Reading and Writing Scales


The CLPE Reading and Writing Scales - available FREE

Supporting progression for 3-16 year olds in a 21st Century Classroom

What are the Reading and Writing Scales?

The CLPE Reading and Writing Scales describe the journey that children make in order to become literate. They help teachers to understand what progression looks like in reading and writing. We have designed the Scales to illustrate how schools can provide an environment that supports children’s development as readers and writers and to suggest 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 scales could transform English pedagogy and assessment"

Dame Alison Peacock 

"Using the CLPE Reading and Writing scales allows me to step back and consider the holistic development of the children in my class as readers and writers."  

Year 3 Primary School Teacher

Who has developed them?

Originally developed over 30 years ago, the Scales were first published as part of the CLPE Primary Language Record (PLR). The PLR was widely used in primary schools in the late 80s and 90s; influencing language and literacy records in all parts of the UK. CLPE joined forces with English and Media Centre (EMC), National Association for Advisors in English (NAAE), National Association for the Teaching of English (NATE) and the United Kingdom Literacy Association (UKLA) to update the Scales for the 21st Century and to make them available free to all.

Why will they make a difference?

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.

By publishing the scales we are supporting teacher subject knowledge in the development of reading and writing, providing a tool that will help strengthen teacher understanding. If used correctly, this publication will enable schools to recognise and document children’s very different learning styles within a common framework and to plan for varying needs of individual children.

How should I use them?

The Scales have been developed as PDFs. Using the PDFs will support teachers who are getting to know the scales. They can be looked at as a staff group and develop teachers' understanding of the continuum of literacy learning. They are designed to be printed in A3 colour and can be downloaded from the left of the page.

The Reading and Writing Scales underpin all CLPE courses and professional development

"A truly fantastic free resource to support children's literacy development"