Best Practice

Case study: Embedding literacy across a subject discipline

Students might not consider design and technology or food lessons to be places where literacy is at the forefront of teaching and learning. Emma Goldfinch describes her school’s work to put literacy at the heart of their subject discipline

In 1975, the Bullock Report recognised that every secondary school should develop a policy for language across the curriculum and employ an experienced linguist to work directly with subject teachers.

Today, the Education Endowment Foundation’s latest guidance (2019) is still recommending improvements in the teaching of literacy within the classroom.

Improving secondary literacy is key. At Orchard Mead Academy in Leicester, we have looked carefully at what we needed to do in order to improve the standard of spoken English and the enhancements that would be needed in the curriculum in order to embed literacy in all lessons.

In design and technology (D&T) and food lessons, students often believe that everything should be about skills, and this is often reinforced by parents and carers. Working in a traditional skill-based subject area, some teachers can also be reluctant to fully embed a knowledge-rich curriculum.

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