Key Skills Policies

Literacy - rationale

Literacy is vital to a rounded education - without it, learners cannot access the full range of curriculum opportunities available to them and they are likely to underachieve in all other subject areas through an inability to fully understand texts.

As such, we are committed to actively promoting good practice and raising awareness of literacy in all areas of the life of the Academy. In addition, we are committed to helping learners acquire the skills necessary to meet their academic and wider needs.

Promoting good practice and raising awareness of literacy


Integrating best practice in literacy is a key element of outstanding teaching and can be developed in every lesson. While these suggestions are not exhaustive they represent excellent practice in improving literacy across the curriculum.

Improving reading

  • Creating texts which help students to comprehend them, resources should be attractive, motivational and should help students,
  • Explicitly teaching subject specific vocabulary and showing how teachers remember how to spell words.
  • Self and peer assessment takes place.
  • To widen the vocabulary used by students in their day to day work.
  • Teaching research skills and in particular helping students to navigate the internet with care and discrimination.
  • Developing the techniques of skimming (to find the gist) and scanning (to find specific information).

Improving writing

  • Displaying connectives.
  • Teaching students how to write in the main text types used in their subjects (e.g. how to write an evaluation in Science, an essay in History).
  • Use of writing frames and modelling. Teaching students paragraphing and how to link paragraphs.
  • Encouraging students to use a variety of sentences.

Improving writing

  • Encouraging exploratory talk.
  • Improving the quality of teacher questioning.
  • Stimulating reflection..


Numeracy - Rationale

“Numeracy is a proficiency which is developed mainly in mathematics but also in other subjects. It is more than an ability to do basic arithmetic. It involves developing confidence and competence with numbers and measures. It requires understanding of the number system, a repertoire of mathematical techniques and an inclination and ability to solve quantitative or spatial problems in a range of contexts. Numeracy also demands understanding of the ways in which data is gathered by counting and measuring, and presented in graphs, diagrams, charts and tables'' ( NN – 2001).

Co-ordinators in Mathematics hold a joint responsibility for numeracy across the curriculum.

Role of Staff

Numeracy Co-ordinator

The Key Stage Co-ordinators in Mathematics hold a joint responsibility for numeracy across the curriculum. They will be responsible for the successful implementation of the policy across the Academy as a whole. Responsibilities will also include the provision of training and resources for staff and for the induction of new staff. This will be accomplished through formal INSET sessions and the coordinators will also be available in an advisory capacity on a day-to-day basis. It will be the responsibility of the post holders, together with the Head of Mathematics and Academy Data Manager, to identify those students who need to follow Numeracy Progress Units when they join Macmillan Academy in Year 7 and to ensure the delivery.

Subject Teachers

All subject teachers have a role in developing numeracy. A range of numeracy skills are needed in all subject areas and so need reinforcement and development in all areas of the curriculum. Thus all subject teachers should include numercay issues in their schemes of work and unit planning.

Use of Calculators in the Academy

Students should be encouraged to use calculators in other curricular areas and not just in mathematics. We recommend a standard calculator to students – Casio fx-83MS. This is because different manufacturers may use different logic/symbols. These are available from either Head of Mathematics or the cashier.
Students are encouraged to have their own calculator to become familiar with its workings and to learn in which situations it is most appropriate to use it.

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