BCCET Reading, Writing and Communication Guiding Principles 2021-22

‘Reading, writing, vocabulary, speaking, listening, debate…the complex tapestry of great teaching, enacted in every lesson, in every phase and subject domain, by every teacher.’ Alex Quigley


“Pupils who struggle to read struggle in all subjects” Nick Gibb (DFE)

Teaching children to read is fundamental to their educational achievement.  As a Trust, all schools are united in one common goal; to teach children to be effective readers by rooting the curriculum in appropriate fiction and non-fiction reading material, and fostering a genuine passion, enthusiasm and appreciation of reading. As a Trust we are committed to giving disadvantaged pupils the same sense of entitlement and opportunity to read for academic purposes and pleasure, as their peers. We believe for all pupils a strong command of language is not only essential in the wider academic world but it can also affect a pupil’s self-esteem and confidence.

At all phases of education, we will develop academic excellence in all schools through:

  1. A love of reading, for pleasure, with a rigorous approach to develop learners’ confidence and enjoyment of reading, writing and communication.
  2. A language-rich environment, in relation to the different tiers of vocabulary.
  3. A rigorous approach to develop learners’ confidence and enjoyment of reading, writing and communication
  4. Reading materials closely matched to learners’ knowledge and skills, ensuring sequential development and aiming for optimal stretch and challenge.
  5. A highly targeted support programme for pupils who have gaps in reading, writing and communication.
  6. All staff to confidently model excellent habits in reading, writing and communication.
  7. Seamless transition between key phases.
  8. Access to high quality stimulating reading materials for both pupils and parents.
  9. Regular opportunities to develop writing across the sequenced curriculum.


‘Fluent reading supports comprehension because pupils’ cognitive resources are freed from focusing on word recognition and can be redirected towards comprehending        the text’. (EEF)

Learning to read is a highly complex undertaking that is underpinned by two fundamental processes:

  1. Word reading through the decoding of words and recognition of words.
  2. Comprehension of texts through a range of knowledge and skills.

It is the skilled combination of these two dimensions that facilitates all reading success (EEF).

At all phases of education, we will ensure that teachers strive daily to secure pupils’ understanding and application of both language comprehension and word recognition by:

  1. A highly considered reading spine which aligns to the curriculum intent of an individual school, promoting challenging debate and enjoyment of reading and the acquisition of powerful knowledge.
  2. Frequent (Tier 2) and complex (Tier 3) vocabulary is prioritised across the taught curriculum and pupils are given opportunities to apply this vocabulary in writing, in all subjects.
  3. Explicit and systematic teaching of phonics through a DfE validated programme, to quickly ingrain word recognition and spelling by developing pupils’ ability to hear, identify and manipulate phonemes to apply this in writing.
  4. Daily reading aloud by pupils with accompanying guided oral reading instruction by all staff.
  5. Pupils can articulate and debate ideas verbally; teachers model high quality oracy.
  6. Structured, timely and bespoke interventions to help pupils struggling with literacy fluency through accurate, early diagnosis.
  7. Reading and writing are combined. Reading helps pupils gain knowledge, developing comprehension and fluency which leads to better writing. Writing opportunities are provided in all subjects to deepen pupils’ understanding.
  8. Spelling, grammar and punctuation are taught explicitly to improve pupils’ reading, writing and oracy.
  9. Parents/carers are encouraged to help their children become confident, fluent readers and writers.
  10. That we explicitly celebrate success in reading and writing.

All subjects should have:

  1. Carefully selected texts built into curriculum planning, linked to subject specific writing and communication.
  2. Reading and writing integrated into sequences of learning and short-term teacher planning.
  3. Structured questioning to develop reading comprehension and vocabulary with appropriate etymology and morphology strategies embedded.
  4. A framework ensuring pupils recognise features, aims and conventions of good writing.
  5. Opportunities to develop pupils’ spelling, punctuation and grammar.

Monitoring Progress

Pupils’ development in literacy is monitored through the following strategies:

  1. Calendared quality assurance opportunities; pupil voice, planning, progress data, work sampling and observation of teaching.
  2. Regular reading age tests at regular intervals throughout a pupil’s school career.
  3. Regular assessment of reading and phonics resulting in data-driven interventions
  4. Monitored progress of structured reading, one to one reading and interventions.
  5. Pupils’ participation in reading and reading aloud.
  6. Pupils’ academic performance in extended writing assessments and acquisition of knowledge – ‘surface, deep and transfer.’
  7. Writing moderation at a subject, school and trust level.

Professional Development:

  1. All teachers will be supported to understand how to develop pupils’ ability to read, write and communicate effectively in all subjects.
  2. School leaders will support teachers by ensuring training related to literacy priorities, is provided.


‘’Books expose children to more facts and to a broader vocabulary than virtually any other activity; people who read for pleasure enjoy cognitive benefits throughout their lifetime’ Daniel Willingham

Progress in:

  1. Development of reading, writing and communication in relation to starting points.
  2. The development of values, motivation, aspirations and the moral imperatives enabling them to flourish.
  3. The acquisition of the emotional, cultural and powerful knowledge that exposure to reading brings.
  4. Reading fluency so that all can access the richest of curriculums.
  5. Pupils’ love of reading and writing for pleasure.
  6. Academic excellence in writing in all subjects and ready to succeed in their next phase of learning.
  7. Outcomes such as creativity, empathy and pupils understanding more about themselves and others.
  8. Relationships: pupils sharing their enjoyment of reading with family and friends.
  9. Communication skills; pupils’ drawing on their knowledge of texts, vocabulary and information gained through reading, in their verbal explanations and written communication.
  10. Pupils having the skills to confidently express themselves to a range of audiences.
  11. Social outcomes such as eliminating the impact of early life literacy disadvantage and ultimately closing the reading gap between the ‘word poor’ and the ‘word rich’.
  12. Pupils’ self-esteem: pupils identifying recognising and experiencing the benefit of regular reading to their physical and mental health.