Literacy at Teign School

The information below is a summary of our approach to literacy development at Teign School.

For more detail, please contact Sam Battershall (Assistant Headteacher and SENDCo) or Freya Morrissey (Head of English and literacy lead).



Developing reading, writing and oracy throughout KS3, KS4 and into KS5 is key to every student’s success at all levels. At Teign, students’ literacy development is supported across the whole school and in all subjects. Although most learn the basics of reading in primary school, the literacy journey continues throughout their education. In secondary school, all students continue to ‘learn to read’ a wider range of more complex texts within the academic conventions of different subjects, and also increasingly ‘read to learn’ in all of their curriculum subjects, as they become increasingly independent and able learners.

We aim for all students to have far more than ‘functional’ literacy by the time they leave their education with us, and that the vast majority should reach a reading level in line with their chronological age. We know that a high level of literacy gives students the best opportunity to be lifelong readers and learners, to participate fully in society and democracy, and to have greater control and ownership over their lives. For this reason we ensure that all students who need it have access to additional literacy support that is targeted to their needs, so that those who come to us from KS2 without the necessary foundational knowledge are given additional learning and practice opportunities. In almost all cases – except where a more differentiated curriculum is required due to significant learning needs – students involved with literacy interventions continue to participate in a full board and balanced curriculum, and they do not lose their entitlement to non-core subjects such as PE or MFL.

We continually evaluate and develop our literacy provision at Teign, to ensure that everything we do makes a positive difference to our students’ learning and futures.  


Approaches to literacy development

Whole school:

Our reading strategy revolves around five strands: learning to read; reading to learn; disciplinary literacy; reading beyond the curriculum, and reading for pleasure.

Every student in Years 7–11 undertakes NGRT baseline testing in Autumn 1. This data is used to identify students with the highest literacy needs and to prioritise interventions, notice emerging needs, as well as to track cohort progress over time.

In Years 7-9 we use Accelerated Reader to both incentivise and track student engagement with reading on a regular basis.

We actively and continually promote frequent reading and reading for pleasure. We have a well stocked library with an expert full-time librarian, which is a much-used space both within lessons and at break, lunchtime and after school every day. In Years 7-9, we have 20 minutes of Drop Everything and Read time, on a rolling timetable across all curriculum subjects. In 2022-23, five members of the English team are teacher judges for the UKLA Book Awards 2023, to increase staff knowledge of children’s and young adult texts and stimulate more discussions with students about reading for pleasure.

The English curriculum includes a wide range of rich reading opportunities, especially in KS3, and teaching strategies support all students to develop as readers – and, through their reading, to improve their writing.

All departments identify key Tier 2 and Tier 3 vocabulary to explicitly teach and emphasise, to support students’ access to and precise expression within the curriculum.

Bedrock Vocabulary is used as a homework platform for Years 7–9 to further develop students’ Tier 2 vocabulary.

All staff are given clear, actional guidance to support the improvement of literacy in their classrooms each term.

A Literacy Working Group comprising literacy-heavy subjects collaborates to share and develop professional expertise and strategies to support literacy within the classroom, at both generic and disciplinary levels.



1:1 and very small group phonics teaching, using ReadWriteInc’s Fresh Start programme, to ensure every student has the foundational knowledge they need to read successfully and fluently.*

1:1 and very small group reading fluency practice, to help bridge the gap between phonics knowledge and reading confidence.

IDL Literacy, to help students develop phonological awareness, word recognition and spelling. (This can also be used by students at home0.

Literacy intervention groups aligned with the English curriculum, giving students additional opportunities to encounter core curriculum content and practise writing skills.    

*Due to unanticipated staffing and capacity limitations in Autumn 1, these interventions will begin in November 2022.


Reading at Teign School 2022-23

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