Generic literacy mat

Planning your answer first

Explain - GCSE History

Evaluation -

A Level Biology

Literacy mats 

These literacy mat examples can be used/adapted by teachers in their own way. They focus on how to use connectives/sentence starters effectively.  Laminate them and have them on the tables every lesson and make sure students who find extended writing difficult use them as they can be really effective if used regularly.  Students are encouraged to download and use them at home as well as in lesson. 



















Plan your answer first 

When you are writing an extended piece of writing, it is useful to plan your answers first as it gives you guidance on how you want to structure your answer. This is something that teachers do really well and there are a lot of great examples of planning worksheets available online. These can be even more effective once students know how to structure their answer and apply the connectives effectively. I have included an example of my own which has worked well with students who find extended writing difficult.
















Reflect on the written quality of your answer after

Once students have completed a piece of extended writing, this self/peer assessment activity can be used by the student to help reflect on the written quality of an answer. The main focus is on spelling, punctuation and grammar. Again, this can have a positive impact if used consistently. This activity will allow for students to become more independent and they will start to take responsibility for the quality of work they are producing.  Use/adapt the document below to help you do this.















Writing frames

Never underestimate the impact writing frames can have on progress, especially for students who find extended writing difficult.  Guide students through a question by breaking it down step by step. It allows them to understand how they need to structure their answer if they want to maximise their chances of gaining a higher grade. These writing frames should also be differentiated to meet the needs of each student in the class. These are different examples that can be used/adapted in your own way. (I have also included the A Level answer for Biology as an additional example).

Reflect on the written quality of your answer

Subject example: Business Studies 

Understand how you are being assessed

How to compare and contrast