At The Sutton Academy, we accept the fundamental principle that literacy is the key to improving learning and raising standards. Literacy underpins the whole school curriculum by developing students’ abilities to speak, listen, read and write for a wide range of purposes, using language to learn and communicate, to think, explore and organise.
Poor levels of literacy impact negatively on what students can do and how they see themselves. Crucially, we believe that literate students will ultimately emerge as confident and articulate communicators, fully prepared to enter the adult world, whether to continue their academic studies or to enter the world of work.
We believe that students should be actively engaged in developing their literacy skills at every stage of their development. To that end we have designed and developed a number of initiatives to foster independence and a love of reading and literature.
- Ready to learn intervention – students are challenged to engage with a variety of texts. They read independently and with guidance from subject specialists. Additionally students are given key point assessments to monitor progress.
- Reading mornings – each year group has a morning session dedicated to reading. We encourage students to bring in a text of their choice whilst also providing a wide variety of material from our newly improved library.
- A monthly literacy checkpoint – this is a responsive focus based upon student performance and any trends detected through teaching. All teachers in the Academy are required to integrate the checkpoint into their lessons. We believe in a whole school approach to literacy – no matter what the subject discipline.
- Cross Curricular Projects – this year we held a cross-curricular World Book Day event were teachers taught themed lessons and dressed up as their favourite fictional characters.
Ofsted commended our literacy strategy in their 2019 inspection report:
“Teachers adopt a consistent approach to supporting the development of students' literacy and numeracy skills across the curriculum.”
Our ultimate aim is to support, nurture and challenge students in order for them to:
- read and write with confidence, enjoyment, fluency and understanding – orchestrating a range of independent strategies to self-monitor, evaluate and correct
- develop an increasing working knowledge of Standard English
- have an interest in words and their meanings, developing a growing working vocabulary in spoken and written forms
- develop their powers of imagination, inventiveness and critical thinking
- be able to communicate effectively
- understand a range of text types and genres and be able to write in a variety of styles and forms appropriate to the task or situation
- grow in confidence as they develop their literacy skills
- have a suitable technical vocabulary to explain their thinking, articulate responses and communicate effectively
- enable all students to gain access to all aspects of the curriculum diet
- achieve recognised GCSE qualifications in English Language and / or English Literature and progress to A-Level study wherever possible.
Mr M Lovelady – Director of Literacy