Literacy Policy

“Literacy is a bridge from misery to hope. It is a tool for daily life in modern society… Literacy is, finally, the road to human progress and the means through which every man, woman and child can realize his or her full potential.” Kofi Anan


At All Saints’ Academy, we accept the fundamental principle that literacy is the key to improving learning and raising standards throughout the curriculum; literacy enables students to gain access to the curriculum, read for information and pleasure, and to communicate effectively. Poor levels of literacy impact negatively on what students can do and how they see themselves. At All Saints’ Academy, all teachers share responsibility for the teaching of literacy.

 Literate secondary students should:

  • read and write with confidence, fluency and understanding
  • use their skills in speaking and listening to explore, articulate and extend their understanding of texts
  • be able to orchestrate a full range of reading cues (phonics, graphic, syntactic, contextual) to monitor their reading and correct their own mistakes
  • understand the sound and spelling system and use this to read and spell accurately
  • have an interest in words, their usage and meanings and an extensive vocabulary used appropriately for different purposes
  • understand the conventions of different text types and be able to use these conventions confidently as readers and writers
  • plan, draft, revise and edit their own writing from notes to a finished form; be able to use a variety of means including ICT to produce texts for different audiences
  • have an extended technical vocabulary – including subject specific vocabulary – with which to discuss and evaluate their reading and writing
  • read and write with enjoyment and discrimination
  • through reading and writing develop their powers of imagination, critical awareness and thinking
  • be able to research independently and make notes from a variety of sources, including the Internet, libraries, and other sources
  • use appropriate reading strategies to extract particular information, e.g. highlighting, scanning
  • use talk to question, hypothesize, speculate, evaluate, solve problems and develop thinking about complex issues and ideas
  • be able to write cohesively in an increasingly sophisticated style, using varied punctuation, sentence structures, paragraphs and technical devices
  • adapt writing to suit audience and purpose

Policy Aims

1. To ensure a consistent approach to literacy which enables all students to leave as literate young people regardless of their starting point.

2. To enable all pupils to reach their potential in the key literacy skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening. 

3. To support the development of literacy skills throughout the curriculum by sharing strategies and INSET and increasing the prominence of literacy throughout the Academy.

4. To raise staff awareness of key literacy strategies through working party discussions, staff briefings and the dissemination of good classroom practice

5. To encourage staff to take responsibility for the development of literacy in their subject areas through the inclusion in schemes of work and lesson planning.

Key Roles and Responsibilities


Roles and Responsibilities


Take an active role in support of new literacy vision and encourage compliance in all subject areas.

Literacy Co-ordinator

Share literacy vision with SLT/Staff. Update whole school literacy initiatives as appropriate. Provide support for staff and monitor literacy provision.

Heads of Faculty

Ensure LCF is identified and obvious in SOW and that key words are available for students in their subject area.

Progress Leaders

Support and celebrate literacy successes in assemblies/through tutor groups.


Run weekly reading sessions and encourage work/ on ‘word of the week’.

Class Teachers

Ensure literacy expectations are evident in lessons and that LCF are planned and actioned.

 Student Literacy Leaders

Selected KS5/KS4 students used to support literacy lower in the school through mentoring and as reading buddies. Work with LC to build links with primary feeders.


Lesson Activities/Strategies:

1. Across the whole curriculum teachers will provide activities for students to:

  • read and follow written instructions.
  • read to explore and to develop understanding.
  • learn how to sift, select and take notes from the text.
  • learn how to access their textbook, including format and index.
  • learn how to select from written material, reformulate, question and challenge what they read in textbooks, encyclopaedias, and newspapers or from ICT sources.

2. Teachers will provide reading material of high quality, which is up to date, relevant and balanced in its presentation of ethnicity, culture and gender and appropriate for age and ability of the students.

3. Opportunities should be created for teachers to refer to students' use of reading in assessments and reports for all curriculum areas.

4. Teachers will ensure that students can access exam questions in their subject area by correctly ‘reading’ and understanding command words.

5. Teachers will encourage reading in and out of school using Knowledge Organisers where appropriate.

Teacher/ Student Expectations:

1. All students should be encouraged to read aloud in lessons.

2. Where students make errors during reading, they should be identified and corrected.

3. Teachers should read with students during reading time: collaborative reading, modelled independent reading or 1-1/small group reading.


