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Primary Literacy Guide and Review

Added 02 Nov 2020 | Updated 13 Oct 23

Primary boys share a book

Primary Literacy Research and Policy Guide

The guide aims to inform and support busy teachers and leaders of literacy to bridge the gap between evidence and practice. It does this by collating and summarising key points from recent research and policy developments across all areas of the English curriculum. Our aim is to make research easily accessible to facilitate teachers and leaders in making informed, professional decisions about literacy development in their schools.

Updated annually, the guide concentrates on the most recent research related to literacy to help shape and develop sustainable literacy strategies.

Focus areas

  1. Early literacy: including reading and phonics in nursery and reception
  2. Reading: encompassing reading comprehension, critical literacy and reading for enjoyment
  3. Writing: creating a school writing culture, writing for pleasure, and a writing curriculum to develop skills to support the writing process
  4. Oracy: developing oral skills and the role of high-quality classroom talk in developing children's thinking and learning.
  5. Literacy leadership: insight and evidence for leaders working to drive change and embed a whole-school approach to literacy.

Primary Literacy School Review

This review tool consists of a series of posters plus supporting guidance notes for each topic. Reflecting the focus areas of the Primary Literacy Research and Policy Guide the posters contain a series of statements to be used to map your current whole-school literacy provision. This will show your strengths, but will also identify areas that need more attention and where your focus should be for improving literacy provision.

Use the posters as a planning tool among your literacy team, and you can also display one (or more) for a focus to provide insight and inspiration for all staff.

Supporting each poster is a set of guidance notes, pointing you to resources that both support development of staff knowledge, and that provide practical activities for the classroom.

Posters cover the following topics:

  1. Early reading and phonics
  2. Reading enjoyment
  3. Reading comprehension
  4. Writing culture
  5. Writing curriculum
  6. Embedding the writing process
  7. Vocabulary, grammar and punctuation
  8. Transcription - handwriting and spelling
  9. Oracy

Annual Literacy Toolkit

The Literacy Research and Policy Guide sits alongside our Annual Literacy Survey to support evaluation, reflection and ongoing strategic development of whole-school literacy. The toolkit can be built into your annual school-improvement cycle to provide a gateway to good practice that is informed by evidence, in line with policy and inspired by practical ideas.

Secondary Literacy Guide

The Secondary School Literacy Research and Policy Guide is designed to inform and support teachers, especially those who are leading and developing whole-school literacy, with a focus on literacy within subject-disciplinary areas.

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