1.8 Supporting literacy

Understanding how to support literacy skills is as important in a secondary school setting as it is in nursery and primary settings. There are a range of resources available to support the development of literacy and local authorities may have their own approaches and resources which they have developed or can be purchased for schools to use.

The Addressing Dyslexia Toolkit Working Group have developed the Literacy Circles which help teachers’ gain an understanding of how the literacy skills have developed for child or young person who they are working with. The circles can be used in primary and secondary sectors and may also be beneficial for children and young people for whom English is not their first language, as well as for adults.

The circles provide:

  • Descriptions of the key areas involved in the acquisition of reading skills
  • A tool to identify areas of difficulty
  • Approaches and strategies for each key area
Described image
Figure 6 Reading circle
Described image
Figure 7 Writing circle

The circles include a practical planning/evaluation tool to record discussions with colleagues, staff and where appropriate the learner. It can highlight strengths, difficulties and offer guidance to plan the next steps appropriately, bearing in mind that some aspects will be areas of strength for the individual which could support areas of difficulty.


The full interactive versions of the literacy circles can be found on the Addressing Dyslexia Toolkit [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] in the resources section.


Downloads of the summary circles with the planning page at the end of each file are available for you to see.

PDF Reading Circle

PDF Writing Circle

Now try the formative quiz 1 to consolidate your knowledge and understanding from this section. Completing the quizzes is part of gaining the digital badge, as explained in the module overview.

Formative quiz 1

1.7 Appropriate Support approaches

2 Curriculum and Assessment