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The King John School

The Trust’s core aim is to ensure that we enhance the life chances of all the young people within the Trust to enable them to fulfil their potential and achieve the best possible outcomes.

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This policy and the accompanying resources outline the strategy for the promotion and development of literacy in The King John School. The policy is intended to ensure that a coherent approach to the promotion and development of literacy is adopted throughout the school.

Please see PDF on the right hand side to read about how King John supports Year 7 students who did not achieve the expected standard in reading or maths at the end of KS2.

Definition of Literacy

It is the responsibility of all teachers to ensure that all pupils communicate effectively. This plainly includes their ability to apply their reading and writing skills successfully and to speak articulately in a range of contexts and for different purposes.

At the most basic level, students should all be able to read basic texts, write coherently and communicate clearly through speech. It can be expected that almost all students will have reached this level before they enter secondary education and the focus should then be on developing literacy skills to ensure students can communicate for different audiences and purposes through both speech and written work, and that they can read with skill e.g. inference, commenting on the effect of texts.

These skills must be developed in all subjects to ensure students become more familiar with the appropriate processes and skills, as well as understanding that literacy goes beyond their study of the English curriculum. Students should be aware of the need to adapt their communication according to context and should read often and widely across all subjects.

Some students may not have made the expected progress in terms of literacy; in this case, differentiation in individual lessons is important to ensure the required progress is made possible, and intervention may also be required through Learning Support.

Rationale behind Literacy Focus

Research shows that people with good literacy skills are more likely to have higher self-esteem, better health, better jobs and higher wages than those with poor literacy skills. They are more able to take advantage of the opportunities that life may offer them… literacy has a significant relationship with a person’s happiness and success.

(National Literacy Trust)


There can be no more important subject than English. It is at the heart of our culture and literacy skills are crucial to pupils’ learning for all subjects… yet too many young adults lack the functional skills to make their way in the modern world.

(Sir Michael Wilshaw – Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Ofsted)


Far more attention needs to be given, right from the start, to promoting speaking and listening skills to make sure that children build a good stock of words, learn to listen attentively and speak clearly and confidently. Speaking and listening, together with writing and reading, are prime communication skills that are central to children’s intellectual, social and emotional development

(Rose Report, 2006)

Students are also being awarded specific marks for spelling, punctuation and grammar in many exams in different subjects which may affect students’ achievements.

Strategies for Staff

It is the responsibility of all staff to promote and teach elements of literacy wherever possible in lessons, as appropriate to the individual lesson and subject content. Literacy should also be promoted outside of lessons where possible.

Teaching strategies and resources should be reviewed and altered where appropriate to ensure opportunities to develop literacy are not overlooked. All departments are able to receive advice and assistance from the Literacy Coordinator.