Mission Statement

“Literacy involves a continuum of learning in enabling individuals to achieve their goals, to develop their knowledge and potential, and to participate fully in their community and wider society.”  UNESCO


All teachers are teachers of literacy. As such, the staff of St Michael’s Church of England High School are committed to developing literacy skills in all of our students, in the belief that it will support their learning and raise standards across the curriculum, because:

  • students need vocabulary, expression and organisational control to cope with the cognitive demands of subjects
  • reading helps us to learn from sources beyond our immediate experience
  • writing helps us to sustain and order thought
  • language helps us to reflect, revise and evaluate the things we do, and on the things others have said, written or done
  • responding to higher-order questions encourages the development of thinking skills and enquiry
  • improving literacy and learning can have an impact on students’ self-esteem, motivation and behaviour. It allows them to learn independently. It is empowering.


St Michael’s Church of England High School has established a framework to make it possible for all students of all abilities to develop and improve their literacy skills, within and outside of the curriculum.

Within the Curriculum

Students at Key Stage 3 are taught the following literacy skills across the curriculum:

  • to spell and use an extensive and challenging vocabulary
  • word grammar
  • sentence grammar
  • reading and comprehension

In English, students at Key Stage 3 are taught to:

  • develop an appreciation and love of reading, and read increasingly challenging material independently
  • understand increasingly challenging texts
  • read critically
  • write accurately, fluently, effectively and at length
  • plan, draft, edit and proof-read
  • speak confidently and effectively

KS4 Students are taught to:

  • read critically with a high level of comprehension
  • summarise and synthesise information
  • evaluate a writer’s choice of vocabulary, form, grammatical and structural features
  • compare texts
  • produce clear and coherent text and write effectively for a range of purposes
  • write for impact
  • present information and ideas vocally
  • respond to spoken language
  • use standard English whenever and wherever is appropriate
  • use a wide and varied academic vocabulary
  • use subject specific terminology appropriately
  • use a wide and varied vocabulary in imaginative and transactional writing

Outside of the Curriculum

  • Meet the author events
  • World Book Day
  • Half termly literacy competitions
  • Book club
  • Termly book reading competitions

Literacy Focus

Each half-term, there is a focus on a different aspect of literacy:


Literacy Marking Symbols

Marking Symbol What it Means
Sp spelling mistake
Gr grammatical error
Vo vocabulary choice
P punctuation error
Awk awkward wording
^ missing word
// You need a new paragraph here
Cap You need a capital letter here