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Principles of the Literacy Strategy at Capital City Academy

  • Every teacher is a teacher of literacy: To achieve consistency and coherence across departments in the development of reading, writing, speaking and listening skills.
  • In order for all students at Capital to participate fully in the curriculum and reach their potential, students in years 7-9 with a reading age below nine years and five months will receive targeted intervention. All students in years 7 and 8 also benefit from weekly Accelerated Reader lessons.


Literacy Steering Group - Roles & Responsibilities

A significant number of the leadership team at the Academy have responsibility for literacy. These colleagues monitor, review and implement our literacy strategies to ensure the Academy as a whole takes a coherent approach.


Team Members

Staff Member Position Literacy Responsibilities

April Jones

Associate Senior Leader

Attainment and progress in English

Strategic development & implementation of the whole school literacy strategy.

Wave 1 and Wave 2 Literacy Coordinator: Accelerated Reader; Drop Everything And Read; Toe-by-Toe; Capital 6 Literacy Leaders.

EAL Strategy; Attainment and progress of EAL students

Charmaine Moseley


Attainment and progress of SEN students

Wave 3 Interventions

Rosemond Samuah-Safo

SHINE Literacy progress of SHINE students

Rosemond Samuah-Safo


Library literacy opportunities e.g. World Book Day


Literacy in Lessons

At Capital City Academy we use four key strategies to develop literacy in lessons.

  1. Always insist on full sentences.
  2. Talk, model, write.
  3. Are you checking your work? 
  4. Reading Strategies:
  • BEFORE AND AFTER – can you work out the meaning of the word from other words in the sentence?  Can you work out the meaning of the sentence by reading the sentences before and after?
  • ROOT WORD – can you work out the meaning of the word by recognising the root word? Remove the prefix and / or suffix.
  • BREAK IT DOWN – Can you comprehend meaning word by word, clause by clause?

1. Always insist on full sentences

This starts with an expectation that students should respond in full sentences and in Standard English; teachers are expected to model this, to challenge poor oracy, and to provide students with the language necessary for a high-level response using the register continuum.

The register continuum


2. Talk, Model, Write

Before setting their students to write, teachers model the process of writing: the thinking, the planning, the drafting and the editing.


Talk Model Write


3.  Are you checking your work?

And before any work is handed in, students should use their green pen to check their own literacy as well as using the Literacy Checklist.

For information on Green Pen Checking, please click on the links below.



Literacy Interventions

Students will receive targeted intervention if their reading age is below nine years and five months (the reading age at which a student is deemed able to access the Secondary curriculum). The following interventions are being used and will be monitored and reviewed for impact half-termly.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about reading interventions at Capital.

Intervention Description Staff Contact

EAL withdrawal / Small group work

Identified students are withdrawn from lessons to develop language & English skills at the discretion of the EAL department. 

Predominantly phonics based, beginning at initial letter level, and includes a simple comprehension element.  

Ms A Jones


The student works through a meticulously-designed phonics program with an older buddy. They must pronounce a sound or word correctly three times, on three separate days, before they are judged to have mastered it. The program is build on positive reinforcement and delivered in three, 20-minute sessions a week.

Ms R Samuah-Safo

Phonics (Ruth Miskin)

It is a synthetic phonics based reading, writing and spelling programme.

The scheme is structured, intensive and systematic and relies on tailored, phonically regular yet age appropriate texts, and on special training for teachers or instructors. Activities associated with each text help the students discover and practise techniques for investigating text and producing texts of their own.

Ms C Moseley

Speech and Language Therapy (Wave 3) Students work with a qualified Speech and Language Therapist, one-to-one, or in small groups receiving specialist provision tailored to their language needs.

Ms C Moseley

Speech and Language Therapy (Wave 2) Students work in small groups and receive targeted support tailored to their language needs.

Ms C Moseley

Accelerated Reader Accelerated Reader is a web-based programme designed to boost pupils' reading ages, through encouraging them to read and take quizzes on challenging books. It also incorporates regular reading tests, allowing teachers to monitor and assist pupils in choosing appropriate books. All students in Years 7-8 receive an Accelerated Reader lesson each week, involving a range of activities designed to instil a love of reading in pupils, as well as further improving their reading skills, working towards certificates and prizes. This is underpinned by all pupils reading for 30 minutes at home every day.

Ms R Samuah-Safo

How to help your child with Literacy

The Importance of Literacy

National statistics show a decline in Literacy. Did you know?

  • Less than half of 8 to 16 year olds have read a book in the last month
  • 49% of children and adults think that reading is boring
  • Children who enjoy reading very much are 5 times more likely to be above average readers
  • 22% of children report that no one at home encourages them to read
  • 1 in 3 do not own a book
  • 62% of boys do not enjoy writing and pupils at Key Stage 4 are the least likely to enjoy writing
  • Pupils on free school meals have much less confidence in their writing ability
  • Research shows that the average length of a student's contribution to a class discussion is 4 words
  • A 4 year old with professional parents will have been exposed to 50 million words compared to 12 million words for a child from a disadvantaged background

We owe it to our students to give them the very best Literacy skills, in order to improve their chances in life and to enable them to succeed in whatever path they choose.

On this website, you will see how we are helping to address this at Capital City Academy but we would also like your support with any time you can devote to this at home. The most important thing you can do to help your child with their literacy is to encourage them to read. Read with them, read to them, ask them about what they are reading and tell them about what you are reading – all of this will make a difference. If your child is in year 7 or 8, they should have an Accelerated Reader book that they have borrowed from the library. This book will be at an appropriate level for your child. As for extra reading at home, it doesn’t really matter what your child reads – fiction, non-fiction, books, newspapers, websites – as long as the vocabulary is challenging enough for them to learn from (see the last bullet point above) and they enjoy it. We’re aiming to build a generation of life-long readers here!

If you need more ideas, please use the following link which allows you to filter books for boys, reluctant readers, dyslexia, age etc.

And the Key Stage 3 recommended reading list -


Moving Literacy Forward

At Capital City Academy we are making great progress in embedding literacy across the academy, starting with specific front-line teaching techniques, and an academy-wide focus on reading. From comprehensive intervention aiming to narrow the attainment gap from first entry, to a range of exciting events in the library, literacy is a priority at Capital. All pupils in Key Stage 3 participate in the Accelerated Reader programme on a weekly basis. As well as making use of our library, pupils can mentor younger students as a Toe-by-Toe mentor, participate in Rising Stars, or even work with external projects such as English Pen, leading to some pupils’ work being published in a creative anthology. Finally, half-termly Drop Everything and Read events give pupils the time and space to really enjoy a great book.