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Words for Work: KS3

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Business volunteers bring workplace communication into the classroom to unlock students' speaking and listening skills.

About the programme

Students participate in interactive skill-building activities through role play and presentation delivery, as part of exploring communication skills used for formal situations.

Volunteers from the business community support students to understand the real life application of literacy in the workplace. The volunteers share their career journey, take part in interviews with students and give top tips for presentations.

Development of speaking, listening, teamwork and leadership skills is embedded throughout the programme. Participating schools are provided with fully planned resources along with guidance for delivery in lessons.

Participation is normally for one class of 30 students and comes fully funded and resourced. You will also receive free National Literacy Trust premium membership for a year and book gifting per student, or for your school library.

A typical programme follows this timetable:

Stage 1 - Introduction to the programme (approx. 1 hour)

Business volunteers come to your school to take part in a fun speed networking session. Students will have the opportunity to ask the volunteers about their job roles and career pathways.

Stage 2 - Literacy skills workshops (approx. 1 hour each)

We provide all resources for teacher delivery and include sessions on formal writing, learning about language skills at work through role play and group discussions and student presentation planning skills.

Stage 3 - Business mentoring (approx. 1 - 3 hours)

Students deliver their presentations to business volunteers and receive feedback and advice from them. This session can be done in a classroom or through a workplace visit.

Opportunities for 2023-24

We are currently looking for schools in Bradford and London to take part in the KS3 Words for Work programme.

Register interest

Schools wishing to learn more about the programme or to register interest in participating, can email us at

"It's been a great experience for all involved. I've seen the volunteers engage and inspire and bring out the best in my students. I've never seen my class smile so much! Programmes like this one are so important."

Words for Work teacher


After completing Words for Work: KS3

  • 93% of students felt more confident in their speaking and listening skills

  • 92% of students gained a better understanding of how to write a formal email

  • 94% of students knew how to give formal presentations in front of an audience.

  • 97% of students knew the difference between formal and informal situations.

Success Stories