Last Updated: Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Literacy Circles – Reading and writing circles

What is this?

These free professional development resources provide up-to-date practical advice, guidance and strategies to support the assessment and planning for literacy difficulties.

They have been developed by the Addressing Dyslexia Toolkit Working Group to help teachers gain an understanding of a child/young person’s literacy skills.

There are two ways to access information within the reading and writing circles:

  • The full interactive versions of the literacy circles can be found on the Addressing Dyslexia Toolkit in the resources section;
  • Summary printable versions are available to download below.

Who is this for?

These professional learning resources are designed for:

  • Early years practitioners;
  • All teachers – primary and secondary;
  • EAL practitioners - school age and adult;
  • School management;
  • Support staff;
  • Local authority education officers for literacy and inclusion.

Explore this resource

How to use this learning and assessment resource to improve practice

These reading and writing resources have been developed to help with assessment, support and planning for literacy difficulties. The circles can be used in primary and secondary sectors and may also be beneficial for adults and for children and young people for whom English is not their first language.

The reading and writing circles provide:

  • Descriptions of the key areas involved in the acquisition of reading and writing skills;
  • A tool to identify areas of difficulty;
  • Approaches and strategies for each key area;
  • Support for appropriate planning.

The resources will help teachers understand the various key aspects which are involved in developing the skills to support reading and writing. They will also help teachers highlight strengths, difficulties and offer guidance to plan the next steps appropriately.

The circles, and particularly the practical planning tool, can be used to support:

  • professional learning and reflection;
  • dialogue with colleagues;
  • dialogue with the learner;
  • meetings when sharing information with parents/carers, the learner and colleagues;
  • collegiate groups and training.

Aims of the literacy circles:

  • Included within the Route Map for Dyslexia and Inclusive Practice, these resources will support practitioners develop a deeper learning and understanding of the acquisition of reading and writing skills.
  • To encourage practitioners to be familiar with, and make appropriate use of, the Addressing Dyslexia Toolkit.
  • To support teachers evidence and demonstrate their professional knowledge and understanding on literacy and contribute towards their Professional Update.

Reflective questions

  • Since literacy is a responsibility for all teachers, how do I know I that have an appropriate awareness of literacy development including reading and writing?
  • How effectively do I/we provide appropriate and effective planning of literacy support for children and young people with dyslexia and literacy difficulties?
  • How effectively do I/we provide appropriate and effective planning of support to secure improved achievement and attainment for children and young people with dyslexia and literacy difficulties?
  • How successfully are children and young people, teachers and parents/carers provided with appropriate information to support their understanding of effective strategies and support for literacy difficulties?
  • How effectively do I/we enable the participation of children and young people during the process of exploring their literacy difficulties?
  • How effective are I/we at helping them understand their strengths and areas of difficulties and supporting them to contribute to their support plan?


PDF file: Reading Circles - Summary (1.7 MB)

PDF file: Writing Circles - Summary (1.7 MB)