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Student Experience



Literacy for Life – Key Stage 3


We run the highly successful Literacy for Life programme developed over the last 15 years at Shireland Collegiate Academy, the founding school of Shireland Collegiate Academy Trust.

Students who have completed this Key Stage 3 programme have shown excellent results at GCSE and A-Level over a sustained period and have a skill profile which equips them to achieve in their future studies and career.

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.

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.

We have a dedicated team of Literacy for Life teachers. 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 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 subjects taught through themes. A theme runs for between three and four weeks and has elements of all subjects within it, ensuring coverage of the Key Stage 3 National Curriculum in years 7-9.

Different themes naturally lend themselves to particular subjects, such as Journey To The Centre Of The Earth (science), In Days Of Old (history) or Elementary (music).

Wider Key Stage 3

In year 7 in addition to their L4L lessons students attend discrete lessons in mathematics, music, art, science, languages, physical education and design technology.

Musical Opportunities

Students are immersed in musical experiences throughout their time at the Academy, both inside and outside the classroom.  Thematic curriculum delivery includes bespoke musical themes that explore the rudiments of music, written in partnership with musicians with global acclaim.  Students have the opportunity to practise, rehearse and perform together, developing transferable skills that support them to achieve academic and musical excellence as they grow to become confident and empathetic young people.

The range of musical opportunities and experiences will include:

  • Instrumental and vocal lessons.
  • Opportunities to study music theory and prepare for theoretical and practical exams.
  • An extensive enrichment programme offering diverse opportunities in a range of styles, instrumental experiences, solo and ensemble skills.
  • Curriculum enrichment opportunities to perform and compose within and outside of the Academy.
  • Access to music technology to compose soundtracks in response to stimuli.
  • Work with professionals to develop a wider understanding of the careers that complement musical performance and composition, gaining access to working environments and equipment as appropriate.