Improving Literacy


This one-day workshop explores generic ways in which to integrate the teaching, training and delivery of literacy into all subject areas, creating a whole-organisation strategy for improving literacy. One that makes literacy more visible across the entire curriculum.

In his speech, ‘What is a good education in the 21st century?’, Schools Minister Nick Gibb explained the importance of a core academic curriculum and the value of excellent teachers through which learners assimilate the background knowledge that they need in order to be able to apply the complex thinking skills required to reach higher levels of achievement.

The National Literacy Trust has released a guide to teachers on how schools should develop students’ English skills in all subjects, though which it paints a ‘portrait’ of how English should look in all schools – identifying good practice and consistency in this support. This workshop seeks to inspire and create discussion about how these ideas might be implemented.

It considers how GCSE style analysis can be woven in to cross-curricular learning through activities such as storytelling, research, organising and shaping writing; skills such as critical analysis and mastery learning are introduced in order to support the application of English skills through the knowledge of how English ‘works’ in all subjects.

Participants explore how literacy and English can be embedded, in interactive, effective and fun ways across most subject areas. In a day packed full of activities and discussion, participants experience real creativity with a wealth of strategies, resources and imaginative approaches incorporating collaboration and critical thinking as well as the promotion of a whole school, consistent approach to literacy.

There will be ample opportunity for participants to gain confidence in their own knowledge of and approach to, the teaching and support of literacy and English. It helps them develop their skills whilst providing examples of good practice for those tasked with observing the teaching and training of literacy and English and its incorporation into learning across the curriculum.

For Whom
Attendees at workshop will be those with responsibility for Leading Literacy across the organisation; those planning or delivering literacy and English skills and staff who are supporting these skills across the curriculum. It will be of interest to representatives from all organisations delivering learning, including those responsible for the quality of teaching

Aims and Objectives:
To help participants to understand a varied and extended range of strategies for promoting the learning of English and literacy skills across the curriculum. The workshop provides participants with the chance to:

  • Promote a cohesive, whole-organisation approach to supporting literacy
  • Recognise practical ways in which teachers can use long term plans and schemes of work to create effective teaching strategies which support literacy development
  • Identify the barriers and opportunities that can affect a pupil’s life chances with regard to literacy levels
  • Engage in activities that encourage the development of speaking, listening, reading and writing skills with cross-curricular links


Participants will experience an extensive range of practical ideas for developing their understanding of English, literacy and its teaching whilst exploring and exchanging ideas to make English and literacy more visible within their own teaching environment. There will be numerous opportunities to share good practice and explore interactive, fun and effective ways to raise confidence in delivering or supporting English/literacy.


  1. The role of literacy in improving life chances in young people.
    Session 1 looks at the potential barriers to literacy development and how changes to learning and environment can impact upon students’ academic achievement and in later life their workplace performance too.
  1. Effective strategies for teaching and supporting English/literacy.
    This session examines a range of effective strategies useful for teaching English and literacy in a variety of contexts. There will be an opportunity to examine and discuss approaches to teaching Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing, such as Mastery learning, as well as a chance to share in the experiences of peers whilst evaluating examples of good literacy teaching and support.
  • Effectively organising writing and getting the point across
  • Retrieving information from a number of sources
  • Storytelling and powerful communication skills
  • Analysing own and others’ work, redrafting and giving feedback
  1. Peer Referencing
    Session 3 demonstrates ways in which the whole curriculum links in order to strengthen learning and critical thinking skills. It explores ways to use context to enhance recognition and promote the understanding of English and literacy as well as helping to improve the motivation of learners who are finding literacy and English learning challenging
  1. Summary and Close
    The last session reviews all of the days learning and considers what participants need to do next in order to apply the learning.