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Literacy Across the Curriculum

Promoting Reading/Reading skills at The Compass Learning Centre

Students who arrive at The Compass Learning Centre have been unable to progress in a main stream setting for a variety of reasons. This inability to integrate into traditional Secondary education usually results in significant gaps in reading skills and their wider engagement with the written word.

Intent: As a school, our intention is to instil a love of reading, in all its forms, in the students we teach. Alongside this, we strive to ensure that our students have the reading skills to succeed in not only their exams but in life beyond.


Compass use an intervention called Read, Write, Ink to help assess, address and ensure progress is made with literacy for students that need additional support. This is run through the SEN and KS3 team. 

Reading across the curriculum

At Compass we promote a love for reading and reading for enjoyment by using 'Drop Everything And Read'.(D.E.A.R) 3 times a week students and staff are encouraged to stop what they are doing, pick up their reading material and read for 15 minutes at a time. From September 2023 we will move to designated reading time on the timetable that is supported by adults. 

Key Stage 3

To facilitate this, KS3 teachers are aware of how assessment objectives A01-A04 can be introduced, taught, and assessed, via ongoing comprehension tasks. Assessment Objective details below.

English Language - Assessment Objectives KS3

Reading Objectives AO1-AO4

AO1: identify and interpret explicit and implicit information and ideas select and synthesise evidence from different texts.

How could this look in KS3- Retrieve information from a text ‘Tell me/write down 3 things about David you learn from the text’

Inference- ‘How can you tell John is angry’ (look at a picture or read a text about John)

Synthesise (summarise) Bullet point the main points of the text. Correctly order the instructions

AO2: Explain, comment on and analyse how writers use language and structure to achieve effects and influence readers, using relevant subject terminology to support their views

How this could look in KS3- Students, need to be able to identify figurative language in a text by the correct technical label (simile, analogy personification). Produce their own examples of figurative language. Be aware of PEE and the breakdown of the three elements P= point (the answer) E= Evidence (a quote) E= explanation (Higher ability only)

Questions could take the form of - ‘what impression does the author give with the phrase “they crossed the glassy surface of the lake”

Possible answers 1. Reflective / shiny / mirror-like, e.g. • the water reflects the light • shining under the sun. 2. Clear / transparent, e.g. • you could see through the water. 3. Still / calm / undisturbed 4. flat / smooth.

AO3: Compare writers’ ideas and perspectives, as well as how these are conveyed, across two or more texts

How this could look in KS3 - Text used need to have a similar theme e.g. an instruction text on how to play football and a review of a football match. Students could then identify words that make one a technical ‘how to text’ and the other a review. Students could exam bias and preference in simple terms e.g. How do we know the author likes this character but dislikes this character? How do we know the writer supports this team?  Students could demonstrate PEE in a simple manner by ‘I know the writer is a Manchester City fan because he describes Phil Foden as ‘the best player in the premiership’. Foden plays for Manchester City.

AO4: Evaluate texts critically and support this with appropriate textual references

How this could look in KS3  Do you agree with a writers point of view? Show the students a short video or a piece of texts where a clear point of view on a subject is being expressed. Questioning would look like- Do you agree with the point of view expressed? Why? What did they say or write that made you agree? Did they fail to convince you of their point of view? If so why? What is your point of view on the topic?

Again, evidence is required to back up the students thoughts in the form of quotes. (PEE)

Key stage 3 are also working with the Chesil Reading Project on their Christmas Read Aloud recordings.


Key Stage 4

We are currently working with the National Literacy Trust to deliver their ‘Game Changers’ initiative.

Game Changers is a 20 session reading intervention designed specifically for excluded students. The programme uses inspirational texts, relatable role models and optional football activities to motivate and equip students to read.

What are the main objectives of Game Changers?

To improve students’ attitudes to reading

To increase students’ reading comprehension skills and attainment


How does Game Changers improve attitudes to reading? Game Changers aims to connect participants with role models who:

· Overcame barriers to education (including school exclusion) growing up

· Champion the value and pleasure of reading

Students read the stories of five of these figures. Each text functions as a springboard for discussion about how reading could be relevant and enjoyable in their lives.


We have found that context is vital to engage our students. With this in mind, we are also using the author Pete Guppy and his survival series as class readers and taking extracts from these short novels as the basis for our comprehension work. His ‘Survival’ series provides stories of young adults that are relatable to our students.


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