Key Stage 3 and Literacy for Life


Literacy for Life – Key Stage 3

We will be running the highly successful Literacy for Life programme developed over the last 15 years at Shireland Collegiate Academy, the founding school of Shireland Collegiate Academy Trust.


Students who have completed this Key Stage 3 programme have shown excellent results GCSE and A-Level over a sustained period and have a skill profile which equips them to achieve in their future studies and career.


At its heart, Literacy for Life has 17 hours with the same teacher in Year 7, 13 hours with the same teacher in Year 8 and 5 hours with the same teacher in Year 9.

Why do we do this?

It has been nationally recognised that most students who come into secondary education experience a drop in their progress. This is because in most schools the strongest staff are put with Year 11 and Year 7 is no one’s priority. Starting a new school can be difficult for some students and if they are seeing 14 or 15 teachers it can be hard to settle.

We have a dedicated team of Literacy for Life teachers. Each teacher is focussed on the students in their class, not just from an academic perspective but also getting to know the students and their families really well and forming a partnership which will really help students to progress.

Students have a dedicated classroom where they can store their work and feel comfortable as well as someone they can go to with any issues and who knows how they are performing across their subjects.


Our Literacy for Life programme consists of subjects taught through themes. A theme runs for between three and four weeks and has elements of all the subjects taught through it. Not every theme has the same amount of every subject as some may be more history or science focussed, but we cover the Key Stage 3 National Curriculum during years 7-9. You can discover more about the themes delivered in each year at the bottom of this page.

In Year 7 Maths is taught via discrete Mathematics lessons but numeracy and problem-solving skills are also embedded within the themes where appropriate.

Literacy for Life is taught in mixed ability classes with different levels of support within the classroom for students who need to be stretched or who need more help. We look to produce work of real quality with opportunities for parents to see the work produced.

The curriculum is technology-rich with each student having their own device and ICT skills are taught throughout all the themes. We have a balance of written work and work on the devices as we are aware that students still need to be able to write fluently and accurately.

We assess students through a series of competencies, looking at both their academic progress and their development as people, equally important tracks to ensuring a well-rounded education.