Lesson Activities/ Strategies:

1. Across the curriculum teachers will provide activities for students to:

  • use writing to plan and organise.
  • plan, draft, discuss and reflect on their writing, using ICT, where appropriate.
  • write for a range of purposes and audiences.
  • make notes in a variety of formats, e.g. mind mapping.  

2. Teachers will set writing tasks that have clear and immediate purposes are objective driven and which are appropriate for the age and ability of the pupils concerned.

3. Teachers will teach students how to structure their writing using a variety of sentence structures, paragraphs and a wide range of punctuation, including higher order punctuation e.g. semi- colons, colons and brackets.

4. Where students are asked to write in a particular genre, e.g. a newspaper report, teachers will ensure that pupils are familiar with the appropriate style and conventions.

5. Teachers will correct errors in grammar, punctuation and spelling in line with the school’s assessment policy.

6. Teachers should share models and exemplars regularly to ensure students can see good quality writing for each subject.

7. Teachers will provide scaffolding and frameworks for extended pieces of writing where appropriate.

Teacher/ Student Expectations:

1. Students will always write in complete sentences or use Q and A format for writing in lessons.

2. Subject specific key words to be available for students to access during writing (either in rooms or on knowledge organiser)

3. Students will complete at least one extended piece of writing in each subject each cycle.

Speaking and Listening

Lesson Activities/ Strategies:

1. Across the whole curriculum teachers will provide activities for students to:

  • listen and carry out instructions.
  • explore and develop ideas with others, through their talk.
  • ask questions as well as answer them.
  • work collaboratively with others.

2. Teachers will model good speaking and listening by using Standard English during lessons.

3. Teachers will give students opportunities to present/speak to the class in a formal way.

4. Teachers should equip students with a correct vocabulary for challenging and building on the views of others in a mature and sensitive way.

5. Teachers should share examples of active listening with students: making notes during videos for example.

Teacher/Student Expectations:

1. Students will answer all questions formally and in complete sentences.

2. Students should be given thinking time to prepare longer answers before sharing with the class.

3. Students will take part in one speaking and listening focused activity each cycle in each subject-this could be in a group or independently.

Whole School Strategies for supporting Literacy

Key Words

Up to ten key words from each module should be shared with students at the start of each cycle through the knowledge organiser and should be referred to regularly throughout the cycle.

Word of Week

Literacy Co-ordinator is to share a word each week through the pastoral system. Tutors should talk to students about the meaning of the word and encourage them to use it in conversation/written work. Explore synonyms and antonyms for the word.


Literacy Cycle Focus. Different literacy focuses will be shared for each of the cycles with posters in all rooms to remind students/staff of this. All teachers are encouraged to reinforce this focus during their lessons during this time.

Cycle 1: Extended Writing

Cycle 2: Stepping up vocabulary; using synonyms to improve vocabulary choices.

Cycle 3: The Art of Speaking and Listening

Cycle 4: Reading Aloud

All Cycles and specifically Cycle 5: Closing the Cultural Capital Gap  

We’re all Reading

Teachers to visually share what they are currently reading and what they enjoy reading. Photos of staff reading should be seen around the Academy. Staff are encouraged to engage with students about what they are reading.

Time for Reading

All KS3 students will have one lesson every fortnight where they are reading independently using the Accelerated Reader Programme. The programme gives students the optimal reading level in order to improve. Awards and reading landmarks are rewarded and shared through assemblies. One day per week students will read have a class reader that they are working through in tutor groups.

Reading Recovery

Alongside the AR programme that all KS3 students will be a part of, those students needing an extra boost in their reading skills will take part in Lexia. This programme will run simultaneously with AR in their reading lessons and form time for key students.

EAL Provision

EAL students struggling with literacy will be supported by a trained EAL teacher who will share strategies for increasing skills in written and spoken English. EAL students (regardless of age) will also have access to the Lexia programme.

Inter-house Literacy Competitions

Over the course of the year, there will be a reading, writing and speaking and listening tasks that will earn students points for their houses. These will include a Spelling Bee style competition and a Poetry Competition.


Students are encouraged to take part in extra-curricular literacy activities to enhance their skills in all of the literacy areas. These include reading- Reading Teachers = Reading Pupils, Cheltenham Literature Festival; writing- Roald Dahl story competition and speaking and listening- BBC school report, Debating Club.