Innovation Exchange

Literacy Development Programme


Key activities

Benefits and impacts


Renfrewshire Council's Literacy Development Programme is an innovative new programme which will transform the teaching of reading in Renfrewshire schools. It is working in partnership with Strathclyde University to deliver a range of training programmes involving head teachers and class teachers across primary and secondary schools in Renfrewshire to support the teaching of literacy. The Literacy Development Programme is an investment as part of Renfrewshire’s Tackling Poverty Programme, and is focussed on narrowing the attainment gap between children from low income households and their peers.

Theme: Children and Education

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The Literacy Development Programme has four main areas of work, which include:


Workstream 1 - The Primary Literacy Coaching

Focussing on P1-P3 pupils, primary head teachers and class teachers are being trained in new approaches that support the teaching of reading.


Workstream 2 - Knowledge-Rich, Literacy-Rich Curriculum Design

Focussing on P4-7 pupils, class teachers are being trained in developing teaching approaches which focus on the environment and experiences required to support the development of reading.


Workstream 3 - Fresh Start into S1

Focussing on young people who may be at risk during the transition to S1, this project will provide support activities to promote confidence, well being and peer mentoring.


Workstream 4 - Disciplinary Literacy

Focussing on subject specialist teachers, this training programme provides opportunities to further develop skills in the teaching of literacy across learning and disciplines.

  • Increased pupil attainment in reading
  • Collaborative practices across the teacher community
  • Increase in teacher knowledge of literacy factors
  • Enhanced motivation and pupil attitudes leading to school engagement

The Primary Literacy Coaching Programme has been a rich professional learning experience for teachers and head teachers and has increased confidence in using running records and miscue analysis as a means of ensuring the correct text level for pupils. The coaching approach has been well received and has equipped teachers with a range of evidence-based strategies to support readers within P1-3. In addition, the programme has encouraged head teachers to review their strategic approaches to assessment, teaching and learning, learning support, resourcing and pupil engagement. Feedback from participating schools is already indicating that these approaches are helping to raise attainment.


The work on Disciplinary Literacy has provided opportunities for subject specialists across a range of curricular areas to further enhance their knowledge of the teaching of literacy and has provided practical ways in which this can be embedded across all subjects for pupils. Teacher confidence in teaching aspects of literacy is improving as a result and pupils are experiencing a greater variety of quality, literacy-rich experiences throughout the school day.


The Fresh Start into S1 and Knowledge-Rich, Literacy-Rich Curriculum Design programmes will begin in August 2016

Contact details:

To find out more about this case study, please contact:


Laura McAllister

Education Manager (Curriculum and Early Years)

Renfrewshire Council

0141 618 7301

Case study added to site: June 2016

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