Skip to content ↓

The Harefield Academy Literacy Strategy

Our aims:

  • To focus on learning and how literacy is used as a tool for teaching and progression in every lesson and across the curriculum.
  • To create opportunities to develop and enhance reading, writing, speaking and listening, grammar, spelling and articulacy.
  • To support all teachers to develop their own deeper understanding of how to enhance the literacy skills of students, assess with confidence and develop learning opportunities as a result of improved literacy skills.
  • To review assessment policy and practice for the whole school, across year groups and for individual subject areas or departments where formative assessment of literacy skills are integral to learning.
  • To ensure teachers embed reading, writing and communication effectively across the curriculum, equipping all students with the necessary skills to make progress.
  • To ensure students are eager to know how to improve their learning; to capitalise on opportunities to use feedback to improve.

We adhere to the following principles:

  • Literacy supports learning. Students need vocabulary, expression and organisational control to cope with the cognitive demands of subjects.
  • Reading enables us to learn from sources beyond our immediate experience.
  • It is through language that we make and revise meaning.
  • Writing helps us to sustain and order thought.
  • Responding to higher order questions encourages the development of thinking.
  • Better literacy leads to improved self-esteem, motivation and behaviour. It allows students to learn independently. It is empowering.
  • All teachers and adults who students come into contact with during the school day are teachers of literacy.

We are striving to ensure students can:

  • Express their ideas effectively and speak clearly.
  • Develop a wider vocabulary.
  • Use and understand more formal, standard registers of speech.
  • Use spoken language to develop a deeper understanding of the ideas they are grappling with in their different subjects.
  • Develop subject-specific terminology.
  • Share ideas with other, using teachers and peers to enhance their knowledge and understanding.
  • Develop skills in presenting arguments and points of view in a judged, balanced and appropriately assertive manner in both formal and less formal contexts.
  • Focus more on what others are saying.
  • Listen carefully to others’ points of view and learn from them, adapting their own views as appropriate.
  • Understand more readily the formal language of text books and other subject-related materials.
  • Recognise and adopt different written forms through exposure to a wide range of different types.
  • Use accurate punctuation and grammar.
  • Write at greater length and with more confidence.
  • Adapt their written styles to suit a range of purposes and audiences.
  • Write persuasively.
  • Write at greater length and with increasing complexity.

Teachers will:

  • Model high standards of literacy in their own teaching.
  • Have displays in classrooms which include key terms on walls, technical equipment labelled, useful phrases to help students link and develop ideas in writing, grade descriptors/information related to examination courses, exemplar pieces of work, literacy signposts.
  • Choose texts that are appropriate for their students’ prior knowledge, purposes and potential.
  • Use Literacy Mats in lessons.
  • Expect and encourage students to read for themselves wherever possible.
  • Use teaching approaches that give students ways of accessing demanding texts (DARTS).
  • Know and demonstrate a range of reading strategies.
  • Provide a range of opportunities for active engagement with texts that help to motivate students as readers.
  • Know, understand and make explicit to students the main types of text used in their subject.
  • Ensure that students engage in silent reading in their tutor groups.
  • Ensure that students with EAL are supported in their language needs.
  • Apply the school marking policy.
  • Provide writing frames or scaffolds to support extended writing and provide models of extended writing.
  • Teach students how to research in their subject (including use of the Internet).
  • Give clear guidance for the written elements of extended pieces of coursework.
  • Prepare students thoroughly for the reading/written requirements of examination papers (signpost examination terminology for subject areas).
  • Plan lessons which make good use of opportunities to develop students’ literacy skills.

At-a-Glance Strategies

  • Trips (for example, the Year 7 pantomime trip) and whole school competitions.
  • Drop Everything And Read (DEAR) in tutor time.
  • Building links with local primary schools to explore debating, reading and performance.
  • Academy House Debating competition.
  • Spelling Competitions
  • Work Scrutiny; developing marking of literacy and dialogic marking process.
  • Word of The Week (WoW) on display and shared in tutor time; students are rewarded for correct use of the WoW in context.
  • Participation in local public debating competitions.
  • Celebration of World Book Day.
  • Celebration of World Poetry Day.
  • Subject based Key Word displays in all rooms.
  • Use of technology to encourage literacy: chatroom, podcasts and blogs.
  • Research and Library Induction and Subject use of library.
  • Whole staff use of Academy marking policy.
  • Staff training and development in literacy strategies.
  • Development of a ‘Language for Learning’.
  • Paired Reading with Sixth Form students
  • Summer reading Challenge and links with local libraries.
  • Close links with our LRC and celebrating reading through participation in the Smarties, Carnegie and Hillingdon Book of the Year events.