Critical literacy – Guidance for teachers

What's included?


Key Stage

KS3, KS4


Years 7-11


This document outlines the concept and importance of critical literacy for teachers. It talks about the need for students to question and analyse texts, images and practices and recognise the social constructions inherent in them.

Critical literacy encourages students to engage with diverse perspectives, challenge social norms and understand power dynamics within society.

By teaching this, you can help students develop skills in analysing media, identifying discrimination and understanding the impact of language on politics and social dynamics.

This document provides practical strategies for implementing critical literacy in the classroom, including using diverse texts, films and structured discussions.

Ultimately, this approach aims to empower students to think critically, challenge injustice and contribute to creating a more equitable and socially just world.

What is critical literacy?

From a critical literacy perspective, the world is seen as a socially constructed text that can be read.

The earlier we introduce students to this idea, the sooner they are able to understand what it means to be researchers of language, image, gesture, spaces, and objects.

Critical literacy involves exploring issues such as what counts as language, whose language counts, and who decides. It also involves exploring ways we can revise, rewrite or reconstruct texts to shift or reframe the message(s) conveyed.

Why teach it?

As teachers, we should view critical literacy as a lens, frame, or perspective for teaching throughout
the day, across the curriculum, and perhaps beyond.

What this means is that critical literacy has an ingrained critical perspective that provides us with an ongoing critical orientation to texts and practices.

Meena Wood (@WoodMeena) is an educational consultant, trainer and author of Secondary Curriculum Transformed: Enabling All to Achieve (Routledge, £19.99).

Critical literacy guidance
Critical literacy – Guidance for teachers

You'll also receive regular updates from Teachwire with free lesson plans, great new teaching ideas, offers and more. (You can unsubscribe at any time.)

Which sectors are you interested in?

By signing up you agree to our Terms & Conditions and privacy policy

Explore teaching packs

Pie Corbett Ultimate KS2 Fiction Collection
Pie Corbett Ultimate KS2 Fiction Collection
Fire up KS2 pupils' imagination with this collection of 20+ fictional stories, written by literacy expert Pie Corbett. Each ... more
21 x resources
Pie Corbett KS2 Non-Fiction Collection
Use Pie Corbett’s non-fiction texts to inspire your KS2 pupils to get writing. Each resource contains an original text in ... more
6 x resources
Pie Corbett KS2 Poetry Collection
Inspire KS2 pupils to be creative and express themselves with this pack of Pie Corbett poetry. Each of these Pie Corbett Tal... more
7 x resources
WAGOLL classroom resources
WAGOLL Packs from Real Authors
Peer inside the mind of award-winning children's authors and help pupils understand how to create engaging characters, capti... more
10 x resources
Art KS2 inspiring medium term plans
Art KS2 Inspiring Medium Term Plans
Get pupils' creative juices flowing with these expert medium-term art plans for KS2. Each resource consists of a full half-t... more
6 x resources
Magical Harry Potter Teaching Ideas
Magical Harry Potter Teaching Ideas
Spark pupils' imaginations with these inventive and exciting teaching ideas, all themed around the wonderful world of Harry ... more
11 x resources