Literacy Pirates

a fleet of learning centres in Hackney, Haringey and soon beyond

Rio 2017

Go to the Captain's Manifesto website here and see our Young Pirates' vision for yourself!

Go to the Captain's Manifesto website here and see our Young Pirates' vision for yourself!


Celebrating improving literacy skills in Hackney


Led by The Hackney Pirates, young people in Hackney have created a film about what it takes to be a great leader, as part of a project to develop their literacy, confidence and perseverance. Teachers, families and friends are invited to watch “A Captain’s Manifesto” at the Rio Cinema on 9 March.

Young people aged 9-12 from education charity The Hackney Pirates are launching a manifesto on what it takes to be a great leader. Their short film “A Captain’s Manifesto” was premiered at a red-carpet event at the Rio cinema on 9th March in front of 400 guests including parents, teachers and volunteers.

The film is the result of weeks of work reflecting on what leadership is, and what kind of leaders the young people aspire to be. The project has been designed by teachers to develop pupils’ literacy, confidence and perseverance, with young people’s literacy skills improving, on average, 52% faster than age-related expectations.


"I’m looking forward to the event because it sounds really fun, and our parents can see all the work that we do here.”

A Young Pirate


Want to know more?

You can read a blog about the event here and see more here

You can read about the premiere in the Hackney Citizen here

You can see photos below...

If you're a school or a parent and would like to find out more, go here

You can see for yourself what our whole-class engagement sessions involve here

You can read our latest Impact Report here

You can contact us here



About The Hackney Pirates

Since starting in 2010, The Hackney Pirates have worked intensively with over 500 young people and delivered over 25,000 hours of extra learning time to support the development of literacy, confidence and perseverance. They have engaged over 2000 people as volunteers in sessions and work closely with schools in a collaborative model to support young people in their learning.


·         Working with young people: They work with children aged 9-12 who have been referred by local educational partners.

·         Learning environments matter: They believe that young people can benefit from working in a fun, unconventional environment and therefore create a fantastical educational space that encourages them to spend more time learning.

·         Making real things: They believe that people learn best when they see the products of their work enjoyed by a wider audience, so give young people the chance to work on professional publishing projects.

·         Extra adult attention: All young people receive extra support from trained staff and volunteers. That personalised attention is a powerful resource, to build young people’s confidence and attainment.

·         The results: Children attending The Hackney Pirates make (on average) 52% faster than age-related progress in their reading. Impact evidence also shows significant gains in confidence, perseverance, and enjoyment of reading.