Literacy Across the Curriculum

Whole School Reading, Writing and Talk for Learning


The development of students’ literacy skills is the responsibility of the whole school community. Literacy encompasses three areas: writing, reading and talk for learning; all departments have a role to play in supporting students’ abilities to speak, listen, read and write.

Across the curriculum at WHS we will aim to improve students’ literacy skills by:


  • Being fully aware of students both on SEN and EAL registers when preparing work and displays; thus presenting reading tasks at a suitable level through differentiation.
  • Promoting reading for pleasure and information to all students.
  • Showing students how to work on a text to extract information- skimming, scanning, note taking, identifying key points.
  • Enabling students to recognise specific features of different text types.
  • Providing opportunities for students to read for meaning and assessing students’ understanding of texts.


  • Introducing and explaining subject specific vocabulary.
  • Ensuring students record key words.
  • Encouraging students to learn the meanings, spellings and usage of these words.
  • Presenting spelling as an integral part of the subject, encouraging students to act on marked work by recording and learning spellings (particularly subject specific spellings).
  • Highlighting literacy errors in students’ work. This might be in a single paragraph if the student has made many mistakes.
  • Providing time and opportunity for students to correct their errors.
  • When possible, providing opportunity for students to redraft.
  • Ensuring that departments make the audience and purpose of writing clear.
  • Displaying useful phrases to help students link and develop ideas in writing.
  • Providing annotated examples of writing in the subject so that students know what is required.
  • Having a dictionary available for common use in each classroom.
  • Developing students’ writing stamina through regular extended writing.

Talk for learning:

  • Appreciating the power of talk in learning.
  • Developing ideas through pair and group work, drama and role play.
  • Encouraging students to listen to and evaluate sensitively the ideas of others.
  • Developing students’ skills of questioning.
  • Giving students the confidence to articulate their views in a range of contexts will help them become more effective lifelong learners


Some useful guides and resources: