Literacy for Learning

Literacy across the curriculum is something which we work very hard to incorporate into the daily life at The Cedars Academy.

We recognise its importance in preparing our pupils for their future in education and the workplace.

Literacy is the ability to read and use written information and to write appropriately in a range of contexts. However, the power of literacy lies not only in the ability to read and write, but in a person’s ability to put those skills to work in shaping the course of his or her own life. In other words, we need to ensure that our pupils are literate in all subjects; that they can understand and communicate effectively.

Education and reading are circular – the more a person has of one, the better the development of the other.
– Chall, 1996

At The Cedars Academy

All pupils are expected to read as part of their Key Stage 3, GCSE and A Level courses as all assessments, whether in an English based subject or not, now assume a certain level of literacy. The more you read the more you increase your chances of being successful in your time at The Cedars Academy. Whether you are in Year 7 or Year 13, reading can make a difference to your results.

Reading books is the only out of school activity for sixteen year olds that is linked to getting a managerial or professional job in later life.
– Oxford University

However, being able to read, and enjoy reading is much more than a tool to do well in your subjects and exams. It is a skill for life. A skill that opens new worlds, encourages us to be empathetic, widens our understanding of the world and our place in it. In short, reading is at the heart of all education. Literacy is vital to education and examination success.

Furthermore, reading for pleasure is positively linked with many literacy-related benefits such as:

  • Reading attainment and writing ability for reading that is done both in school and out of school
  • Text comprehension and grammar
  • Breadth of vocabulary
  • Positive reading attitudes which are linked to achievement in reading
  • Greater self-confidence as a reader
  • Pleasure reading in later life

Let’s Just Read

Why not encourage your son or daughter to read as much as possible at home? This doesn’t just mean novels. Magazines, newspapers, online blogs and articles, reviews, as well as fiction and non-fiction books will all support your son or daughter’s reading and writing; in fact we recommend that pupils read non-fiction text during Year 11 in order to prepare for their GCSE English Language exams.

The library at The Cedars Academy is stocked with both classic and contemporary fiction and non-fiction and is available to pupils before the start of the Academy day, at break and at lunch times. Just ask our librarian Ms Cunliffe!

We also have a range of methods to support pupils who need help with literacy. Firstly, all teachers realise the importance of literacy skills. Staff across the Academy, no matter what their subject specialism, are dedicated to promoting literacy within their lessons and through their teaching. To this end we use Reciprocal Reading strategies, encouraging students to approach new texts using the skills:

  • Predict
  • Clarify
  • Question
  • Summarise

All students in years 7,8 and 9 sit the New Group Reading Test (NGRT) and this is used to create a reading age for each student which teachers use to become familiar with the reading and spelling abilities of all pupils. This assists them in supporting pupils where necessary and providing resources appropriate to the abilities of the pupils they teach.


For pupils where weak literacy skills may hinder learning, interventions are in place. There are reading and numeracy programmes in place during registration and other individualised support is in place during lessons.

This includes:

  • Reading Buddies – sixth form students and members of our Curriculum Support Centre read with year 7 students
  • Tutor time reading programme – students read two full books across the year in their tutor groups
  • Direct Instruction
  • Handwriting support

Useful Literacy Links

Link description
Sporcle Literacy games and quizzes
Tintenklex Literacy Games with a focus on Dyslexia
Wordsforlife Help for parents to support their children
National Literacy Trust Information about literacy for parents, carers and teachers
Leicestershire County Council Information about Leicestershire’s libraries, including online access to resources
Booktrust articles about the latest titles, innovations and competitions in the world of books
Lovereading a site that helps you to select books depending on your interests
Reading Rockets free online access to thousands of classic titles
Project Gutenberg free online access to thousands of classic titles
Catch Up advice for parents about helping children with homework.