Literacy is a crucial life skill and ultimately our aim is for our students to be equipped with the necessary skills in speaking, reading and writing to be able to cope with the demands of adult life. With that in mind, we aim: 

  • To equip students with a broad vocabulary and an ability to express themselves clearly, both orally and in written form, to cope with the demands of different subjects and to give students the confidence to interact in a range of contexts. This involves embedding literacy within the curriculum, enabling the improvement of academic language in all subject areas so that students are equipped with the skills required for success at GCSE and beyond. 
  • To improve standards in reading to help students to learn from sources beyond their immediate experience, giving them the skills to learn independently and increasing their cultural capital. 
  • To develop writing skills, encouraging students to reflect on, evaluate and improve their work. 
  • Ensure that all teaching staff recognise the central importance of literacy in the teaching and learning of individual subjects and take responsibility for improving standards in literacy. 
  • Demonstrate to students the extent to which literacy skills are valued.  


Implementation – How we deliver our curriculum 

  • Word of the week and associated activity which is completed once per week 7-11 supports students in broadening their tier 2 vocabulary. This also explores the roots of words, prefixes and suffixes.  
  • Students in years 7-11 are read to during tutor time (expert reader) at least once per week.  
  • Modelling of effective examples of successful speaking and listening for students, shows them how to use language precisely and coherently.   
  • The understanding, use, and spelling of subject-specific words and terms is reinforced within lessons.  
  • In order to improve spelling, each department: revises key vocabulary, tests or revises high frequency words regularly and encourages students to correct and learn from their spelling mistakes.   
  • Students are provided with the opportunity for public speaking in a formal setting such as assemblies, liturgies, mass and in lessons.   
  • The silent reading programme promotes reading for pleasure and ensures students in years 7 and 8, read a book of their own choice, in school each week.  
  • Reading for pleasure is promoted through national events such as World Book Day.   
  • Students may research and investigate from printed words and digital texts.   
  • ‘Control the game’ is used in lessons and form time, to ensure all students are expected to read for purpose in a non-threatening environment.  
  • Independent and wider reading is encouraged within departments where subject related library books have been moved to teaching classrooms.  
  • The use of “but…, because, …so” sentences extends sentences and gives structure to develop arguments.  
  • RED time can be used to provide opportunities for longer sustained writing tasks.  
  • SPADE requires students to improve written work, based on detailed and individualised feedback. Students are pushed to proof-read their work to read critically and improve content, structure, spelling, punctuation and grammar.   
  • When SPADE marking, staff identify areas of literacy which need to be improved e.g. literacy section on whole class feedback sheets
  • Continuing CPD supports staff in teaching literacy in their own subject areas.  
  • Students’ achievements in literacy are celebrated with rewards for improvements.  
  • Literacy Assessment Online is used to assess and monitor progress in reading ages.  
  • Students identified from comprehension tests as more than 20% below their chronological age intervention take part in Lexia three times per week during registration time. 
  • Students identified as needing additional literacy support are also further tested through a range of phonic tests to identify specific areas of development. These students are then supported with their area of need through small group interventions.   
  • Identified students with EAL and SEN receive intensive literacy support at Key Stage 3 using a variety of approaches, including in-class support, individual support and small group support. A fully qualified and experienced Key Stage 2 teacher is currently withdrawing selected year 7 and 8 students from other lessons, to give additional support in literacy.   
  • Students (particularly those with a reading age well below their chronological age) receive support through the SEND department. 

Impact – The difference that our curriculum makes to all pupils

With a range of opportunities and sustained support and encouragement, students develop, at least, an appreciation of the importance of reading for purpose and to enhance learning, and many develop a love of reading as an enjoyable leisure pursuit.  

With improved comprehension skills, students will be better able to access GCSE papers in all of their subjects. Through reading and direct instruction, students broaden their vocabulary which empowers them to express themselves clearly, both orally and in written form.  

Students with limited life experiences benefit from reading activities which improve general knowledge and cultural capital to give them ideas and background knowledge and spark their imagination.  

Students learn to write more fluently and coherently which supports their studies and enables them to express themselves more clearly, promoting success in GCSE exams and beyond. 


Students that are enrolled on the Lexia Power-up programme can access the system from anywhere.

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Literacy Strategies 2022-23

Literacy Intent-Implementation-Impact 22-232022-23

Word of the Week

Supporting your child’s reading at home

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