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At Hamilton, we aim to bring learning alive. Students will be immersed in a variety of engaging literature, media, film, theatre, poetry and music. Whilst following the National Curriculum, we understand that some students may have missed key areas in their KS2 development, not only academically but emotionally. Therefore, we take an individual approach, promoting the best outcomes for our students.

Our core intent is to promote reading, writing and communication skills; championing personal growth and development through our understanding of SEMH.


At Key Stage 3, we have a variety of units for students to work on. From becoming Detectives to creating our own media campaigns, we aim to build confidence and success from the start. In addition to our main units of work, we spend one lesson a week on our interactive reading programme that uses visual and audio in conjunction with reading. Each student is also given their own skills builder pack that focuses on literacy and SPAG.

All units have been developed to equip students with key skills in reading, writing and communication. Students will be given the opportunity to complete either a Silver or Gold Entry Level* qualification at Key Stage 3.  Click here for more information. 


When students reach Key Stage 4, our aspiration is that confidence and skills in English have improved. All students are given the opportunity to study the GCSE curriculum. Outcomes for our students by the end of KS4 include a GCSE in English Language* or an Entry Level Qualification and a confident, successful command of key English skills for adult life. Click here for more information. 


reading & Literacy across the curriculum

At Hamilton, we aim to ensure the continual improvement of reading and literacy standards for all learners. In developing literacy and reading levels, we aim to increase access to and success within the curriculum and to prepare learners to operate successfully in the world beyond school.


reading & Literacy team

All curriculum subjects promote the four transferrable skill areas of: reading, writing, speaking and listening.


Assessment for learning

Students have access to curriculum pathways appropriate to their strengths, needs and aspirations. Students are taught using a wide range of techniques and resources which promote deep learning and understanding with SEN needs taken into consideration.

At both Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 Students are taught the following assessment objectives for Entry Level and GCSE:

  • AO1: Read and understand a range of texts. Identify and interpret explicit and implicit information and ideas.

  • AO2: Explain and comment on how writers use language and structure to achieve effects and influence readers, using relevant subject terminology to support views.

  • AO3: Compare writers’ ideas and perspectives.

  • AO4: Evaluate texts and support this with appropriate textual references.

  • AO5: Communicate clearly, effectively and imaginatively, selecting and adapting tone, style and register for different forms, purposes and audiences. Organise information and ideas, using structural and grammatical features to support coherence and cohesion of texts.

  • AO6: Use vocabulary and sentence structures for clarity, purpose and effect, with accurate spelling and punctuation.

  • AO7: Demonstrate presentation skills.

  • AO8: Listen and respond appropriately to spoken language, including to questions and feedback on presentations.

  • AO9: Use spoken English effectively in speeches and presentations.

Progress of assessment objectives is measured through classwork, an end of unit ‘quiz’ at Key Stage 3 and ‘exam questions’ at Key Stage 4. Achievements in terms of what level the student is working at and targets are then discussed with students and recorded in their workbooks. This information in then shared with parents with an end of year report and with SEN at annual reviews.

Reading assessments take place at 3 data points using STAR ASSESSMENT which records progress in reading.

Students are given opportunities to complete mock assessments at both Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 to familiarise them with the exam process.



  • Previously students have partaken in trips to the theatre, external speaker presentations and external drama group productions. Students have the option to read at break and lunchtimes in our quiet room environment. 

  • Students also have access  at home and in school to MYON (interactive visual and audio reading programme). MyON has over 40,000 books for our students to engage with.

  • All Teaching staff use First News weekly. There’s never been a more important time for young people to have a rich understanding of the world around them. Regularly reading news not only nurtures students’ understanding of the world, but creates a news reading community at school in which pupils are motivated to learn more, share their opinions and feel empowered with their richer, deeper understanding of global news.

  • Students regularly take part in challenges and competitions.