Introduction While studies investigating English for academic purposes (EAP) have traditionally focussed on higher education contexts, there is growing recognition that the years of schooling, and particularly the middle years, are vital contexts for developing academic literacies (Freebody, Maton, & Martin, 2008). The concern for investigating middle years literacies can be associated with recognition that critical language patterns for meaning making in higher education contexts have their foundations in developments that typically occur during these years (Christie & Derewianka, 2008). For example, in the middle years, literacy practices become reliant on language beyond the ‘here and now of you and me’ (Macken-Horarik, 1996, p. 247) and increasingly responsive to specialized discipline goals. In common with the results of EAP research in tertiary contexts (Hood, 2010; Hyland, 2004; Wingate, 2012), learning English within school disciplines has been found to provide access not only to ‘high stakes’ literacies (Byrnes, 2013; Maton, 2013), but also to understandings of the way discipline knowledge, understandings and dispositions are developed (Freebody, 2013).