The Highcrest Academy


Literacy is a human right. The ability, skill and confidence to communicate and comprehend key life information must be at the forefront of any teaching and learning endeavor. This is why, here at The Highcrest Academy, we pride ourselves on the support and development of literacy skills for the next generation.  

Over the years, we have created and maintained a variation of ongoing interventions and programmes to support the learning and progress of literacy skills across the curriculum under the guidance of our Literacy Lead, Mrs Chapman.


The journey begins before your child even steps foot through the doors with our Summer Reading Transition Project. Each new student is given a copy of Cogheart by Peter Buntz and an activity booklet to guide their reading, filled with an array of creative, grammatical and analytical activities. This allows our staff the opportunity to understand the prior knowledge and starting point of each individual mind.    

Key Stage 3 Interventions

On entering, their journey continues across the school. D.E.A.R. (drop everything and read) during form times allows every student the opportunity for 20 minutes of uninterrupted reading. All year 7 and 8 students have a fortnightly library lesson in our Learning Resources Centre, where they get to explore the world of literature, gain and maintain key research and reading skills, and for a few each term, specialist tutoring in reading and writing.


Highcrest Reading Canon

Here, they will have the opportunity to explore the varied Highcrest Reading Canon; 3 age specific reading lists created specifically for our students’ multicultural and inclusive needs and experiences. We also have an array of texts to choose from on our E-Platform, so everyone has the opportunity to read.



Core Writing Skills

We believe that literacy and the skills needed to communicate in the 21st century are shared responsibilities, which is why we have created a Key Stage 3 spelling list here that incorporates specialist language and vocabulary from all subjects and departments, apart from the commonly misspelt words here.


Key Stage 4 Intervention

As they reach the turning point from KS3 to KS4, we


hold a weekly year 9 reading intervention to assist in fluency, encouraging confidence and oracy ready for the speaking and listening GCSE exams in year 10.

Reaching the core GCSE and A-Level years, students are given the opportunity to become tutors and mentors, sustaining the practice that literacy is the shared obligation, encouraging accountability among all members of Highcrest. Each mentor will be given specific training to tutor those younger or less able than themselves across every subject, with disciplinary literacy practice as a core routine.



Literacy Events

As each pupil grows and they begin to experience the possibilities and annual events here at Highcrest, they will have the opportunity to take part in our School Reporter programme, as either a writer or editor.

Through the years, the opportunities for literacy growth and experience will be accessed and encouraged through ample whole school events such as World Book Day, World Poetry Day, Culture Day and many more.





Audible For All - The newly introduced Highcrest Audible initiative 

Here at The Highcrest Academy, we pride ourselves on our versatile and enigmatic strategies in teaching and learning, and the Highcrest Audible is one of the many ways we engage our students with the art and enjoyment of reading. 

Together with our Literacy Lead, Ms Chapman, we have created a collection of audio readings that transcend across the curriculum and an array of topics to interest all students.  

Each week, one form time session is dedicated to 15 minutes of relaxation and literature, with our students being read to from an abundance of different styles and forms. There are always 2 audibles, one fictional extract or poem and the other an article, that connect to the weekly topic. 

We hope you enjoy and can appreciate the cultural and academic wealth that your children can gain from each session.   

Click here to listen to all our Highcrest Audibles.