Literacy & Reading Lists

"Children who are unable to communicate effectively through language or to use language as a basis for further learning are handicapped socially, educationally and, as a consequence, emotionally." Byers-Brown & Edwards, 1989

It is our belief that all teachers are teachers of literacy. We are committed to developing the literacy skills of all our students, in the belief that it will support their learning and raise standards across the curriculum. 

We believe that:

enhancing students’ language enhances their subject learning

all subjects can make a specific contribution to developing students’ language through the teaching of subject-specific vocabulary and patterns of language

all teaching contributes to students’ development of language since speaking, listening, reading and writing are, to varying degrees, integral to all lessons.

Literacy across the Curriculum is important because:

students need vocabulary, expression and organisational control to cope with the cognitive demands of subjects

reading helps us to learn from sources beyond our immediate experience

writing helps us to sustain and order thought

language helps us to reflect, revise and evaluate the things we do, and on the things others have said, written or done

responding to higher order questions encourages the development of thinking skills and enquiry

improving literacy and learning can have an impact on students’ self-esteem, on motivation and behaviour. It allows students to learn independently. It is empowering.

Across the academy we intend to:

identify the strengths and weaknesses in students’ work from across the academy through the use of work scrutiny, pupil interviews, etc.

use a common marking policy, where marking for literacy will be clear and consistent across subject areas

have identified literacy cross-curricular priorities for each year

seek to identify progression in the main forms of reading, writing, speaking and listening undertaken in each department

have literacy on the agenda at departmental meetings at least once a term 

identify and make use of all relevant resources and training on developments in literacy teaching

review this literacy policy annually.

Implementation at whole-academy level

Language is the prime medium through which students learn and express themselves across the curriculum and all teachers have a stake in effective literacy development.

Role and responsibilities:

ALT: an identified member  of ALT will line manage and give a high profile to literacy development and be responsible for monitoring progress across the academy and assessing standards of students’ literacy.

Literacy coordinator: supports departments in the implementation of strategies and encourages departments to learn from each other’s practice by sharing ideas.

English department: provides students with the knowledge, skills and understanding they need to read, write, speak and listen effectively and play a key role in identifying cross-curricular literacy priorities, targets and objectives.

SEN department: provides targeted intervention to pupils working below level 2/3 and support for pupils with SEN statements.

Librarian: promotes reading across the academy and encourages the development of vital research and study skills. 

Teachers across the curriculum: contribute to students’ development of language by making explicit reference to speaking, listening, writing and reading skills during lessons.

Data and assessment manager: provides staff with data on student levels of literacy and supports staff to use available data from each key stage to inform planning and to set numerical and curricular targets for each cohort. 

Parents: encourage their children to use the range of strategies they have learnt to improve their levels of literacy.

Students: take increasing responsibility for recognising their own literacy needs and making improvements.

Governors: an identified governor reports literacy progress and issues to the governing body and to parents in the governors’ annual report.

Developing Literacy Skills

Speaking and Listening

We will teach students to use language precisely and coherently. They should be able to listen to others, and to respond and build on their ideas and views constructively.

We will develop strategies to teach students how to participate orally in groups and in the whole class, including: using talk to develop and clarify ideas; identifying the main points to arise from a discussion; listening for a specific purpose; discussion and evaluation.


We aim to give students a level of literacy that will enable them to cope with the increasing demands of subjects in terms of specific skills, knowledge and understanding. This applies particularly in the area of reading (including all aspects of media), as texts become more demanding.

We will build on and share existing good practice. We will teach students strategies to help them to: read with greater understanding; locate and use information; follow a process or argument; summarise; synthesise and adapt what they learn from their reading.


It is important that we provide for coordination across subjects to recognise and reinforce students’ language skills, through:

making connections between students’ reading and writing (use the teaching sequence for writing), so that students have clear models for their writing

using the modelling process to make explicit to students how to write

being clear about audience and purpose

providing opportunities for a range of writing including sustained writing.

Spelling and Vocabulary

We aim to have a consistent approach to the teaching and marking of spelling and subject-specific vocabulary. It is important that teachers across the curriculum teach the vocabulary specific to their subject effectively. Students should be given strategies to learn subject-specific vocabulary and understand the meanings and usage of the main words for each subject.

We will build on and share good practice across the curriculum. We aim to have displays of all key vocabulary in classrooms.

Key Priority Agreed for 2012/2013

Term 1a – simple spellings

Term 1b – simple punctuation

Term 2a – respecting others and turn taking

Term 2b – leading groups and independence

Term 3a – reading high frequency words and decoding

Term 3b – Different strategy for PEE. Explore rather than explain

Literacy Marking Policy

These codes are used by Teachers during marking to help students improve their literacy:

P         missing some punctuation e.g. a full stop at the end of a sentence.

//        new paragraph needed.

Sp      incorrect key spelling. Error corrected in the margin.

C       capital letter missing

?        you need to make your ideas clearer

+        more information or explanation needed. You may have missed some information out.

Please see below for a list of recommended reading: