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Literacy Interventions at Ringwood School – Intent, Implementation and Impact


  1. Drawing on the 7 recommendations from the EEF guidance report ‘Improving literacy in Secondary Schools’ (2019), the prime purpose of interventions is to close gaps in the literacy skills essential for students to engage, enjoy  and achieve across the Secondary Curriculum.
  2. To develop students as effective readers as this is the key literacy skill; building both accuracy and fluency in reading and skills in reading comprehension.
  3. Providing structured opportunities for students to develop their oracy and writing skills, through modelling, scaffolding and tuition in key SPAG skills.
  4. Supporting students to become independent learners through development of their metacognitive skills.
  5. A focus on the importance of disciplinary literacy by linking interventions to subject learning. This may involve pre and post teaching in order to consolidate learning.
  6. Where necessary providing mentoring for students who struggle with organisation for example of HL and where anxiety is a barrier to learning.

Implementation – underpinning principles

  1. Early identification of gaps in literacy skills and knowledge through effective transition from feeder primary schools drawing on both data and knowledge of individual students.
  2. Students with Education Health Care Plans (EHCPs) will receive appropriate interventions as outlined in the EHCP for example Precision Teaching or ELSA sessions.
  3. Interventions are in response to the needs of the individual and bespoke programmes of support are developed and reviewed.
  4. Effective communication with parents/carers to ensure they are aware of the purpose of the intervention and what support is being put in place.
  5. Ensuring interventions are evidence based e.g. Paired Reading (Keith Topping research), Precision Teaching (developed by Educational Psychologists). Greg Brooks ‘What works for children and young people with literacy difficulties’ (2016), EEF ‘Promising Projects’.
  6. In line with the SEND Code of Practice (2015) ensuring that the student is at the centre of any support e.g. that they understand the purpose of any intervention that is put in place, how their progress will be measured and what their next steps in learning are.
  7. As high quality teaching has the greatest impact on a student’s progress, important curriculum time will not be missed and interventions will be during tutor time avoiding any vital PSHE input or assemblies.
  8. If your child transitions into Year 7 at Ringwood School with identified literacy needs that are well-below age related expectations, it may be that they have an adapted timetable which includes 2 literacy lessons a week and a lesson of Spanish instead of 3 lessons of French in order to close the gap on their literacy skills and enable them to access the wider curriculum.
  9. Interventions will be delivered by trained Teaching Assistants (TAs) or specialist literacy teachers. TAs will receive regular training including that delivered to teaching staff e.g. the use of metacognitive strategies.
  10. Opportunities will be developed for younger students to work with older ones for example the Paired Reading programme (Year 7s with trained Year 11 students) in order to foster confidence for the younger student and develop valuable skills for the older student.
  11. The Learning Support Co-ordinator will support TAs to identify a focus for intervention through, for example, liaison with subject teachers. Where the student has an EHCP a SMART target linked to the outcomes on the EHCP will be created.

Measurement of Impact

  1. Teaching Assistants will keep records of sessions, including recording where a student was absent. Progress towards the target will be reviewed with the student and celebrated.
  2. For individual students a baseline for fluent word reading will be obtained through the WRAT 5 reading test. This will be repeated after 8 sessions to assess progress and impact of the intervention.
  3. If the learning focus is spelling, overall progress will be measured through assessing accurate spelling of  the first 200 High Frequency words and/or Vernon spelling test at the start and end of the intervention. Precision Teaching charts will enable the student to see progress on a session to session basis.
  4. For groups of students following the Reading Plus programme, the students will complete Reading Plus assessments and individual dashboards will indicate progress made in reading comprehension scores. Overall progress will be measured using the New Group Reading Test (NGRT).
  5. The impact of the group Paired Reading intervention will be measured through student feedback and the NGRT.
  6. Progress of students in the Year 7, 8 and 9 literacy groups will be reviewed through 3 x yearly Vernon spelling tests, the NGRT in addition to WRAT 5 reading test for students following the Lexonik programme. Individual Flightpaths especially for English will also be reviewed termly to indicate the impact that the literacy curriculum is having. Student feedback will also be obtained from representatives of different groups: PP, LAC, SEND.
  7. The Learning Support Co-ordinator will collate data on a termly basis in order to review the provision of interventions.
  8. The Learning Support Co-ordinator will meet regularly (fortnightly) with the Literacy catch up teacher to review progress of students and adapt provision as necessary.
  9. Progress of students receiving interventions will be shared with parents/carers.
  10. Where a student has not made the expected progress, reasons for this will be explored. If appropriate the intervention will be adapted, changed or discontinued. Where the student is not making progress despite intervention, parents will be involved in a discussion regarding outside agency support e.g. SALT or diagnostic assessment for a student with potential SpLD.

Key Stage 3 Reading Lessons

The aim of the discrete reading lessons is to create a culture of reading across Years 7, 8 and 9 pushing students to read fluently and improve their comprehension of texts.

Why are we doing this?

  1. Reading fluently benefits everyone in the system.’ David Didau
  2. 43% of boys say they enjoy reading compared to 58% of girls, whilst 24% of boys think reading is boring compared to 13% of girls – The Literacy Trust
  3. Around 90% of vocabulary is only really encountered through reading and is not used in speech. – Stanovich, 1993
  4. Reading enjoyment has been reported as more important for children’s educational success then their family’s socio-economic status. – OECD, 2002
  5. The gap between children’s age and their reading ability grows with every year they are at secondary school – University of Dundee, 2018

What do we read with the students?

We have chosen books that are intended to not only help the drive to improve literacy but that collectively serve to boost our students’ cultural capital, exploring diverse social issues and other cultures in the wider world.


What do reading lessons look like?

Reading lessons typically begin with a vocabulary activity that engages with prescribed lists of Tier 2 vocabulary found within each text. This focus on vocabulary helps to increase the students’ individual lexicons and empowers them by gifting them new vocabulary they can then go on to use in their own writing. Below is an example of the first fourteen Tier 2 words covered in the first Year 7 text, Boy 87:

  • Involuntarily
  • Momentarily
  • Quizzically
  • Relentlessly
  • Fetid
  • Intently
  • Reverberating
  • Self-sufficient
  • Yearning
  • Beckons
  • Distinctiveness
  • Recite
  • Static
  • Stifling

The main part of the reading lessons involves the teacher reading to the class, stopping judiciously to ask exploratory questions and clarify understanding where necessary. It’s a fairly fluid process that allows teachers and students the freedom to enjoy a text with the subject specialist able to model successful active reading to the class.

At the end of a typical lesson, students will carry out some reflection on the text, consolidating ideas about the developments in the story and making some predictions for the next instalment in the following week.

What do students and teachers think of the reading lessons?

Feedback from students and staff alike has been overwhelmingly positive. The texts have been well-received allowing students to explore perspectives and experiences beyond the ones they have had themselves.

Key Stage 3 Reading Olympiad

As part of our intent to get students reading more, we have designed a Reading Olympiad programme that tracks both students reading and etymological discoveries. The programme is delivered through Home Learning for all Key Stage 3 classes and includes the opportunity for students to carry out additional reading activities in order to complete their Bronze, Silver, Gold and World Record certificates.

Home learning alternates between a one hour Reading Log task, which includes a complementary new vocabulary task, and a thirty minute ‘What’s in a word?’ task, which requires students to explore root meanings of words.