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

We assess 10 areas of student development, six relating to academic development and four 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

Academic Competencies

These competencies are about improving students’ academic ability and ensuring they are learning both the knowledge and skills they need to succeed. 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. To give an example, here is a small selection of the competencies in the theme ‘Planets’. Here you can see the lesson in the theme, the assessed competency and how students will be assessed. The competencies below are from the Communication, Reading and Scientific academic competencies.


Lesson Competency Assessment
Big Write- Creation versus the Big Bang Theory *CL.WP.05: Select effective vocabulary appropriate to task and purpose (Word Choice). Big Write: An extended piece of writing titled ‘Creation versus Big Bang’.
Journey to the Planet Mars *CL.SL.03: Develop and adapt speaking skills and strategies in formal and informal contexts(Speaking and presenting). Respond to scenario where the Earth’s water supply has become contaminated to find a way of transporting water to earth from Mars. Feedback to the rest of the group. 
 One Giant Leap: Galileo’s Galaxy *RL.ID.01a: Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly

*RL.ID.01b: Make logical inferences from texts.

Research Galileo and his discoveries and importance from a variety of sources, including researched texts, images and videos. Infer key information about how Galilieo has been viewed throughout history.
War of the Worlds: Big Read *RL.ID.01a: Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly
*RL.ID.01b: Make logical inferences from texts. 
Read and annotate Chapter 4 of ‘The War of the Worlds’ by H.G. Wells. Completed essay using annotations.
Earth cycles day and night *SC.DM.03:  Explain, draw conclusions and make decisions based on scientific evidence. Presentations of Earth Cycles with the use of props as a memory tool. 


Personal Competencies

Unusually the Academy has developed a series of assessments about developing students as people as well as academically. Through this we want to create students who are:

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

To facilitate this we have four 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 Social is about learning about yourself, staying safe and healthy eating but also the ability to be respectful and to work well with others.
  • Creativity is one of the most prized assets for any student or employee and this competency looks at developing students’ creativity in forms ranging from art to creative writing.
  • 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.

Reporting and Assessment

You will be able to see how students are performing in their competencies through teacher assessments reported six times a year and through discussions at parents’ evenings and marking in students’ books.

In addition, we have examinations before Christmas and in the summer which show how well students are able to translate their developed skills into an examination setting.