AGFS Approach to Literacy Development

Why is reading so important?

  • Research from The Literacy Trust and Newcastle University found that, by the age of 11, children born in poverty are on average 19 months behind their more advantaged peers.
  • White British boys were found to be the worst performing group. 
  • Children with low levels of literacy were also found to have less likelihood of achieving good academic qualifications, less likely to gain jobs that will pull them out of poverty and a higher chance of going to prison. 
  • 24% of those not in employment are not functionally literate. 
  • Children who are most engaged with literacy are 3x more likely to have higher levels of well-being. (NLT, 2018)


Why is reading important in our school context? 

  • Largest ethnic groups = Black African and White British. These two ethnic groups have the lowest overall progress score nationally. 
  • 58% male cohort. 
  • 34% of students receive PPG. 
  • School’s catchment area encapsulates postcodes from the 2nd, 3rd and 4th most deprived deciles in the UK. 
  • Greenwich is the sixth most deprived local authority in England. In 2019, Royal Borough of Greenwich had the 2nd lowest progress score in London for GCSE outcomes and in the UK overall.


Our school mission is to ensure that our scholars can stand shoulder to shoulder with their more affluent peers across the country. Children not reading at or above their chronological reading age will not be able to achieve this and are less likely to achieve a grade 4 at GCSE. 

Literacy Intent:

Ambition To ensure that scholars are reading at their chronological age or above in order to gain access to Russell Group Universities and professional careers.
Growth To ensure that where scholars are behind, they catch up and are committed to improving.To cultivate independent, habital readers.
Fellowship Ensure scholars engage with a range of texts from a range of perspectives and cultures.
Scholarship Develop a love of canonical literature, giving scholars the cultural capital to debate and discuss the development of western culture.




On average, scholars at AGFS are reading 1 year and 3 months higher than scholars at other schools in the network.

Scholars join AGFS with around 30% of the cohort reading at or above CRA. By the end of Y10, 86% are reading at or above.


Closing the gap

National data from GL assessments shows that 25% of Y10 students nationally have a reading of 12 or below. The average reading age for a child at AGFS is 15 years old.

We make rapid progress in closing the gap for our scholars who are reading below their chronological reading age.

Fresh Start Impact

  • 23.53% of scholars have graduated from Fresh start after just one term on the program. 
  • 48% of the scholars on Fresh start have progressed a module ahead towards graduating the program. 
  • 58.2% of scholars on Fresh start have added a year or more onto their reading age since beginning the program in Spring 2 term. 
  • Average progress score of those in the fresh start cohort is 6 months (in 3 months of intervention).

Expected progress for scholars to keep up with their chronological reading age is 12 months. Scholars reading behind need to make 15 months of progress in a year.  Scholars at AGFS make more than 12 months progress. 

Scholars at AGFS who are below CRA make more progress than their peers.