Literacy at KES

‘Young people who leave school without good literacy skills are held back at every stage of life. Their outcomes are poorer on almost every measure, from health and wellbeing, to employment and finance.’ (Education Endowment Foundation, 2020)'.

At The King Edmund School, we recognise the importance of our responsibility to ensure that our students leave our school with good literacy skills, so that their achievements are richer and well met.

Literacy impacts self-esteem, motivation, behaviour and academic attainment. We aim to always promote high standards and expectations of literacy across our curriculum and beyond the classroom, where we have specific programmes to actively ensure the success of all of our students.

  • Please find a copy of our Whole School Literacy Policy in the policy section
  • For more information about how to support your child with their reading at home, please read the leaflet below
  • To encourage an enthusiastic KES Reader, please make use of the reading challenge grid below

What KES does:

Programmes and Expectations

Our students are encouraged to strive for the best standards of written accuracy that they can achieve. Students are expected to take pride in their written work and presentation. It is important for students to understand that we write and speak in many different situations in our lives- even within the course of a single day, and that each situation requires a different set of expectations and standards. 

We are committed to consistently using a structured approach to teaching and modelling writing strategies that develop students’ fluency, accuracy and voice and is based on explicit instructional methodology from the ‘Writing Revolution’ by Dr J. Hochmann.

We also have a structured approach to teaching reading strategies, based on the reciprocal reader use of questioning, clarifying, summarising and predicting roles that helps to improve reading comprehension.

KES Read Logo 2


Library Lessons: All students in years 8 and 9 partake in one library lesson per cycle as part of their English lessons. This provides an opportunity for the pursuit of reading for pleasure; for the building of core spelling, grammar, and punctuation skills and a task based around a word of the week.

KES Students are expected to KES read every day:

We expect students in all year groups to complete 25 minutes of reading each school day (and we work particularly hard to promote and embed this routine with our year 7-11 students).

Form Time: WOW and tutor work booklets

Our literacy skills are what allow for us to make sense of the world around us and to join in with the debates and discussions that matter to us. To understand and join in, we need to possess language for real life (or cultural capital). Students take part in WOW (Word of the Week) which extends their vocabulary and allows them to look at the etymology and sentence structure of different words. They also have tutor work booklets where they read passages of short stories and work through task which investigates the writing, language and text the author has written.

DEAR: Delivered in KES Read time on a Wednesday for all students and staff, DEAR (drop everything and read) is a 25 min session dedicated to pursuing reading for pleasure. Students are expected to attend the session with their current reading book, and they spend the session reading, alongside their form tutor. Daily reading has been demonstrated to impact students’ reading ages to such a degree that there is an increase seen in their grades across every area of the curriculum. This is why we also encourage students at KES to read at home for 20 minutes per day.

Developing Oracy: We are consistently providing opportunities for high quality talk in the classroom and tutor time that are planned and deliberate, and based on strategies from oracy specialists like Voice 21. We take part in the Jack Petchy Speak Out Challenge for Year 10, Year 7-9 we run a speaking competition and workshop day called KES Voices, we are planning No Pen Days, to promote oracy in lessons and other events such as Spelling Bees, Showcase events and debating meets.

We are also working with the University of Bedfordshire on a project to look at the impact of audiobooks.

The six strategies that we are focusing on to build an outstanding reading school are:

Supporting Staff Teaching the Reading Curriculum Engaging Parents Developing our Reading Environment Targeting Resources Celebrating Reading
Equipping staff with the skills and knowledge they need to teach children to be accomplished and keen readers Making use of every opportunity the curriculum offers to teach KES students to become life-long readers Harnessing the enthusiasm of KES parents to ensure the culture of reading developed by our school extends into the home Understanding the role of the physical environment including our school library, books in classrooms, and visual displays that can play in teaching students to be readers Using a wide range of different reading material to teach our students to become avid readers Involving all parts of the KES community in special events to raise the profile of reading and engaging our students, staff and parents.

Year 7 Catch-Up Premium 2019/20

The school anticipates receiving £22,753 as Year 7 catch up funding in 2019/20 plus funding of £21,817 carried over from 2018-2019 making a total of £44,570. We estimate that there will be 72 students to focus upon. The school plans to spend the funding in the following way:

