Literacy Statement

Please click below to download our statement of Literacy Across the Curriculum:

Literacy Across the Curriculum

“Pupils should be taught in all subjects to express themselves correctly and appropriately and to read accurately and with understanding.”

QCA Use of Language across the Curriculum

Literacy at Moat House

Providing an environment in which literacy is prioritised is a key part of the Moat House offer. This has always been the case, and in the aftermath of the Covid, with education lost and student mental health impacted, prioritising literacy, and especially reading, has never been more important. The strong focus the development of reading skills supports progression in the other areas of literacy.

We believe that placing literacy at the heart of our teaching is the key to success for our students. Many of our students have missed large parts of their education and some arrive with low reading scores. Our aim is to offer bespoke approaches to each student to encourage them to read more for pleasure, and to allow them to develop the reading and writing skills they need to access qualifications and move on to their next steps in education and employment.

Part of our cohort are pregnant or young parents, and prioritising literacy is additionally important for them. In our on site nursery, staff work with babies and students to promote engagement with early reading and allow our young parents to develop confidence and pleasure in reading with their babies and toddlers. Co-ordinated literacy activities are built into the curriculum across nursery and school.

Inclusivity is fundamental to the ethos of Moat House and adaptive teaching is key to our approach. All teachers are trained in adaptive teaching and use strategies and tasks designed to best meet the learning needs of the individual student; this includes students with specific additional needs, those with neurodiversities and the most able.

All teachers at Moat House are teachers of literacy. As such, we 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:

  • being able to read and access texts is fundamental to learning and to life;
  • reading helps us to learn from sources beyond our immediate experience;
  • writing helps us sustain and order thought;
  • students need vocabulary, expression and organisational control to cope with thecognitive demands of subjects and to articulate their social and emotional needs;
  •  language helps us to reflect, revise and evaluate the things we do, and on the thingsothers have said, written or done;
  • responding to higher order questions encourages the development of thinking skillsand enquiry;
  •  improving literacy and learning can have an impact on students’ self-esteem, onmotivation and behaviour. It allows them to learn more independently.

Implementation at Whole School Level

  • Senior leaders at Moat House prioritise literay, and ensure that all teaching staff are trained in the use of a range of strategies designed to target different areas of reading.
  • On arrival at Moat House, students undertake diagnostic tests to identify strengths and weaknesses in different areas of reading and this information is fed through to all staff, and recorded on Student Personalised Learning Plans, so staff know how to teach that student, and which areas of reading to target.
  • Student Personalised Learning Plans are regularly updated to share information on strategies that are working well to support the development of reading skills.
  • A curriculum wide reading target is set for each student termly and this is monitored routinely at Progress Meetings.
  • Intervention programmes, including the phonics based TRT, is delivered to those students needing support with decoding.
  • Teaching staff use a range of strategies to teach reading skills to each student according to need. The development of reading skills is seen as fundamental to learning by all staff and prioritised in lessons.
  • Staff teach decoding strategies, as well as comprehension, inference and analysis skills.
  •  Teaching staff include a wide range of adaptive teaching strategies across lessons to meet the specific needs of all students, to support access to learning.
  • Access to a wide range of ambitious reading material is ensured across all ability ranges.
  • The Moat House Reading Award is delivered to students to provide engagement with rich, varied and ambitious texts. This is evaluated termly.

Monitoring and evaluation

  • Each student’s views on their progress in literacy are sought in lessons and at termly Review Meetings.
  • Progress in subjects is monitored closely, discussed between staff at regular Progress Meetings, and assessed half termly. The literacy elements of student progress are monitored as part of this, and provision in lessons adapted; interventions with the SENCo may be put in place.
  • Teachers assess progress in their subject by comparing performance against predicted grades, calculated from baseline assessments on referral, and national data.
  • Senior Leaders monitor teaching of literacy in all lessons in informal learning walks and in formal lesson observations, and through work scrutiny.
  • Progress is assessed at the end of the academic year in the evaluation of examination results, where grades predicted by baseline assessment and national data are compared with actual results; students will have needed literacy skills in order to access examinations.
  • Where students are eligible according to SEN, they are able to have a reader, access to a word processor and in a very small number of cases, a scribe.

