By the end of their time at RDUTC, our students will have developed the necessary Communications skills to enable them to succeed academically, personally and socially and progress onto exciting courses at university or onto high quality apprenticeships.  The development of Communication skills is extremely high priority.  This is how we do it:


Verbal Communications Skills (Speaking and Listening) 

Within lessons and Employer Projects, we teach students how to communicate effectively verbally in formal and informal situations, whether in pairs and groups or delivering presentations to larger audiences of up to 200 people in our Conference Centre.  This includes:

  • using talk to develop, clarify, share and present ideas
  • using talk to persuade or argue a point
  • identifying the main points to arise from a discussion
  • listening for a specific purpose to support learning, develop ideas, contribute to discussion and for evaluation purposes

Written Communication Skills

We develop students written communication skills within English lessons and across the curriculum through:

  • teaching basic grammar and punctuation
  • teaching how to write for specific purposes and audiences, including:
    • writing to inform, entertain, persuade, describe and evaluate
    • writing reports
    • writing evaluations
    • writing letters of application
    • writing emails
    • writing responses to exam questions
  • providing regular opportunities across the curriculum for students to produce a range of sustained writing
  • engaging students in peer and self-assessment, sharing success criteria and allowing students to set personal targets for improvement
  • providing students with diagnostic marking and feedback about their writing
  • maintaining up-to-date displays of written work, punctuation and grammar rules

Reading Skills

In English lessons we teach students to:

  • read fluently
  • read a wide range of texts: fiction and non-fiction, different genres, pre-twentieth century and modern
  • read with understanding
  • locate and use information
  • provide evidence for arguments/research
  • follow a process or argument
  • summarise, synthesise and adapt what they learn from their reading


We also encourage students to read for pleasure.

Across the curriculum we promote reading through:

  • teaching students how to read in ways that are specific and relevant to that department’s subject needs
  • encouraging students to read a range of texts to support subject learning
  • supporting students to use a range of reading strategies to improve their understanding
  • encouraging students to organise and structure information and ideas gathered clearly
  • supporting students to read for meaning within exams, to understand what examination questions require in terms of a response

Reading Widely and Often

Forensic Reading

Our Reading Widely and Often programme includes Forensic Reading delivered by English Teachers within weekly Independent Study sessions.

Students read a wide range of challenging fiction and non-fiction texts and articles, often about controversial issues e.g. misogyny.  They analyse the view points and perspectives expressed and explore their context.  They then share their findings with their peers in group and class discussions.

The texts are selected to develop the students’ cultural capital and promote thought and discussion about Fundamental British Values, particularly encouraging them to explore and challenge their own attitudes to equality, diversity and extremism.

Charlie’s Challenge

In addition, students are encouraged to participate in ‘Charlie’s Challenge’

Charlie Spencer (Chair of Governors) challenges students to read:

  • One Pre-twentieth Century Novel (excluding those studied in English lessons)
  • One Biography/Autobiography
  • One Leadership/Management Text from a selection provided by Employer Partners

Students receive a certificate from Charlie on completion of the challenge.

Literacy Policy

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