Grow at Key Stage 3 (KS3): Improving Literacy for Low Attaining Students

  • 21 hours
  • 3 days


This Initial Professional Development (IPD) three-day course covers literacy assessment, reading and comprehension, working on words and writing, including talk for writing and guiding writing.

You'll learn about:

  • the theories of literacy development for older students
  • formative assessment techniques
  • the development of strategic activity across reading, oracy and writing with critical reflection and responsive teaching

This course is run by the International Literacy Centre at UCL Institute of Education (IOE).

Who this course is for

The course is aimed at:

  • key stage 3 (KS3) teachers
  • special education needs coordinators (SENCOs)
  • librarians
  • higher level teaching assistants (HLTAs)

Course content

The course will support you with:

  • understanding theories of literacy development for older students
  • formative assessment techniques
  • appropriate selection of levelled, high-interest text
  • using oracy to underpin reading and writing skills
  • development of strategies to build on the reciprocity of reading and writing
  • the writing process, including high-impact work on grammar and text structure
  • critical reflection and responsive teaching
  • evaluation and reporting using standardised assessments

Entry requirements

You'll need to be a professional in the education sector working with KS3 students.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course, you'll have:  

  • gained an understanding of literacy development for older students
  • learnt formative assessment techniques
  • developed strategic activity across reading, oracy, writing with critical reflection and responsive teaching
  • gained a deeper understanding of specific learning needs of struggling learners of secondary age

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Course team

Dr Val Hindmarsh

Val is a member of the National Leadership team at the International Literacy Centre. Her background is in primary and secondary teaching in Scotland and England, literacy advisory teacher roles, special education needs (SEN) teaching includnig specific learning difficulties and educational management.

Val's doctorate was focused on the impact of year-long literacy-based continuous professional development (CPD) on the self-perceptions of expertise and incidence of affect in primary school teachers. Alongside an interest in the transformative potential of adult professional leaning & the affect aroused by it, she's interested in the current debates about early literacy development and literacy intervention, both early and in KS2 and 3.