“Literacy is the most basic currency of the knowledge economy”.   

Barak Obama 

Literacy is an essential life skill, which contributes to well-being. It enables pupils to access the wider curriculum and the world of work as adults, achieve their potential and to take a full and active part in society. It is a skill which develops confident communicators, efficient readers and writers and when taught well can foster positive attitudes and skills which support lifelong learning.  Language for learning (disciplinary literacy) is a priority and our aim is that our students speak, read, write and think as appropriate to the individual subject disciplines. 

At Woolwich Polytechnic, we achieve our literacy rationale by: 

  • Providing opportunities for pupils to read and write every day. 

  • Ensuring access to a wide range of engaging texts and resources including digital, multicultural and bilingual sources and those that promote equalities. 

  • Teaching and modelling an extensive vocabulary and giving opportunities for children to practice and craft their writing skills. 

  • Planning engaging units of work from relevant skills documents with a balance of oracy, reading and writing opportunities. 

  • Exploiting opportunities for children to talk and listen in a range of relevant and engaging contexts 

  • Planning carefully to develop reading skills using agreed formats and using a range of questioning techniques. 



So many aspects of poor literacy can be addressed through reading widely and regularly.  At Woolwich Poly we have ensured that reading is a priority.   

Reading Age Assessment 

All students in year 7 and 8 will complete a GL Assessment reading test at the start of the academic year.  This data is used by individual class teachers to target students for reading intervention and literacy support during lessons across the curriculum. 

Accelerated Reader 

Accelerated Reader is used in English as part of the Library Reading Lesson.  All students in year 7 and 8 will complete a STAR test at four points throughout the year, allowing us to track their reading progress. 

Library Reading Lesson 

In year 7 and 8 all students have a reading lesson as part of the English Curriculum. This lesson is based in the library.  In September, January, March and June the Accelerated Reader STAR test is completed.  Students will read age appropriate books within the reading lesson and will access quizzes on the computer which will help track their progress.  Students also complete a reading journal weekly, summarising the chapters they have read, showing their understanding of the text.  

Shared Reading 

The English Curriculum is designed to have a shared reading lesson each week based on a set text.  Discussions and writing is planned, based around the selected text. Within these lessons, students have the opportunity to discuss new vocabulary and develop their skills of reading and fluency. Please see the English Curriculum Map for further details. 

Read Now 

Read  Now is an essential element of all lessons across all key stages in all subject areas, ensuring that students are actively reading and comprehending academic texts as well as the opportunity to Read Further which give students to read more challenging texts related to the subject. 

Reading Interventions 

For those who arrive at Woolwich Poly with a lower reading age than their chronological age a range of interventions are put in place.  Additional intervention sessions in small groups will take place throughout the week, either before or after school, during the library reading period or being withdrawn lesson.   

There are several enrichment sessions students can take part in throughout the year such as debating, the borough Literacy quiz, poetry competitions and during Literacy Week we have The Book Bus and a visiting author. 

Literacy Resources for Parents

Literacy Resources for Students

Woolwich Poly has a solid and vibrant Reading Culture!

Y12s students have volunteered to help Y8s to improve their reading skills each Tuesday and Friday during form time.

The atmosphere is vibrant and dynamic during form time. Y8s are delighted to be mentored by a Y12 student.

Happy Reading!

Ms Miranda

Tel: 020 8310 7000 Email:
Registered Office: Hutchins Road, London, SE28 8AT
Woolwich Polytechnic School is operated by POLYMAT which is a charitable company limited by guarantee and registered in England and Wales. Reg no. 9078530