Literacy is not a luxury, it is a right and a responsibility.”

- President Clinton

At Kingsley Academy we believe that literacy underpins every aspect of learning. Therefore, it is every student’s right and every teacher’s responsibility.  We provide a raft of opportunities to promote skills, provide support for those who need it and inspire in students a passion for all aspects of literacy.


We value reading to such an extent that we provide 25 minutes of silent reading every day.  This is called DEAR time (Drop Everything And Read) and operates at a different time each week for all of KS3 and some of Year 10  and Year 11.

  •  We use a programme called Accelerated Reader to help motivate our students and track their progress.
  •  Both Form Tutors and English teachers receive TOPS reports from Accelerated Reader and use these as a basis for regular conversations with students about their reading.
  •  We have a thriving Library where students can go to read at break and lunch along with taking their quizzes for Accelerated Reader.
  • We hold a variety of events throughout the year to promote a passion for reading.  So far this year we have had an exciting Book Week with visits from Alex Scarrow and Alan Gibbons, whilst a group of students have been out to meet Cathy Cassidy.
  • We hold a Breakfast Reading Club in the Library before school and support is offered to students who wish to develop their reading during the school holidays.
  • We reward our students for their reading in a number of ways: students who get 100% in their book quizzes, students who read a high number of words ‘Millionaires Club’ and students who make outstanding progress.  All of these students are celebrated on our website and in our newsletter and assemblies.
  •  In Year 7 we have two literacy periods, one of which is dedicated to reading in the Library.

  • We explicitly teach writing skills in every subject across the curriculum.  Every subject has ‘opportunities for extended writing’ built into each unit of work.
  •  We support writing by having key words displayed in every room and are starting to use 'literacy mats' to help with extended writing tasks.
  • All teachers use our ‘Literacy Marking Codes to ensure that we are sending the same message about high expectations and basic skills.
  •  In Year 7 we have two literacy periods, one of which is used to continue developing the SPaG skills that began in primary school.
  • We have a literacy specialist who can work with each department support them in the explicit teaching of literacy within their subject area so that everyone feels confident.
  • We hold a range of competitions and events in both the English department and the Library.  So far this year, we held a poetry competition for National Poetry Day and participated in the Ceefax Writing Challenge.
  • Every term we publish a creative writing magazine called ‘[Sic]’, which is edited by a team of students, and features writing from different groups within the school including the staff and to Years 7 to 13 (6th form). The Sic team went on a residential trip to the Forest of Dean to inspire their writing.

Speaking and Listening
  • Every year in Year 10 we work with the Jack Petchey Foundation on the Speak Out Challenge.  We send representatives from Kingsley Academy and have a history of success including a regional winner!
  •  In Year 11 we hold an internal ‘Speak Out Challenge’ to support the students in their skills for their GCSEs.
  • We hold Curriculum Enrichment Days throughout the year and many of the events for KS3 involve groups, discussion, and drama.
  •  We know this is an area we need to develop across the curriculum and we will be focussing on developing our cross-curricular skills later on this year.


The IGCSE Speaking & Listening Challenge February 2015

Reading transports curious minds to wondrous realms of the imagination. It determines success not only in the classroom but in life. Highly popular and successful for over 25 years, Accelerated Reader (AR) is a powerful tool for monitoring and managing independent reading practice.

By reading AR books and taking AR quizzes, students become proficient readers who think critically and carefully, when proceeding through the state test. Students will continue to gain confidence and enjoyment in reading, see an increase their AR points, and improve their proficiency.

Determine reading level: First, a student’s optimal reading level is determined through the STAR Reading Enterprise assessment. This assessment provides information about a student’s overall reading ability and suggests a range of book levels for each student called the “zone of proximal development”, or ZPD. Once the students are issued with their ZPD levels, they must read progressively within that range. The library has clearly identified all AR books and their reading levels for ease of selection; please see the AR book level guide.

Drop Everything And Read (DEAR)

Reading takes place every day for 25 minutes during DEAR time. It is essential that nothing but reading takes place for AR to be effective. Students then take an AR Quiz ideally within 24 hours. AR offers more than 150,000 quizzes online in the LRC. The results from this test are immediate, whereby both the student and teacher can monitor the comprehension skills of each student to inform further instructions or intervention. Students and parents get instant feedback to help motivate success with the use of the TOPS Report.

The TOPS report is issued every 2 weeks to form tutors who pass them on to students to take home and share with parents to track progress.

Students will be able to track their progress every time they read 10,000 words with their name on the chart. Every time they read another 10,000 words they will progress up the ‘track’ until they reach the goal at one million words.

All students who reach one million words from Year 7 and Year 8 will have their names put into a separate raffle, with a chance to win an MP3 Player.