Embedding Literacy: Promoting literacy across the curriculum in secondary schools

Embedding Literacy: Promoting literacy across the curriculum in secondary schools

Dec 2012


Improve literacy and achievement across the curriculum using proven strategies to create a whole-school culture of support

Embedding Literacy is a training pack designed to help you develop strategies for improving literacy that in turn raise achievement across the whole school in all subjects.  This unique training resource will empower you to create a whole-school culture that sees literacy as an essential priority that will improve examination results, make classroom interaction more meaningful and equip pupils with the necessary literacy skills to be successful in school and in life.


This resource will enable you as a school to:

  • Increase pupils progress in all subjects with improved reading, writing, speaking and listening
  • Foster a whole school positive culture of support for pupils when reading and writing within subject areas
  • Develop transferrable practice that can be used to improve literacy levels and raise attainment across the curriculum
  • Overcome barriers to learning with literacy skills that positively contribute to learning
  • Improve outcomes for underachieving pupils by raising their profile and taking direct action to support them
  • Create a team of experts who can offer widespread practical professional support  to colleagues encouraging effective teaching and learning
  • Raise achievement by promoting effective teaching and learning strategies and developing  pedagogy and practice.

Why buy an Optimus Education DIY Training resource?

Embedding Literacy: Promoting literacy across the curriculum in secondary schools is part of the Optimus Education D-I-Y (deliver it yourself) training portfolio. Our D-I-Y training packages provide:

  • value for money – training sessions can be delivered multiple times to different groups of staff
  • comprehensive training materials – detailed training plans, presentations, handouts and a variety of practical activities to engage participants are all provided in the package
  • flexibility – training sessions can be customised with case studies, questions or exercises which are specific to your school’s needs
  • excellent quality – the training materials have been written by experienced trainers with expertise in the topic area; you benefit from their knowledge and guidance
  • measurable outcomes – each package includes ways to monitor effectiveness and learning outcomes.


Summary of contents

Embedding Literacy enables you to bring about positive change through the creation of an enthusiastic central literacy team who support and train teachers, librarians and teaching assistants to engage in literacy initiatives across the whole curriculum.

  • Improve pupil outcomes by overcoming barriers to learning
  • Support reading and writing within every subject
  • Promote outstanding teaching and learning
  • Develop a whole-school culture of support for literacy

Session Breakdown

Training session 1 – Why Literacy is important and what we’re going to do about it

Learning Outcomes:

  • Participants establish themselves as the school literacy team with a clear rationale for literacy development
  • Complete a literacy audit, analysing and establishing pupils’ literacy needs
  • Identify follow up diagnostic activities that will inform an overview of literacy needs, potential developments and areas of good practice

Training session 2 – What’s in it for us?  What do we need to do?

Learning Outcomes:

  • Understand and appreciate the rationale for promoting literacy across the curriculum
  • Become members of the school’s literacy learning community
  • Make a commitment to take positive practical action based on the training session to promote literacy in your subject area
  • Gain practical literacy strategies to experiment with in the classroom and gain success

Training session 3 – Reading and talk

Learning Outcomes:

  • Be introduced to strategies for teaching reciprocal reading techniques alongside purposeful talk to engage pupils with texts
  • Explore the application of reciprocal reading techniques and talk to your own subject area
  • Gain confidence to use reciprocal reading techniques in the classroom

Training session 4 – Talk and writing - training group facilitators

Learning Outcomes:

  • Establish yourselves as department facilitators with a clear appreciation of a department’s written demands for pupils
  • Identify the genres of writing and language features commonly used in subject areas
  • Adopt a consistent common metalanguage, explanations of text, language features and the writing process which will be consistently used to support colleagues during forthcoming whole school training

Training session 5 – Talk for writing 1

Learning Outcomes:

  • Introduce techniques for improving writing and develop a consistent approach to teaching the writing process
  • Create a favourable context for writing by signposting key elements of the genre audience, purpose and structure of written pieces
  • Be able to identify and explicitly communicate the requirements of subject relevant  genres, audience and purpose for writing (GAP)
  • Identify how writing texts are structured in your subject area
  • Use agreed metalanguage to communicate the process of writing to pupils so that a consistent approach is developed in school

Training session 6 – Talk for writing 2

Learning Outcomes:

  • Use agreed metalanguage to communicate the process of writing and grammatical terms to pupils so that a consistent approach is developed in school and understood by pupils
  • Feel confident to experiment with subject related grammar in the classroom

About the expert

Angie Curran taught English for 26 years in London secondary schools. She has been a head of English, a head of Sixth Form and a Literacy Strategy Manager with responsibility for developing whole school literacy. For the past six years has been a local authority adviser for English providing professional development and training for schools and colleges.  She has worked extensively with headteachers, senior leaders, literacy coordinators, subject leaders and classroom teachers to embed literacy into school processes, procedures and curriculum areas.


  • A4 Ringbinder, c. 80 pages
  • CD-ROM containing PowerPoint presentations and accompanying resources


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