Literacy for Key Stage 3 Learners

These literacy units for Key Stage 3 learners with cognitive difficulties use engaging scenarios based on local life, both modern and historical, to develop their literacy skills. They provide teachers with teaching frameworks to enhance learning and make it more exciting, dynamic and effective for the learners.


Multi-literacy represents an inclusive approach to literacy. The traditional definition of literacy has widened to include comprehension of all types of visual and printed texts, audio, spatial and gestural information, and the ability to make textual connections. Text is often non-linear and integrated with images, audio and video. Today's learners require a broader range of skills to encompass ever-changing technologies.

Internet Safety

Although research has shown that the internet may be particularly beneficial for learners with special educational needs (SEN), many of these young people are potentially more vulnerable and more at risk than others when using ICT. Therefore, it is a good idea to introduce your learners to internet safety before using these resources.

Internet Safety 775.6 KB - Uploaded 02-11-2016


Media literacy is the ability to access, analyse, evaluate and create media. Being media literate helps young learners to understand more about the complex messages they receive from mass media.

This section provides a range of activities based on popular TV and print media, including current television shows, newspapers and magazines. Learners explore different forms of media and are encouraged to research information, participate in discussions and take part in reading and writing activities. .

Class Bake Off

Learning Activities 1.4 MB - Uploaded 02-11-2016

Resource 1: Like/Dislike Cards 979.7 KB - Uploaded 02-11-2016

Resource 2: Food Matching Pairs 287 KB - Uploaded 02-11-2016

Resource 3: Baking Steps 197 KB - Uploaded 02-11-2016

Resource 4: Ingredients and Baking Equipment 276.2 KB - Uploaded 02-11-2016

Resource 5: Menu Template  1.1 MB - Uploaded 02-11-2016

Do You Have the X Factor?

Learning Activities 1.5 MB - Uploaded 02-11-2016

Resource 1: Emotion Cards 233.7 KB - Uploaded 02-11-2016

Resource 2: Like/Dislike Scale 196.4 KB - Uploaded 02-11-2016

Getting into Top Gear

Learning Activities 2.7 MB - Uploaded 02-11-2016

Resource 1: Types of Car 972.9 KB - Uploaded 02-11-2016

Resource 2: Car Parts 368.4 KB - Uploaded 02-11-2016

Resource 3: Car Owners 353.1 KB - Uploaded 02-11-2016

Mass Media

Learning Activities 1.1 MB - Uploaded 02-11-2016


Visual literacy is the ability to interpret information presented in the form of a still or moving image. In this section, learners explore different forms of visual media, including animations, YouTube videos and digital stories. The suggested activities allow students to discuss ideas, analyse visual media, identify feelings and emotions and recall past events.

Investigating Dilemmas through the Animation Dragon Slayer

Learning Activities 1.3 MB - Uploaded 02-11-2016

Resource 1: Dragon Slayer's Map 406.9 KB - Uploaded 02-11-2016

Identifying Emotions through the E-Book The Black Hat

Learning Activities 1.4 MB - Uploaded 02-11-2016

Resource 1: Emotion Cards 233.7 KB - Uploaded 02-11-2016

Exploring Identity through the Animation For the Birds

Learning Activities 1.7 MB - Uploaded 02-11-2016

Resource 1: People Bingo 407.1 KB - Uploaded 02-11-2016


Digital literacy includes the ability to communicate, understand and evaluate messages and information using ICT equipment such as tablets and computers. Using ICT in the classroom offers potential to improve standards of attainment in literacy, and it is important that both the teacher and learners have the necessary ICT skills. However, the focus should be on developing literacy skills, rather than on the technology itself.

This section presents activities to support literacy teaching that use different ICT tools and technologies, including storytelling programs, word cloud generators, video editing software and QR codes. The activities encourage learners to sequence and create their own digital media using ICT to enhance their literacy skills.

Creative Digital Storytelling

Learning Activities 4.3 MB - Uploaded 02-11-2016

Using QR Codes

Learning Activities 5.7 MB - Uploaded 02-11-2016

Using Word Clouds

Learning Activities 3.5 MB - Uploaded 02-11-2016

Local Literacy

These units explore the development of literacy through topics of local interest. The suggested activities allow learners to make links across areas of learning while developing key literacy skills.

Digging for Information (Seamus Heaney) 5 MB - Uploaded 09-05-2019

Finn McCool and the Giant's Causeway 5.2 MB - Uploaded 09-05-2019

The Titanic 1.2 MB - Uploaded 09-05-2019

The Bronze Age 3.7 MB - Uploaded 09-05-2019