Cost Project Purpose/Objective
£18,200.00 Small group tuition (contribution towards overall cost) – employment of fixed term contract staff and LSAs and may also include cover costs for specialist staff running key identified sessions. Develop skills and confidence in the targeted areas.
£1,000.00 Support from a Literacy specialist (contribution towards overall cost). Lexia Reading Programme delivered by SEN department.
£1,500.00 Morning Reading Rooms in conservatory (contribution towards overall cost). Through 1:1 reading support using a structured reading and comprehension scheme that targets a range of text types with an LSA and where their reading age is tested every term to monitor and demonstrate the progress being made.
£3,656.00 Breaktime Reading room (contribution to staffing costs). To provide a quiet and comfortable peer reading space to encourage a love of reading as a break time morale boost.
£200.00 Staff Teaching and Learning sessions (contribution to overall costs). Training on strategies to support effective feedback and challenge for students – key areas to address with students.
£2,862.00 15% towards TLRs for three staff allocated to literacy and numeracy (contribution towards). Coordination, mentoring, monitoring, review and evaluation.
£800.00 Purchase of new literacy books (x3 new sets). Development of innovative techniques that help within and beyond the classroom, for use in D3 by Literacy SENCO.
£500.00 Contingency for the development of existing or new projects. To allow the flexibility to respond to changing needs and new opportunities over the course of the academic year. The school is purchasing new library books and launching literacy led lessons by Literacy SENCO and may need to divert some funds in this direction.
£12,652.00 GL Assessment. Assessment testing for all Year 7, 8 and 9 students to provide accurate starting levels.
£3,000.00 Let me Play initiative. Let Me Play are a leading Youth Organisation, which provides a range of sports, positive activities and education for young people. (See further notes).
£44,570.00 TOTAL  


Let Me Play Literacy / Numeracy catch up sessions

KES uses an external organisation called Let Me Play to run its literacy and numeracy catch up sessions. The organisation runs a range of programmes in schools, communities, youth centres, colleges and residential settings.

The programmes are meticulously designed, planned and implemented to enable young people the most out of the activity and are supported by highly qualified teachers and coaches. Our team of professionals work together, motivating and enabling Let Me Play participants to gain as much as possible from their time with us.

The mission at Let Me Play is for young people to leave inspired and empowered to achieve more, do more and be the best that they can be. To create a social movement where young people experience a programme, which motivates them creating a high impact, long lasting impression.

Programme Objectives

  • Using high-quality staff and high ratios the Let Me Play programme aims to provide an intensive intervention for those who need additional support.
  • To deliver a vibrant engaging programme which motivates and enthuses students about School.
  • To engage beyond the student and with families by inviting parents to sample the school and the array of activities.
  • The programme provides a very structured approach to confidence and self-esteem building to instill belief in what each young person can achieve.
  • Through lessons specifically designed by education specialists to assess literacy and to identify gaps in learning.
  • Negate learning loss and promote teamwork and cohesion.
  • To provide a workbook of learning which allows a handover to the school to assess the activities, learning and stage of the student.

Measuring Impact

The measures used to show the impact of the catch-up premium included:

  • Assessing the reading age of the students at the start, mid-point and finish of the catch-up intervention.
  • Assessing the number of students who arriving with KS2 attainment scores below 85 at the beginning of Year 7 in English who have been reported as making good progress in the termly data collections.

Intervention students have begun to engage more fully and to make progress in Literacy. In future, steps will be taken to ensure a smoother and faster transition for the Catch-Up group including:

  • Assessing reading ages using GL assessment in September and organising the literacy groups with the Literacy SENCO groups for an October start.
  • Taking time at the beginning to engage with every child who will attend the King Edmund School Creating a timetable for the Catch-Up students which includes the Reading and Literacy group time as an additional session.

Review of 2018/19 Strategy

The school received £22,753 as Year 7 catch up funding in 2018-2019 but also had a large sum carried forward from 2017-2018 which has been used this year. It has therefore been decided to carry forward most of the 2018-19 allocation (£21,817) in order to re-evaluate and plan a more cohesive strategy.

Having reviewed the progress of students in 2017-2018 and assuming similar numbers of students requiring support, started in September 2018, the school spent on the following items:

Cost Project Purpose/Objective
£9100 Small group tuition (contribution towards overall cost) – may include cover costs for specialist staff running key identified sessions. Develop skills and confidence in the targeted areas.
£500 Staff Teaching and Learning sessions (contribution to overall costs). Training on strategies to support effective feedback and challenge for students – key areas to address with LPA students.
£1000 TLR for staff allocated to literacy and numeracy (contribution towards). Coordination, mentoring, monitoring, review and evaluation.
£2000 Contribution to English department teaching and learning costs and funding to Literacy SENCO for new literacy curriculum start up costs. To support the development of a new mastery curriculum in Year 7.
£931 Let Me Play - Numeracy and Literacy Projects. Saturday School Literacy project, Maths Saturday school project, Literacy in school workshops, Numeracy in school work shops, Football training with literacy and positive activities.


The table below shows comparable progress of Year 7 catch up against non-catch up students across the 2018-19 academic year. Progress across these levels is shown for an aggregate of all subjects based upon standardised subject specific skills grids. This new assessment method continues to be refined and developed by the Literacy SENCO but overall indications suggest that catch up students are making progress above that of all students.

Year 7 Catch Up Pupils
Average points below target Catch Up All
1-0.9 7 122
0.8-0.6 29 69
0.6-0.4 25 50
0.4-0.2 4 12
0.1-0 13 18
Group % Attend
Year 7 Catch up 95.2
Year 7 96.3


Historical Information

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