Upcoming Events

ESRC Family Fun Literacy Day

2nd ORIM Network Event - 12 June 2014

The 2nd ORIM Network event will take place on 12 June 2014.
Programme now available

Please note that this event is now being held at The Boardroom, ICOSS, 219 Portobello, Sheffield, S1 4DP

New and existing members of the Network welcome! Find out more.

The ORIM Network – join the network and stay in touch!


Issue 2 of the ORIM Newsletter now available. Click here to read and download

Early Literacy Funday 2013 - a day of fun organised by the University of Sheffield School of Education as part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science.

ORIM in WF13: Working with Bilingual Children and Families  - lots of resources, including songs and rhymes, from this inspiring project in Kirklees

The Strands of Literacy – a series of articles published by practitioners in Teach Nursery


What is the REAL project?

The Sheffield REAL (Raising Early Achievement in Literacy) Project began in 1995 and was the largest preschool literacy intervention study in the UK. Central to the REAL project programme was the ORIM (Opportunities, Recognition, Interaction, Model) Framework. It is designed to think about ways in which families can help children’s early literacy development.

This website provides:

  • Information about the ORIM framework.
  • Examples of using ORIM with families.
  • Things which those who work with families can do to help parents of young children promote their early literacy development in home and community contexts.

It includes original materials from the project developed in 1997 and work carried out since.

What is the ORIM framework?

The ORIM framework is based around parents providing four things for their children: Opportunities, Recognition, Interaction and Models of literacy (Parents’ roles in children’s literacy development). It also focuses attention on four key strands of literacy: environmental print, books, early writing and aspects of oral language (ORIM: A framework for practice).

Finding Resources

Use the links at the top of the page or click on the cells of the grid below to find resources


Supported by the Nuffield Foundation Supported by the National Lottery Supported by the National Childrens' Bureau Supported by the ESRC

Many of the materials on this site were developed in the REAL project funded jointly by the University of Sheffield, the Sheffield Local Authority and the Nuffield Foundation.

Photos and many ideas for current practice have kindly been supplied by the National Children’s Bureau and practitioners on the projects described on this site.

The website was funded by the University of Sheffield HEIF4 Knowledge Transfer funding.

Webdesign: Paul Jinks

Content management: Cathy Nutbrown and Julia Bishop