L4L and Key Stage 3


At 鶹 Collegiate Academy we run the highly successful Literacy for Life programme that has been developed here for over the past 10 years.

WHAT IS Literacy for Life (L4L)?

At its heart, Literacy for Life in Year 7 has 17 hours with a Year 7 L4L teacher. As students go into Year 8, they 13 hours with a Year 8 L4L teacher. In Year 9, this becomes 5 hours with a Year 9 L4L teacher.

This helps students with the transition to secondary school, enables staff members toget to know students and therefore allows them to care for their academic and pastoral needs.


It has been nationally recognised that most students who come into secondary education experience a drop in their progress. To overcome this, we have a dedicated and specialist L4L team that recognise that starting a new school can be difficult for some students and if they are seeing 14 or 15 teachers it can be hard to settle.

This is not the case at 鶹 Collegiate Academy. Each teacher is focussed on the students in their class, not just from an academic perspective but also getting to know the students and their families really well and forming a partnership which will really help students to progress.

Students have a dedicated classroom where they can complete their work and feel comfortable, as well as someone they can go to with any issues and who knows how they are performing across their subjects.


Competencies are the way we assess students in Literacy for Life.

We assess various areas of student development, some relating to academic development and others relating to how students are growing as people. Each lesson has a competency as part of it and students work to move themselves from Emerging to Advanced. There are Entry Level, Level 1, 2 and 3 competencies which become more challenging as students progress through the Academy.

These competencies are about improving students’ academic ability and ensuring they are learning both the knowledge and skills they need to succeed. For example, Social and Environmental competencies cover all of the Humanities subjects. Every lesson has an academic competency attached to it and every theme has a spread of academic competencies that students will study. Many of these are then revisited to assess students’ progress as we move through the years.

Inadditionto the Academic competencies, the Academy has developed a series of competencies about developing students as people. Through this we want to createstudents who:

  • are happy, feel their school and peers support them and are enthusiastic about school.
  • are healthy, both mentally and physically.
  • are successful, ambitious for themselves and others.
  • have strong aspirations and feel that they are capable of achieving them.
  • have a sense of decency, are respectful of others both within and outside the Academy.
  • have a sense of pride in their Academy, who want to be involved in all aspects of Academy life.
  • are self-motivated, inquisitive and capable of independent study.
  • have a joy of learning and a wish to learn.
  • believe they can improve their skills and abilities through practise and hard work.
  • have strong and resilient coping mechanisms to deal with change.
  • are willing to take risks.
  • know how to stay safe outside of the Academy.

To facilitate this, we have three competency strands:

  • Personal Learning competencies assess how well students are able to learn, set goals, revise, concentrate and understand the skills that it takes to be a great learner.
  • Personal and Social competencies are about learning about yourself, staying safe and healthy eating but also the ability to be respectful and to work well with others.
  • Professional Development is all about considering careers for the future and looks at the world of work, how to write a CV and be a confident interviewee.


Our Literacy for Life programme consists of subjects taught through themes. A theme runs for around three weeks and has elements of all the subjects taught through it. Not every theme has the same amount of every subject as some may be more history or science focussed, but we cover the KS3 national curriculum over the three years. This, alongside our competencies, ensure that students experience a well-rounded education.

We break out for some discreet Mathematics where a theme would not be an appropriate setting for this.

Literacy for Life is taught in mixed ability classes with different levels of support within the classroom for students who need to be stretched or who need more help. We look to produce work of real quality with opportunities for parents to see the work produced.

The curriculum is technology rich with each student having their own device. Technology is used on a day-to-day basis to support and enhance the learning of students.

The Year 7, 8 and 9 themes cover a wide variety of exciting and engaging topics. Below you can find an overview of what we cover.

Key to subject icons used in theme information below

Click on the icons for more subject information.

Computer Science

Click on the icons for more subject information.

Autumn TermSubjects
Citizen Me
Journey to the Centre of the Earth
In Days of Old
Fairy Tales
Spring TermSubjects
Summer TermSubjects
Off With Your Head
Silent Movies

Year 7 Themes subject image

Click on the icons for more subject information.
Autumn Term Subjects
Pudding Lane
Grand Designs
Coming and Going
Spring Term Subjects
Da Vinci
Apps for Good
Summer Term Subjects
Please Sir
Over the top
Follow the Leader
Year 8 Themes subject image
Click on the icons for more subject information.
Autumn Term Subjects
Whose Earth is it Anyway
Spring Term Subjects
World Study: Made in China
World Study: America: Land of the Free
Summer Term Subjects
Study Skills
World Study: Britain: A Living History
Psychology of Learning
Extended Project
Year 9 Themes subject image