Roles and Responsibilities

  •   Senior Leaders lead and give a high profile to literacy.
  • SENCo assesses each student’s reading skills in baseline assessments and an induction programme and provides information, guidance and advice to teaching staff, and all staff across the school.
  • English teachers and SENCo provide students with knowledge, skills and understanding they need to read, write and speak and listen effectively.
  •  All teaching staff access training in teaching literacy and contribute to students’ development and progress through bespoke approaches; speaking, listening, writing and reading are integral to learning and support progression on to further education, apprenticeships and employment.
  • English Subject Leader and SENCo support all staff in the implementation of strategies and encourage staff to learn from each others’ practice by sharing ideas.
  • Staff and students take part in broader curriculum activities that support literacy, including National Poetry Day, World Book Day, theatre and cinema visits, and discussion of current affairs.
  • Students are encouraged to borrow books from the school library and can suggest titles for purchase.
  • We ask parents and carers to encourage their children to use the range of strategies they have learnt to improve their levels of literacy.
  • Students take increasing responsibility for recognising their own literacy needs and making improvements.

Literacy skills taught

Speaking and Listening

We teach students to use language precisely and coherently. They should be able to listen to others, and to respond and build on their ideas and views constructively.

We develop strategies to teach pupils how to participate orally in groups and in the whole class, including: using talk to develop and clarify ideas; identifying the main points to arise from a discussion; listening for a specific purpose; discussion and evaluation.


We aim to give each student a level of literacy that will enable them to cope with the increasing demands of subjects in terms of specific skills, knowledge and understanding. This applies particularly in the area of reading, including from the screen, as texts become more demanding.

We teach students strategies to help them to:

  • decode unfamiliar words
  • understand new words and expand their vocabulary
  • read with greater understanding
  • retrieve and use information
  • infer what is suggested or implied in a text
  • follow a process or argument
  • summarise
  • analyse what they have read

Students are actively encouraged to read for pleasure in school, and can take home books from the Moat House library. They may also be given suggestions for relevant, subject specific reading materials. Some of these are available in the school library, and others are available in Stockport libraries. Visits to Stockport Library are arranged during the school year.


Staff help students to develop skills in organising their writing in logical and coherent forms. They will use a range of adaptive teaching techniques including modelling and scaffolding, to enable students to improve their ability to write in a range of forms, according to purpose and audience.


Staff place a great emphasis on teaching vocabulary, including Tier 2 and subject specific Tier 3 terms. Vocabulary may be taught prior to a unit of work, and teachers may use a range of strategies, including root words, affixation and word origins. Subjects display words specific to their own curriculum area.


There is an emphasis on the proactive teaching of spellings as well as marking and correction of errors. A range of strategies including word games, tests, mnemonics and ‘Look, Say, Cover, Write, Check’ are to help students with their spelling.

Staff may correct spellings with particular attention to their own subject specific terminology. Other spellings are marked, as it is felt appropriate, according to the ability of the student or the objectives of the lesson.

Appropriate spelling strategies are taught in English language lessons, and this teaching, along with that across the curriculum generally, should help students to identify patterns in their spelling errors. The emphasis is on students trying to identify their own spelling errors, and providing them with the knowledge and strategies to do so.

Punctuation & Grammar

In all subject areas, all teachers are aware of the need to focus on improving the students’ writing style, with particular reference to sentence construction. Students’ work is marked for basic grammatical conventions; punctuation errors are highlighted and this may be a focus for teaching to support the development of understanding and skills. As stated in the Assessment , Marking and Reporting Policy, staff will not highlight or correct every punctuation error, but will use their judgement to focus on one or two areas at a time to ensure students take on board the learning.

In summary, all who work at Moat House place an extremely high emphasis on literacy and are committed to raising the levels of all students through a coordinated approach. Every area of the curriculum and of the wider Moat House offer has its part to play in this process as we seek to enable our students and babies to develop confidence, skills and pleasure in literacy to support them to move on to next steps in their lives.