CLPE Reading & Writing Scales

The scales help teachers to understand progression in reading and writing. They show how schools can use assessment for learning and develop subject knowledge to support children’s development in language and literacy.

• The Reading and Writing Scales describe the journeys that children make in order to become literate.
• The purpose of the scales is to help teachers to understand what progression looks like in reading and writing. This app helps schools to provide an environment that supports children’s development as readers and writers and suggests some next steps that teachers can plan in order to take children into the next phase of their development.
• The pedagogy underpinning the scales and the Next Steps is grounded in a coherent theory of children’s language and literacy development, exemplified by the research element of this document, a review of current relevant research.
• These are progression and not summative assessment scales. They are designed to support and develop teacher subject knowledge in literacy development, not to set out a linear sequence of targets that children need to reach in order to move to the next phase.

• The Reading and Writing Scales were created by the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) and representatives from United Kingdom Literacy Association (UKLA), English and Media Centre (EMC), National Association for Advisors in English (NAAE) and the National Association for the Teaching of English (NATE).
• The group has created a framework that builds on the CLPE reading and writing scales, originally developed as part of the widely used Primary Language Record. Our motivation was to help to ensure that any sort of end of Key Stage performance descriptors become more meaningful and to help teachers develop practice that was drawn from established research about children’s literacy development.

There are several parts to this publication:
• The Reading and Writing scales
There is one scale for reading and one for writing. Each scale offers a description of the observable behaviours of pupils at different stages. Teachers will be able to think about where on the scales they could place the children that they teach. Once they have thought about this they will be able to see the next set of observable behaviours they are likely to see if the child is progressing with reading and writing. Using one of the scales to reflect on the attainment of children in their class will give teachers a clear idea about what to look for in day to day assessment and the key areas they need to plan for next. Every child will have a different journey through these scales. Their starting points and their rate and pattern of progression will depend on many factors including their prior experience, their interests and their learning preferences.
• The Next Steps
For each of the ‘points’ on the scale we have also described the provision, practice and pedagogy a teacher would want to plan for in order to help the child move forward in their literacy. We have designed this section to be used alongside the scale. Once the teacher has observed the child’s behaviour and worked out where on the scale the child is, they will be able to work out where there are gaps in learning and then look at the next steps to support future planning.
• The Research and Reading
These scales are underpinned by well-evidenced research. In the Research and Reading section we have outlined the evidence that supports this work. By using this section, teachers will be able to access the theory and evidence that underpins learning and teaching in reading and writing, enabling them to develop their understanding of why, when and how different practices can be most effective.
More information about the Scales can be found at
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Additional information

Eligible for Family Library
29 January 2016
Current Version
Requires Android
4.0.3 and up
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English and Media Centre
The English and Media Centre 18 Compton Terrace London N1 2UN
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