Literacy & Numeracy

KS3 Literacy Skills
Literacy is a fundamental skill that we want to embed at the heart of the curriculum at Buckler’s Mead Academy. Literacy is not just what is taught in the English Department but includes the key skills of speaking, listening, reading, and writing which underpin everything students learn.

These skills are becoming even more important as more GCSE exams are marked on the quality of their written responses. Beyond the classroom, these skills are essential for our students as they continue their academic studies after Buckler’s Mead Academy, join the work force and participate in the wider community.

We believe that literacy begins with reading. We would like every student to have a reading book with them every day. In years 7 and 8, this will probably be their Accelerated Reader book. Please note that these books, alongside a wide variety of other resources are provided by the Study Centre. Students will have an opportunity to read in Monday morning registrations and for the first 10 minutes of each English lesson.

Accelerated Reader is a programme which gives students a challenging choice of reading books, followed by online quizzes. The quiz results give an estimation of the student’s reading age, progress made and the number of minutes per day they have probably read.

We hope you support us in our acknowledgement that parents can make a powerful impact on children’s progress in reading. The key way you can help us develop your son’s/daughter’s literacy skills is to encourage them to read at home for at least 15 minutes per day.

In your child’s planner there will be pages for him/her to record their reading. It will show current and target reading level. Please sign this page every week to say that your child has read for a minimum of 15 minutes every day. Your child’s tutor will be checking this page every week to track their daily reading and progress being made. If the tutor feels that the student is not reading for long enough every day, or is not making adequate progress, the student will be required to attend support sessions once per half term after school.

What could you do to boost your child’s literacy levels?
Be a literacy role model! There is a huge amount of evidence that students who make the best progress with their literacy across all subjects are those who get support from home.

Speaking and Listening:

  • Encourage your child to talk clearly and at length about their ideas
  • Listen to your child talk about items on the news


  • Encourage your child to read for at least 15 minutes a day (please sign the reading page in your child’s planner to let us know that they’re doing this)
  • Read magazines, newspapers, electronic readers and websites, as well as books
  • Talk to your child about books they are reading for pleasure and in English lessons
  • Let your child see you read a variety of texts


  • Let your child talk through their ideas before writing homework
  • Encourage them to write a diary, blog or short stories
  • Talk about the elements of writing that your child needs to improve upon, such as connectives and correct punctuation
  • Let your child see you writing a variety of things from forms to emails


Helpful Websites


KS3 Numeracy Skills
Numeracy, another fundamental skill not exclusively taught in the classroom, is understanding how maths is used in the real world and having the confidence and skills to use maths to solve problems in everyday life. Numeracy means being able to apply mathematical understanding to make the best possible decisions.

Numeracy is as important as literacy - it is sometimes called ‘mathematical literacy’ - and we need both to get on in life.

It is as much about thinking and reasoning as about 'doing sums'. It means being able to:

  • Interpret data, charts and diagrams
  • Process information
  • Solve problems and
  • Check answers
  • Understand and explain solutions
  • Make decisions based on logical thinking and reasoning

What could you do to boost your child’s numeracy levels?

Be a positive learning role model!

As Chris Humphries, founding Chair of National Numeracy, talking to the BBC said:
“It is simply inexcusable for anyone to say ‘I can’t do maths.”

When talking to your child, it is better to say “I wish I was better at maths because being good at maths is important – it makes a difference, it opens doors.”

Problem solving

  • Do some DIY with your child. Measure shelves, lengths of rooms etc.
  • Do some cooking, for example, bake a cake. Measure out the ingredients, both liquid and solid as required, and read the scales accurately with your child
  • Look at some train timetables and work out lengths of journeys, and times between each station. Plan an outing using trains and buses with your child.
  • Whilst shopping with your child, ask them to add up the total of a given number of items. Let them work out the change due once you have paid.
  • Involve older children in budgeting and other monetary life skills such as bills and tax.
  • When problem solving at home, encourage your child to think about the problem as well as the various ways they might approach the problem before attempting to solve it. Ask them questions such as “why do you think that?” and “which method might be best?”

Helpful Websites