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The Ashcombe School


Academic Interventions


Some students need extra support with literacy, beyond what is provided in the classroom through quality first teaching and, at The Ashcombe School, our literacy intervention programme aims to support such students.

Our Year 7 and 8 students are assessed using Accelerated Reader Star Tests and our Year 9, 10 and 11 students are assessed using Hodder ART (Access Reading Test).  Both of these tests generate a standardised reading score, and it is this information which is used to assess what, if any, intervention is required.  For all students this information is fed back to class teachers to help inform their lesson planning.  

After completing the initial assessments, students in Years 7, 8 &9 who we believe require reading support are placed into one of our intervention groups. The Lexonik intervention groups begin with further diagnostic evaluations to ensure the program suits their individual needs.

Lexonik Leap

Lexonik Leap effectively resolves phonics gaps for learners who find literacy particularly challenging, and rapidly progressing reading, spelling and oracy.  Based on an initial diagnostic assessment, the programme can be adapted to allow for an individualised learning pathway, meaning the duration of the programme is dictated by the level of need. These lessons run during normal curriculum time and last for 30 minutes.  There are two lessons each week for students studying Lexonik Leap.

Lexonik Advance

Lexonik Advance has been independently reviewed by Northumbria University and the National Literacy Trust and has been proven to make immediate, sustainable and significant progress for students.  Research suggests that six weekly one hour sessions of Lexonik Advance can improve a student’s reading age by as much as 27 months.  We offer Lexonik Advance to students who have a standardised reading age below that of their chronological age. Lessons take place once per week for six weeks during normal curriculum time.


Wordshark provides a fun and effective games-based solution for students learning to spell and read.  The program is especially effective in helping students with special educational needs including dyslexia. The program is based around a series of games to maximise the effectiveness by making learning fun and offering rewards within the games. Students will sit an initial placement test and then follow the structured course pathway depending on their needs.  Sessions in school run during afternoon registration and afterschool.  Students are given their own personal login so they can continue to use the program at home, as the research suggests little and often gives the very best results.

Reading Booster

Our reading boosters are open to KS3 students who have been identified as having difficulties with reading accuracy and/or comprehension skills, and are led by our sixth form volunteers. Students meet each week in the library during afternoon registration, where they work through a series of structured resources aimed at improving literacy levels. We hope that these sessions will also boost students’ confidence as they work with their sixth form mentors. The duration of the course will depend on the needs of the students.

In addition to our literacy interventions, we also offer student support in the following areas:

Maths Booster

Our Maths booster is currently aimed at Year 8 students who have not made the required levels of improvement in Year 7.  Students meet each week in the library during afternoon registration where they will work through a program created by the Unity Research School that has been proven to have a positive affect on skills levels.  Students will complete a diagnostic assessment before the course starts to check which areas require the most support.  The duration of the course will depend on the needs of the student.

Handwriting Support

Students are identified by teachers for our 8-week handwriting recovery course from ‘Teach Handwriting’.  The Secondary School Recovery Program takes a holistic view of teaching handwriting, developing both a student’s Key Strengths (Gross & Fine Motor Skills) and Key Abilities (Knowledge).  Its systematic, differentiated and progressive approach supports students of all ability levels.  These sessions are run by one of our TAs and take place during afternoon registration once a week.

If you would like to further support your child at home, you may find the following websites useful. Some of these websites have a small cost if you want to access all parts of the website.

Phonics instruction