What is WORD and why is it important?

WORD (Writing, Oracy and Reading) skills are crucial to developing students’ ability to read and understand; write with fluency, accuracy and enthusiasm; speak and listen with confidence and discernment.  Attainment of proficient communication capacity skills is vital for students to access all areas of the curriculum, and to achieve academic and social success.

WORD is the foundation of our curriculum and is the bedrock of learning at The Chase. We firmly believe that this focus will provide our students with advantages now whilst they are at school but also in their future learning and employment.  We want to ensure that our students are confident in communicating in a variety of situations and to suit a variety of audiences and experiences.


  • To ensure that standards of writing, oracy and reading are raised throughout all Key Stages across all subject areas
  • To embed WORD skills across all subject areas
  • To develop a common language of communication capability across all subject areas
  • To empower students with the capacity to use language purposefully and efficiently in a range of contexts for a range of purposes, in both oral and written form
  • To increase the range and depth of literacy knowledge to create a lifelong love of reading

Writing across the curriculum – Write like an expert

Expert writers have more choices in life: they communicate effectively and have confidence in the workplace. Our aim is to transform students from novice writers to expert writers.

Students will be trained to produce high quality writing across a range of genres, manipulating language to suit complex purposes and varied readers.  Technical accuracy will be expected. All subject areas will plan for extended writing so that students can hone written expression.

Oracy across the curriculum – Speak like an expert

Students will be taught sophisticated skills of effective speaking and listening to enable them to present, debate and perform in a range of contexts, exploiting language to suit a range of audiences and purposes.  Students will demonstrate sensitivity when listening to others, building on others’ views or showing empathy where appropriate.  Opportunities to improve fluency, confidence, use expansive vocabulary as well as adopt active listening skills will be available in every subject area.

We recognise that oracy in the classroom should be seen, by both the teacher and the student, as a valuable activity; access to more demanding texts is made possible through directed talk.  Writing should be preceded by and supported by talk, in order that the students may more fully realise their intentions. ‘Say it again, better’ and ‘Speak like an expert’ are common expectations in our classrooms.

Reading Development across the curriculum – Read like an expert

If young people cannot read they cannot access any area of the curriculum and this is why we have prioritised reading. Students will be exposed to ‘Tutor Reads’ three times a week as part of the Tutor Programme with material that has been carefully chosen to support Character Education. Students will also be exposed to ‘The Big Read’ where we will tap into current events and affairs to broaden appreciation of national and global events. 

Students will have access to a wealth of literature across the curriculum from pre-1914 to the modern day to enrich their curriculum. Faculty areas will publish recommended reading material for students and in particular students who may which to explore hinterland knowledge.

Complex texts of every genre will be introduced and the students will be expected to review texts using evaluative and analytical skills.