The Extending Literacy Project

Feb 26, 2021


The standards in literacy achieved by primary schools are a perennial concern for the media and the government. Literacy is clearly not confined to a mastery of the “basics” of reading and writing and there has also been concern about the ability of pupils to use their literacy productively. A number of children seem to find difficulty in using their reading and writing as media for learning across the curriculum. Many also progress to secondary school unable to cope with the reading and writing demands of the secondary curriculum.


The EXEL project

It was to address issues such as these that we began the EXEL (Exeter Extending Literacy) project in September 1992, with funding from the Nuffield Foundation. The project involved us working closely over a 10 year period with teachers across the country to devise and trial a range of teaching strategies to extend children’s use and control of literacy. The project became nationally and internationally known and had a significant impact on teachers’ thinking and teaching in the area of extending literacy. The best known outcomes were the EXIT model and writing frames.

You can download papers arising from the Extending Literacy project here: