Launchpad for Literacy

Launchpad for Literacy sits alongside the Curriculum and current good practice, giving you a more specific and targeted approach to:

  • identifying and closing skill gaps
  • embedding speech and language interventions
  • ensuring progression for all and clarifying 'Quality First Teaching'
  • creating a firm, broad-base of skill readiness for all aspects of literacy, including Phonics

Read on for more applications and details...


The Launchpad for Literacy is an approach to literacy readiness for all children within the Early Years. In the Early Years and beyond, it also gives practitioners and leaders a tool to clarify what children CAN do, identify developmental skill gaps and set next steps, enabling you to:

  • incrementally close gaps in relation to vulnerable groups.
  • build skills to work towards group listening, participation and learning, supporting older children who find this problematic.
  • target specific language and vocabulary skills involved in a 'Love of Reading' and pave the way for reading comprehension, inference and building knowledge.
  • bridge the gap between spoken language and literacy by focussing on incremental sequences of skills.
  • improve Phonic and longer-term literacy outcomes for reading and writing.
  • avoid using 'blanket' approaches to literacy readiness and speech & language by embedding informed interventions into targeted practice and Quality First Teaching.
  • implement 'progressive support' by setting appropriate next steps for children with more specific needs or where progress has plateaued, ensuring progression for all.
  • avoid cycles of repeating what a child cannot do during interventions in order to facilitate progress.
  • make more informed decisions about interventions based on diagnostic assessments, making communication with Outside Agencies more specific and two-way.
  • focus on the language and social communication skills involved in PSED and appropriate behaviour.

Launchpad for Literacy also affirms and supports current good practice and pedagogy, allowing you to make more specific decisions about what you do and why, based on the skills children have now and the skills they need.

The Approach and Skills Framework

The Launchpad for Literacy Approach centres around the Skills Framework. Specific speech and language, social communication, visual and fine motor preconditional skills which are essential for literacy acquisition are set out in a developmental grid. This ensures a broader base of skill readiness for all aspects of Literacy.

Using the Skills Framework as you consider what children can do, what skills they need and make decisions how you are going to achieve this allows you to:

  • affirm current good practice and pedagogy and decide where changes need to be made.
  • have specific, developmental discussions and thoughts about children, allowing you to identify skill gaps and to set next steps.
  • plan bespoke sequences of learning opportunities to facilitate literacy readiness, based on what children can do now and what they need to do next.
  • identify and clarify speech and language issues and set next steps for those children.
  • clarify and be able to articulate what 'Language Enrichment' needs to look and sound like for different children, based on the skills the children have and the specific gaps that need to be filled.
  • specify and be able to articulate the strategies and approaches that make up 'Quality First Teaching' for different children and cohorts and how these may need to evolve over time.
  • build a 'Skill Profile' for target children (also known as 'The Bottom 20%') to identify what they can do, to clarify what they need, to set next steps and ensure that they make progress.
  • Plan for, assess and track specific, incremental steps of progression, quantifying the process of closing the gap and demonstrating progression for all.

Ethos and Applications

  • the ethos, applications and practicalities of the Launchpad for Literacy Approach.
  • the Launchpad for Literacy Skills Framework which underpins the approach and allows skill gaps to be identified and incrementally closed.
  • how Launchpad for Literacy might look in your school/setting.
  • using Launchpad for Literacy to identify issues and support communication, speech and language.
  • using Launchpad to create firm foundations of skill readiness for blending and what to consider and target when blending is problematic as children get older.