Literacy for Life


Literacy for Life

At West Bromwich Collegiate Academy we deliver the highly successful Literacy for Life programme developed at our sister school over the past 10 years.

What is Literacy for Life?

Literacy for Life is a thematic curriculum that fully covers the National Curriculum. It has been judged outstanding twice by Ofsted and students following the scheme have consistently shown more progress than any other school in Sandwell.

At its heart, Literacy for Life has 17 hours with the same teacher in Year 7, 13 hours with the same teacher in Year 8 and 5 hours with the same teacher in Year 9.

Why do we do this?

It has been nationally recognised that most students who come into secondary education experience a drop in their progress. This is because in most schools the strongest staff are put with Year 11 and Year 7 is no one’s priority. 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 WBCA where we have a dedicated team of Literacy for Life teachers. Each teacher is focussed on the 25 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 store 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.


Our Literacy for Life programme consists of the following subjects taught through themes. 

  • English
  • Maths
  • Science
  • History
  • Geography
  • RE
  • Drama
  • ICT/Computing
  • PSHE

A theme runs for between three and four 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 Key Stage 3 National Curriculum during years 7-9. You can discover more about the themes delivered in each year at the bottom of this page.

In Year 7 Maths is taught via discreet Mathematics lessons but numeracy and problem solving skills are also embedded within the themes where appropriate.

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 and ICT skills are taught throughout all of the themes. We have a balance of written work and work on the devices as we are aware that students still need to be able to write fluently and accurately.

how is the key stage 3 national curriculum coverered within our Literacy for Life curriculum?


We assess students in several ways:

The Basics

  • A series of online baseline assessments in English, Maths, Science, Reading and Spelling (GL Assessments)
  • Handwriting, times tables and Geographical/Historical skills

Skills Development

  • Through a series of L4L Competencies that cover knowledge and skills, looking at both their academic progress and their development as people; equally important tracks to ensuring a well rounded education
Knowledge Development
  • Regular pre- and post-topic knowledge retrieval quizzes that assess what students have learned within a theme
  • Regular assessment of classwork evidenced in student books
  • A written piece or short video where students articulate their learning
  • Formal written examinations twice per year

How are staff prepared to deliver the course?