Philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein declared ‘The limits of my language are the limits of my world.’ As educators, it is our duty to instil in young people the belief that the limits of their learning are boundless.
At Acle Academy, literacy acts as a fundamental building block to successful learning in all subject areas. Pupils that can develop strong literacy skills find accessing both simple and more challenging tasks to be a much more straightforward process.
Building a core of transferable skills in reading, comprehension and practical use of the English language means that pupils are able to more confidently and competently understand the content they are faced with across the curriculum, as well as helping them access tasks outside the classroom. With strong literacy skills, students become more independent learners and can more readily adapt to life beyond high school.
More specifically, here at Acle Academy, we are focused on improving literacy by:
- A rewarding reading strategy: ‘15 by 15’ – Each student in years 7-10 selects a book from a selection of over 300 fiction and non-fiction texts, colour-coded according to their level of challenge, with the aim being to complete at least 15 by the end of year 10. Students are encouraged to read their chosen book daily and dedicated form times and library lessons at KS3 are in place to assist with this. When books are finished, students complete detailed reviews and are rewarded with 10 house points. Celebration assemblies each term further recognise exceptional reading achievements.
- Spending two form times a week focusing on a ‘form reader’ – The form spend time reading and engaging with a shared text (chosen for its challenge, entertainment value, and the opportunity to explore relevant themes and issues through discussion) as a group, developing the ability to decode, comprehend and infer, as well as enjoying the opportunity to build the ability of reading aloud.
- Providing specific and targeted intervention – For those where progress in literacy needs a boost, we have dedicated members of staff that meet regularly and support small target groups of pupils from years 7-11.
- Embedding subject specific vocabulary – To reinforce literacy across the curriculum, subjects have a key vocabulary focus as part of schemes of learning, whereby tier 2 and 3 words are explored with a focus on etymology and both subject and general applicability.
- Using cross-curriculum ‘Vocab’ books - These provide students with an easily accessible glossary of ambitious vocabulary that they collate themselves in lessons, and a daily ‘word of the day’.
Mr Richard Carrier
Progress Tutor (Literacy)