The development of an effective literacy skillset (that is, speaking, listening, reading and writing) is fundamental to the achievement of a rich and fulfilling life. We use these skills every day in order to communicate with, and make sense of, the world around us. As such, the better we are at these skills the more successful we can expect to be in life. At Kettering Buccleuch Academy we recognise that at the heart of improving literacy skills is the opportunity to practise them. Improving literacy and learning can have an impact on students’ self-esteem, motivation, behaviour and attainment. It allows them to learn independently and is empowering.

Literacy unlocks the curriculum for students and provides a foundation for excellence in all subjects.  

To improve standards of literacy in our schools we advocate a 3-pronged approach:

  1. Catch-up support for students working significantly below expected standard
  2. Literacy in every classroom and every subject
  3. Whole-school promotion of reading, words and grammar

Catch-up for students working significantly below expected standard

Why?  Students who cannot read and write proficiently are hampered in nearly every lesson of every day. These students require targeted support to enable them to become proficient in reading and writing so that they can access the curriculum.

How?  See Key stage 3 and 4 support

Literacy in every classroom and every subject

Why?  It is in the classroom that students will be exposed to subject-specific vocabulary which they will not otherwise encounter.  It is the responsibility of all teachers to teach students how to produce excellent writing in their subject, and to enable students to comprehend challenging texts.

How?  Teachers at Kettering Buccleuch Academy teach literacy explicitly, embedding literacy into their schemes of learning and lesson plans.

Whole-school promotion of reading, words and grammar

Why?  For many students, school is their one chance to encounter books which will enthral, enrich and build cultural capital.  Schools have an opportunity to set out the books they expect students to read and provide the time, space and motivation to fuel this.


Our Reading programme includes:

  • Accelerated Reader at Key Stage 2 and 3
  • myOn digital reading programme
  • ‘Drop Everything and Read Time’ each day for 20 minutes across Key Stage 3 lessons.
  • Direct Reading instruction in Tutor Time, two mornings each week. This is when students are exposed to a range of challenging classics and are guided through these texts by their tutor in a structured programme of delivery. In year 10 and 11 students read their GCSE Literature texts. The focus in these sessions is: reading fluency, vocabulary acquisition and comprehension.
  • Guided Reading sessions twice a week in year 7 for students who need extra support.
  • Phonics catch-up in literacy lessons in year 7 and 8.

An extra- curricular programme of:

  • Book Club in primary and secondary
  • The Big Book Quiz
  • Shadowing of the Carnegie Award
  • Celebration and participation in National Literary Events
  • Our very own ‘100 Books’ to read before you leave primary and secondary school – these texts form part of our ‘Subject Honours’ programme of activities
  • House Reading competitions – Classics Mastermind and  the ‘Houseopoly’ reading challenge in Key stage 3.

To measure and monitor impact:

  • NGRT and ‘Star Reading’ diagnostic testing each year.


To view information on our Library, click here.

Catch-up for students working significantly below expected standard

Literacy Lessons

In year 7 and 8, students who need extra support with their reading have Literacy each week as well as English. Students follow the Ruth Miskin, ‘Fresh Start’ programme to bridge the gaps in their phonics knowledge and develop their skill of being able to decode texts in order to read with fluency. 

Accelerated Reader

All students at Key Stage 3 read for 20 minutes each day. They read books on the Accelerated Reader programme and must quiz on books after they have finished them. Students read books at their level and reach a points target each term which is based on their reading level. There is more information about this programme here.

Mc Graw Hill Directed Reading and Writing

We also use the McGraw Hill Directed Reading and Writing Programmes to develop students’ ability to write in sentences and paragraphs. Students focus on key skills in a highly structured programme that develops their mastery of these skills over the year. This programme is used in year 8 with students who have been selected for support

Step Up’ into GCSE English

This is an AQA approved course that is designed to help all students make good progress with a clear sequence of learning and carefully scaffolded activities that guide students through exploring, developing and applying the key skills for each topic in the AQA specification.

Catch-up for students working significantly below expected standard

Directed Reading:

Students in year 10 are supported in form time with the Mc Graw Hill, ‘Corrective Reading’ programme.


Corrective Reading provides students with the tools to help close the achievement gap by addressing deficiencies in both Decoding and Comprehension. It is an intensive intervention for students reading one or more years below their chronological age.

  • Two major strands and four instructional levels address a wide range of reading problems
  • Decoding and Comprehension can be used as supplemental intervention or be combined for use a comprehensive programme
  • Fully integrated assessments monitor progress and guide movement through the programme


Punctuation and spelling

Grammar Skills



A website that contains lots of useful information to help guide both creative and analytical writing.

Geoff Barton

Geoff Barton is a former English teacher who has uploaded resources that you can use to help refine your writing – the focus is predominantly on GCSE English Language, but there’s plenty that’s transferable across different subject areas.

TED Writing

Click on the link and you’ll be taken to nine playlists that contain interesting and diverse presentations ranging from inspirational fiction you should read to life lessons given by writers.

The Guardian

Keep up-to-date with current affairs and read some of the good quality journalism on the website. The opinion pieces are worth seeking out.

Hemingway App

Copy and paste your writing into the app and it’ll analyse the ‘clarity’ of it for you.  Useful as a rough guide to improving the readability of your work.

University of Bristol Grammar and Punctuation Quizzes

Test and develop your knowledge of grammar and punctation by completing the quizzes.  Everything from commas to common mistakes are covered.

Grammar Girl

This website contains plenty of information on all things grammar-related, plus more besides.

BBC Bitesize

Guidance and quizzes covering key aspects of spelling, punctation and grammar rules.

Commonly Misspelt Words

201 of the most commonly misspelt words in English and simple tips to help you spell them correctly.

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