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Southfields Academy

Southfields Academy

Literacy and Numeracy





We use the Accelerated Reader programme to monitor the students' reading ages.  In September, all Key Stage 3 students complete a Star Reader test which provides us with their reading age and directs students to books which are of suitable challenge.  They will take this test each term.  When students finish reading a book they should take a quiz on it to assess how much they have understood.  Please ask about their reading age and what they are currently reading.  Your child's English teacher will monitor their reading and provide them with weekly targets.  We encourage students to read for at least 20 minutes a day, please encourage them to read as much as is possible at home.


We have selected books that we think that students will find interesting, engaging and educational. Books have been marked on their appropriateness to the level of study and GCSE grades. These are recommendations, students are in no way obligated to only read the books that have been recommended to them. Please note that some books have been highlighted for their mature themes and content, and are more suited to an advanced reader – students who are perhaps thinking of progressing onto A-Level English Literature. We hope that students take time to visit the school library (where all of the books on the list are available) and ignite their passion for reading! If there are any queries or questions regarding reading or literacy at Southfields Academy, please do not hesitate to contact


Literacy is embedded in all subjects taught at Southfields Academy. Each subject has produced a list of keywords that all students should learn and be able to spell and use with confidence and accuracy. You can download the keyword lists for each subject taught at Southfields Academy; you can save these to your computer or print them to use with your child.


Reading is to the mind what exercise is the the body.

Sir Richard Steele (1672 - 1729), The Tatler no. 147 (18th March 1710) 

A good book is the best of friends, the same today as forever.

Martin Tupper (1810 - 1889), Proverbial Philosophy Series 1 (1838)

The Library plays an important role in the academic and cultural life of the Academy. Its primary aim is to support all students in their studies by providing suitable materials and a friendly environment in which students can study and research. The Library has a large collection of materials in a variety of formats. It has an excellent collection of reference materials and fiction books complemented by numerous periodicals, daily and local newspapers, CD Roms, video cassettes and a collection of press cuttings. The Library has ten computer work stations which students use to do their school work and have access to the internet. The Library offers a series of library and information skills lessons to all Year 7 students. The aim of the lessons are to teach students how to use available library resources.


The Library is open to all students and members of staff from 7:30 am until 3:30 pm


The Library is located on the ground floor of A Block. Librarian: Mrs Litwin – Roberts



Be knowledgeable about your child’s progress Students’ reading ages are tested twice a year and this information is added to their school record (ask their tutor or English teacher). Being aware of your child’s reading age will best inform how to support your child’s literacy at home. The Academy has a comprehensive booklist sorted by reading age which can be found at here. Surround your child with reading material and encourage them to read regularly Reading out loud regularly is hugely beneficial. Just 15 minutes of daily practice is sufficient to increase reading fluency! Make reading an integral part of your children’s lives. Ask them to read menus, roadside signs, game directions, weather reports and other practical everyday information. Check that your child understands all of the words. You could ask to write down any words they don’t know in a notebook. Then help them to look them up. Deliberately use those words in conversation with your child, to reinforce the learning.


Local libraries are a wonderful place to encourage your child to read. They also run many reading based activities to help engage in reading for pleasure. For more information on local libraries, please visit the wandsworth website


Develop your child’s spelling ability by playing quick games to help them recognise and use letter patterns. Choose a letter pattern such as “-tion” or “-ight” and take turns thinking of words that include it. See how many your child can write down correctly. Make sure your child can spell the keywords for each of their subjects available to download below.


Encourage your child to write neatly by hand. The most important point to get across is the size and spacing of letters. Practising on squared paper can be useful; the aim is to try to get the letters to fit into the boxes neatly.




Dear Parents and Carers, Numeracy is a vital skill that is important in everyday life. It is about being confident when solving problems, making decisions and analysing situations that involve numbers. Numeracy is key to lifelong learning, e.g. it enables a young person to understand scientific concepts, interpret figures, understand cause and effect etc. Developing skills in numeracy will increase opportunities for all young people in the world of work, enhancing employability prospects and life chances. Families can support what children and young people are learning in school by providing opportunities and experiences that allow them to practise and apply these skills. You can download a helpful booklet to help you with the above below.

Some simple ideas for home

Time: Encourage your child to use a watch or clock to tell the time, provide timed activities and read timetables. Calendars: Plan family birthdays on a calendar & do a birthday countdown. Measure: Take advantage of measure opportunities in the kitchen; weighing, timing and temperature. Money: Talk about best deals with your child, budgeting pocket money or wages. Estimating: Plan for activities in advance such as calculating the number of rolls of paper or paint required to decorate a room, the length of time activities may take. Logical thinking: Ask your child to explain their thinking and consider the consequences of actions e.g. using the information gathered from reading newspapers, using the internet and watching TV to draw conclusions and make choices that involve numeracy.