ESCAL is the award winning City-Wide Literacy Strategy ensuring that ‘Every Sheffield Child is Articulate and Literate’.

ESCAL acts as an umbrella for a range of services, projects, initiative and strategies already being delivered to parents and young children across the city. 

Through a partnership approach the strategy aims to further embed literacy across services to families, children and young people and ensure there is a cohesive approach to meeting children’s and young people’s needs.  

We work on both a local and national level with a number of partners to ensure literacy is everyone’s business. 

Have a look at our new ESCAL 2017-18 CPD brochure which contains all training sessions throughout the academic year.

ESCAL Policy & Strategy

The aim of the strategy is to:

  • increase children and young people’s ability and confidence in speaking, listening and communication
  • increase children and young people’s skills and enjoyment of reading and writing
  • increase the involvement of parents/carers in the development of their children’s communication and literacy skills
  • mobilise a wide range of partners to raise the aspirations and attainment of all Sheffield children and young people in changing society

The city-wide strategy makes coherent links between existing good practices, identifies gaps and explores opportunities to expand support for literacy, especially literacy in the home. Having articulate and literate children and young people, helps Sheffield be a vibrant city of:

  • opportunity
  • economic success
  • social cohesion
  • democracy and social justice
  • communication and cultural participation

Outcomes for children

Every child in Sheffield will:

  • be given the opportunity to express themselves confidently
  • enjoy being read to every day and/or will be supported in reading for pleasure
  • engage with libraries
  • be able to express themselves in writing (including mark making) and appropriate to purpose and audience
  • be nurtured by parents/carers and practitioners who listen and talk with them and who work in partnership to support their language and literacy development
  • experience a language rich environment at home and school, indoors and outdoors
  • have their cultural heritage and home language values and promoted
  • be taught, motivated and supported by a skilled workforce who are knowledgeable about how children and young people develop communication and literacy skills
  • learn and develop communication language and literacy skills in the context of a rich curriculum
  • reach their full potential through support for learning, the tracking of their progress and identification and support for additional needs
  • use a range of technology that promotes language and literacy across the curriculum

Our partners

ESCAL partners

We work in partnership with a number of organisations and services who are committed to the vision, aims and objectives of our city-wide literacy strategy. 

  • the communication, language and literacy skills of parents are increased in Family Learning
  • ‘Literacy Bags’ are loaned to Foster Carers via the Fostering Service to support ‘Literacy in the Home’ activities for Early Years Looked After Children
  • the School Library Service coordinates the Bookstart programme to ensure children and families receive free book packs
  • the Parents as Storytellers project (National Literacy Trust) has worked to engage parents in storytelling 

Local Partners

  • Adoption
  • BEST Start Quality Improvement Teams
  • City Wide Learning Body
  • Development Education Centre South Yorkshire (DECSY)
  • Education Works
  • Family Learning
  • Fostering
  • Home Start
  • Multi Agency Support Teams (MAST)
  • Museums Sheffield
  • Music in the Round
  • Parents Assembly
  • School Library Service
  • School Tracking and Assessment Tools (STAT)
  • Sheffield Hallam University
  • Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust
  • Sheffield Institute for Education
  • Sheffield Learning Community
  • Sheffield Music Hub
  • Sheffield Theatres
  • Speech and Language – Sheffield NHS
  • The University of Sheffield

National Partners

  • Collaborative Learning
  • Communication Trust
  • Early Education
  • Education Works
  • I CAN
  • National Children’s Bureau
  • Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists
  • The National Literacy Trust

We are always looking for opportunities to further embed ESCAL into services being delivered to families and young children in Sheffield. 

If you currently deliver a service and would like to become involved in the strategy or are based outside of the Sheffield area and would like more information about developing a localised approach to literacy, please do contact us. 


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