Literacy & Numeracy

Literacy Across the Curriculum

All staff are responsible for literacy across the curriculum. Staff have been trained in Disciplinary Reading which puts reading skills at the forefront of all learning. Staff have a common toolkit to promote reading skills within their subject:

Literacy Intervention

On entry to year 7, those students whose literacy skills need improvement are provided with extra support through targeted intervention on a rotation basis. This ensures that they still have access to a broad and balanced curriculum. We use Attack Spelling, Toe by Toe, Reading Plus and Lexia programmes. Our students most in need of literacy support follow a phonics pathway.

In addition, all students in Year 7, 8 and 9 access the Accelerated Reader programme three times per week, which is designed to encourage a love of reading. Accelerated Reader is delivered in English, tutor sessions and EPC so that reading is a cross-curricular focus. Students partake in Read to Succeed, 5 minutes reading at the start of every year 7-9 English lesson. Students in years 7-10 read for twenty minutes as part of the tutor programme.

Word of the Week introduces students to a range of new vocabulary that can be used across all subjects. A robust vocabulary improves all areas of communication — listening, speaking, reading and writing. Vocabulary growth is directly related to school achievement. Parents are sent the WOTW each Monday and encouraged to quiz students.


At John Whitgift Academy, we place reading at the heart of our curriculum. We want our students to be able to access the full curriculum offer by developing a reading programme that focuses on accuracy, automaticity (speed, fluency), prosody (expression, emphasis and tone) and a love of reading.

The English secondary reading strategy is delivered via English lessons, where all students are given access to a range of fiction and non-fiction texts. Students read and reread texts to find layers of meaning and increase understanding. Each text also focuses on a key theme to encourage our students’ personal development.

Examples of slides from lessons

All students in Years 7 and 8 are assessed using GL Assessment’s reading test .The assessment helps highlight which students require support with their reading. This support is provided in different ways depending on the need of each student. This could include an extra timetabled literacy intervention lesson, focusing on key literacy skills and comprehension and some students will receive additional reading time in the library.

We also run Reading Plus for targeted students in years 7 and 8: Reading Plus – Adaptive Literacy Intervention for Grades 3-12. This aims to develop comprehension and efficiency in reading and adapts to offer support and texts that are appropriate for the reading level of each individual learner.

Reading Routes

As a trust we have recently launched the ‘Reading Routes’ initiative for all Y7 students, with a plan to roll this out to all Y8 and Y9 students. Students will follow a route which corresponds with a genre for example crime and mystery. Students will be encouraged to read 6 books from the genre to complete the route. After they have read each book, they will complete an accelerated reader-style quiz which focuses on the book they have read. Once students have completed a reading route they will move onto the next route. This initiative aims to encourage reading for pleasure and a love of reading.   


Oracy is a key focus across the Academy, and we aim to develop students’ speaking and listening skills, confidence, and ability to express ideas. Oracy tasks are embedded across tutor time activities and curriculum areas. Students are encouraged to respond using full sentences across the curriculum in both written and oral responses

Teachers will:

-model good oracy

-challenge poor oracy

-provide students with the language necessary for a high-level response

-provide students with sentence starters to scaffold their responses, and display word walls to offer key subject vocabulary that our students can use to articulate their ideas.


Students with weaker numeracy skills enter the catch up ‘Step-Up’ programme in order for them to be able to access mainstream learning. The flexibility of this programme enables personalised support to be given. 

Every student at John Whitgift Academy has access to Hegarty Maths, an online programme.  Students are set personalised tasks to complete every week as homework, to address gaps and consolidate learning.  The Learning Hub provides an additional facility for students to access Hegarty Maths after school.