“Literacy is a bridge from misery to hope. It is a tool for daily life in modern society. It is a bulwark against poverty, and a building block of development, an essential complement to investments in roads, dams, clinics and factories. For everyone, everywhere, literacy is, along with education in general, a basic human right. Literacy is, finally, the road to human progress and the means through which every man, woman and child can realize his or her full potential.” 

― Kofi Annan 


At Aylward Academy, we believe that literacy lies at the heart of a student’s success, it is the key to empowering individuals and unlocking their critical thinking, creativity and communication, as well as improve student’s self-esteem and motivations. This is why we instil a love of reading, writing and talk, in all Aylward students.

English has a leading position in education and society and it is through English that pupils are taught to speak and write fluently so they are able to communicate their ideas to others. More specifically, effective use of language is crucial to successful learning in all subject areas of our curriculum, each of which can contribute to developing literacy skills through its own distinctive opportunities and demands.

Literacy Aims

As an academy we aim:

To do this we promote and develop the following four main areas we believe are central to lifelong literacy development:

 How do we develop the four main areas?


At Aylward Academy, we have a strong focus on developing oracy amongst all students. Supporting the development of strong speaking and listening skills raises standards and underpins the development of reading and writing, particularly within our ‘talk for writing’ approach. By having an oracy led curriculum that encourages students to discuss, debate and deliberate students are able to learn through talk and learn to talk.

In addition, through our wider curriculum offer such as the Speak Out Challenge and Debate Club, we are able to engage students to be confident speakers, critical thinkers and empowered citizen.

Writing & Subject-specific vocabulary

We want all of our students to become successful and confident writers. This is why students are given opportunities to review model text and unpick subject vocabulary. Use of knowledge organisers across all curriculum areas provides a bank of subject-specific vocabulary and support students ability to recall and apply key terms.

Extended, purposeful writing opportunities are planned across the curriculum, which engages and encourages students with their writing. In addition, built into subject curriculums are regular opportunities to review and redraft pieces of work, so students are able to develop written fluency and progress to mastery in all areas.


At Aylward Academy, we aim to foster a love of reading, which means encouraging students to read for enjoyment and understanding. We encourage children to read widely in fiction, non-fiction and poetry. One way this is done is through our Drop Everything and Read (DEAR) programme and library lessons.

Other ways the academy supports student’s literacy include:

We are proud of the efforts of both staff and students in raising the profile of reading across the academy. Please click on our Book Loft button below for further details; alternatively feel free to contact the academy to arrange an appointment.

Reading in the Curriculum

At Aylward Academy, listening, speaking, reading and writing are explicitly taught to build on the cultural capital of students: enabling them to become brave, inquisitive and independent learners able to communicate effectively and adapt language according to audience and purpose. 

We have worked collaboratively with our teachers to prioritise the three key areas to develop reading in the curriculum:

Our academic curriculum aims to challenge our students to foster independence and a love for reading.

Key Stage 3 

Library Lessons

We have revolutionised the way we utilise Reading lessons within our English curriculum.  Each class still has a fortnightly Reading lesson in the Book Loft, but it is now spent proactively reading and writing about a range of relevant and appropriately pitched resources that teach students how to read critically and evaluatively, as well as assist in further writing tasks.  These lessons have already aided a rapid improvement in literacy and added to the confidence of even our weakest readers.

More information can be found here:

Reading Coaches

Year 12 Reading Coaches have been recruited to support Year 7-10 students to develop better reading skills.  The students meet twice a week, depending on the level of need, and help by focusing on reading, vocabulary, and comprehension skills.  They also discuss their love for books!

The aim of the Reading Coaches Programme is to provide another level of reading support for students at KS3 and 4 whilst giving Year 12 students an opportunity to gain some volunteering experience and utilising their skills. 

Year 12 students volunteered to take part in the programme and have been selected based on their excellent reading data, their love for reading and willingness to help others.  We are very thankful to all Year 12 students and to all those involved in the Reading Coaches programme. 

Reading for Personal Development

Tutor time reading has become one of the most enjoyable parts of the school day. Students are engaged in reading three days a week as a group.   Our librarian has hand-selected books which are linked to themes in the personal development curriculum, where students can explore age-related issues and discuss solutions. 

Helpful tips and strategies to support students with their reading are shared through the personal development newsletter to parents - click the button below for direct access to our newsletters.

Supporting your child to read at home

We believe that in order for students to truly reach their reading potential, they should also be reading regularly at home.