Understanding the Literacy Requirements of the new GCSEs

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The new GCSE specifications place greater demands on pupils' literacy skills. Pupils without these skills can be held back in every subject.

About the workshop

Every GCSE subject will include literacy requirements from next year. To help teachers meet this challenge, our secondary experts have developed a workshop to focus on key areas such as extended writing and SPAG.

  • Learn strategies for improving reading comprehension and extended writing in curriculum areas

    Explore reciprocal reading and the Directed Activities Related to Texts (DARTS) approach. Develop approaches to teaching writing which look at and model language features for improved writing including discourse markers, the passive voice and nominalisation.

  • Transform informal, speech-like writing into a more formal written style

    Learn to highlight specific language features and appropriate academic register that enable students to write like subject experts. Explore the benefits of a 'dictogloss' as a strategy to increase nominalisation in formal writing.

  • Annotate and explain a piece of GCSE writing to highlight typical language features

    Identify audience and purpose for different text types. Look at the importance of recognising command words as indicators of specific writing conventions. Explore subject-specific language features that can help make students writing more coherent and cohesive.

  • Understand how to analyse the literacy demands of your own subjects

    Examine mark schemes from a range of subjects to identify the assessment objectives in their own specifications and identify the key types of writing required. Develop your ability to write and model an extended GCSE answer for your subject.

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Workshop structure and pricing


The workshop takes place over one day.

  • Explore the research evidence on academic language in education
  • Understand the literacy demands of curriculum subjects
  • From talk to writing: understanding the register continuum
  • Learn strategies for improving talking and writing in an academic style
  • Plan for implementing these strategies and activities back in your school


The training is more effective when a cross-section of subjects are represented, so we encourage at least two teachers from each school (including the literacy lead) to attend.

  • £175 for the first participant per school
  • Additional places £125*
  • 1 day workshop available as whole school inset - prices available on request
  • Follow up consultancy may be available on request

Attendance includes a £25 discount on National Literacy Trust membership

*existing members receive a £25 discount on the workshop per school

Express an interest

Could you host?

We are always looking for enthusiastic schools across the UK to host our training programmes. We ask you to:

  • Provide a teaching space with IT facilities
  • Print resources for the sessions
  • Organise lunch where required

In return, we offer a complimentary place on the course. This is also a great opportunity for you to position yourself as a research-led school.

Express an interest

Resources related to cross-curricular literacy

Consider becoming a member of the National Literacy Trust to access our full library of downloadable resources and evaluation tools.

Become a National Literacy Trust member