'Literacy is freedom' - UNESCO 2012

'We believe literacy is the ability to read, write, speak and listen well.  A literate person is able to communicate effectively with others and to understand written information.'  National Literacy Trust

Purpose and Vision

We want to empower every student in the Ralph Allen community by creating a literate environment.

We want to ensure every member of staff and every student values the power of literacy, not only in their learning and teaching but also in their ability to communicate effectively and to make sense of the world.

We want to raise students’ expectations of achievement, leading to a rise in standards.


Our objectives are to ensure that:

  • all teachers are teachers of literacy
  • the staff at Ralph Allen School are committed to developing the literacy skills of all our students. This will give students full access to the curriculum therefore allowing our students to make greater progress
  • students have a set of tools which enables them to have the confidence to express themselves, regardless of medium
  • students have the capacity to organise their ideas and have clarity of communication
  • students have the literacy skills to develop and improve reading, writing and speaking and listening skills in all subject areas
  • literacy skills have an impact on a student’s learning and therefore their self esteem, motivation and behaviour
  • students use an appropriate register in context.


  1. All staff should follow the RAS marking and assessment policy.
  2. Lessons should include a literacy focus where appropriate. Lesson Observation forms include a space for a literacy focus.
  3. All departments should identify key words and spellings appropriate for their subjects and display these in teaching spaces.
  4. All staff are to encourage reading for pleasure and to improve comprehension within their curriculum areas.
  5. All departments should provide scaffolding, modelling and conventions for extended writing.
  6. All teaching staff are to value, support, model and develop Speaking and Listening both as an important mode of communication and as a way of improving writing.
  7. All departments are to emphasise the Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar (SPAG) requirements of their courses with students and parents.
  8. All teaching staff should be aware of and support the Ralph Allen School Literacy Intervention and AEN Department.

Whole School Literacy Focus Terms 1-6 2017-18

Consistency of approach is crucial. The literacy focus will be referred to during lessons, in assessments, in assemblies, tutor activities, classroom displays etc.




Homophones and frequently confused spellings.


Apostrophes, commas, colons and semi-colons.


Presentation – compare with September’s work. 

Fluency and legibility.


Speaking and listening – presentational skills.


Organisation of texts – paragraphing, etc.


Selection and retrieval of information – using quotations etc.


Literacy and SEN

All students are screened on entry to Ralph Allen School. Information from primary schools and Cognitive Ability Tests and Spelling, Writing and Reading scores are reviewed and used to target students who may require specific literacy input.

Information on pupils designated SEN is formulated into Individual Learning Profiles that are shared with teaching staff and designed to support the teaching of literacy across the curriculum.

The SEN process enables the Head of Inclusion to monitor and track individuals who may require other specialist literacy intervention from outside agencies or who may be eligible for exam access dispensations for formal examinations.

Data is shared with staff on SIMS and also relevant scores are entered on Individual Learning Profiles.

Data is evaluated at the end of each academic year to check progress of students and to determine effectiveness of literacy interventions as well as to identify students who require continued literacy support.

SEN/D Literacy Interventions

Year 7

Springboard literacy booster classes - short courses focusing on Spelling, Reading and Writing skills.

Tutor time - individual literacy programmes, paired reading with Sixth Form students and handwriting /touch typing practice.

Year 7 and other year groups

Individual personalised literacy programmes in lesson times for some students with Education Health Care Plans or with significant specific learning needs. This includes cross curricular support.

In class support to reinforce literacy skills.

Specialist literacy intervention in-house and from outside agencies.

Learning Intervention and Literacy Specialist - Ms Jo Flatman, Higher Level Teaching Assistant