Literacy and Numeracy


All students in Years 7-11 are assessed for Reading Comprehension, Reading Accuracy and Spelling. Assessments take place each September for new students and each June for other year groups.

The Learning Development Department

A specialist teacher for Dyslexia, Literacy and Numeracy co-ordinates the following programmes, supported by a Teaching Assistant Leading on Literacy and Numeracy:

  • Personalised Programmes for Reading and Spelling. A small number of targeted students in Year 7 and 8 are disapplied from MFL and access these programmes which are structured from assessment data in order to secure best progress. Students are not expected to select a language for their option choices, but once students have made the necessary progress then they can access an additional Option subject in place of this session at GCSE.
  • Reading Accuracy and Reading Comprehension Programmes. Students in Year 7 and 8 are withdrawn from Form for 20 minutes once or twice a week to participate in these reading sessions.
  • Toe-by-Toe Reading Programme. Students attend before and after school sessions up to 4 times a week (sometimes additionally Period 5) for structured reading development.
  • Spelling Programmes. These run for students on a rolling timetable for one hour a week for structured spelling development.
  • Spelling Groups. This is a Form time support session for KS3 students; IT spelling software packages are used to develop this aspect of literacy.
  • Year 9 Supported Study. Offered to Year 9 students in place of an Option subject; this constitutes literacy, learning-to-learn and the AQA Project.
  • Year 10 Supported Study. Offered to Year 10 students in place of an Option subject; this constitutes literacy, the ASDAN and a supported study session.


Literacy Development Programme

This is a literacy intervention programme offered to students in Year 7 and 8. It is designed to enable students to access knowledge, skills and understanding across a range of subjects by drawing on subject-specific content, resources, skills and specialist language.

The programme is facilitated by a trained literacy instructor attached to the English Department and by the Deputy Headteacher (Curriculum).

Some 40 students are withdrawn on a rolling timetable for a 60 minute session each week. Sessions are facilitated in groups of 2 or 3 (and in some cases individually) and are structured in the format of the Literacy Progress and Booster Units developed under the KS3 English Secondary Literacy Strategy.



At Ashlawn School we recognise the lasting influence that reading has in shaping and developing minds; high levels of progress and learning in almost every academic subject requires strong reading. We believe that becoming a fluent reader plays a significant role in preparing young people for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life.


At Ashlawn, reading (reading knowledge and reading skills) is taught specifically through English from Year 7-11, through a dedicated reading programme in Year 7 and through the literacy intervention programme. Reading is taught through shared reading, guided reading sessions and opportunities to practise and consolidate skills through independent reading. During these sessions teachers will use a range of strategies to enhance the reading knowledge and reading skills.


The Year 7 Reading Programme

The programme offers a differentiated approach to developing the core knowledge and skills of reading. Students will therefore experience the reading programme through broadly setted groups according to their assessed prior attainment.


The selective / grammar groups will experience reading through their individual subjects. Each subject will be calendared to deliver a reading experience designed to enhance students’ wider knowledge and understanding in the context of each subject area.


The core groups in Year 7 will experience reading through a timetabled lessons once a week. Students with low prior attainment will also develop reading knowledge and skills in the context of small group intervention sessions additionally timetabled as once a week.


The programme is based on an instructed and structured approach to developing reading.



Enhancing Numeracy

In addition to whole-school measures already listed and those already embedded within the Maths department and other department schemes of learning, the following are designed to enhance numeracy:

  • Additional subject-specific measures identified in “Numeracy Co-Ordinator” and “Departmental Numeracy Contact” liaison
  • One-to-one tuition programme for targeted Year 7,8 and 9 students
  • LDD numeracy intervention
  • Pastoral time activities that develop core numeracy ‘life skills’
  • Promotion of the ‘Unlocking Numeracy’ brand as a means to encourage awareness of the numeracy drive
  • Incorporation of numeracy as an important skill recognised by the Ashlawn School Teaching Standards

Numeracy Development Programme

This is a numeracy intervention programme offered to students from Year 7. It is designed to enhance the ability and the inclination to solve numerical problems relating to everyday life and a familiarity with the ways of interpreting data relevant to daily life.

The programme is facilitated by a maths instructor, trained and supported by the Maths Department.

Students are withdrawn on a rolling timetable for a 60 minute session each week. Sessions are facilitated in one-to-one interactions.