Group discussions
  • Individual talk

Guidance is given on assessment and effective feedback.

Reading strategies are provided to support learners to read using higher order skills:

  • analyse and evaluate new information
  • synthesise ideas and apply learning in unfamiliar contexts, with increasing independence
  • develop critical literacy skills, including the ability to distinguish between fact and opinion
  • recognise persuasive language and evaluate the reliability and relevance of sources.

There is also practical advice on choosing appropriate texts of the correct level of challenge and supporting learners as they access these texts.

Writing across the subject areas is supported in several areas:

  • type and purpose of the writing
  • agreed criteria for success (differentiated to meet the needs of all learners and build on prior learning)
  • support for planning
  • opportunities for individual or peer evaluation
  • time for learners to review and edit their writing.

Downloads and videos

PDF file: Reading

PDF file: Listening and talking

PDF file: Listening and talking diagram

PDF file: Writing

Zip file: Writing: support documents