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Literacy & Numeracy




At Darwen Vale, we believe in the importance of developing students’ reading, writing and communication skills through high expectations and regular daily practice. We have a whole school focus on spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPAG) and every teacher takes responsibility for literacy in their subject area. A consistent approach, time and the repetition of these key skills have a powerful effect on student progress. We provide opportunities for students to read within the school week and we encourage parents to support this at home.


In Year 7, 8 and 9 all students take on the English mastery programme to help support the development of their literacy skills and a whole school ‘word of the week’ is used in an attempt to develop the richness of our students’ vocabulary.


All of our staff have received training on Alex Quigley’s ‘Closing the Vocabulary Gap’ and this is then transferred into our teacher’s daily practice as we attempt to create a language rich community by explicitly teaching tier 2 and tier 3 vocabulary.


We also ensure that nobody who joins Darwen Vale and has a reading age lower than their chronological age gets left behind. Using IDL as our starting point, we specifically target all of our students who have the lowest reading ages in the school. In addition to this, we provide a range of other interventions including small group teaching for our students needing additional literacy support and the support of our English Academic Mentor who specifically works with students in English who are falling short of reaching their target grade. Please see our separate literacy policy to view our other methods of improving students’ literacy.


The school community supports us in our expectations that students speak in Standard English, expressing themselves in full statements wherever possible. By working together as a learning community to build students’ literacy skills, we believe that students will have the necessary skills to be successful with their education at Darwen Vale and beyond.

Please view our Literacy strategy Here.

For more information on any aspect of Literacy at Darwen Vale or the small group interventions, please contact:





Maths is fundamental to everyday life. It is essential in many aspects of life, culture, science and society; and a driving force for the world we live in.

For students to be successful in navigating everyday life, it is important that they are highly numerate.

Numeracy is placed at the heart of students’ personal development and forms an integral part of the form tutor programme at Darwen Vale. Numeracy Ninjas takes weekly on a half termly rotation in form time, allowing students to work their way through the Ninja belts.

We work with the scheme of work from White Rose Maths which ensures that the building blocks which allow students to be fluent in numeracy are in place before looking at high level concepts.

For students who need further support with their numeracy skills, additional interventions are put in place, including small group teaching.

For more information on Numeracy at Darwen Vale please contact:

Lauren Price

Assistant Principal for Maths

Shabana Latif

Assistant Director of Mathematics





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