Literacy is fundamental to learning across the curriculum here at Cromer. The progress pupils make with literacy will enable them to succeed in whichever field they decide upon as young adults. At Cromer, we aim to support all pupils so they can access each subject through disciplinary literacy. Disciplinary literacy develops pupils’ ability and confidence with reading, writing and communication effectively in all of their subjects and of course in the wider community. Cromer Academy’s reading strategy is closely aligned to the Education Endowment Foundation’s seven recommendations to ‘Improving Literacy in Secondary Schools.’
Form Time reading - Each student in years 7-10 reads excerpts of classic, contemporary, fiction and non-fiction books once a week. New this year: comprehension questions are set to follow the English Language GCSE style exam questions. (See recommendation 3 of the EEF document).
The style of reading we use in form is developed from Doug Lemov’s ‘Control the Game’. Staff have developed skills through CPD to enable pupils to decode words when reading to ensure correct reading. Control the Game reading practice also takes place in subject lessons. This promotes confidence with oracy also.
Reading age data (NGRT, GL and LiteracyOnLine) - are scrutinised to support less able readers with 3 different types of intervention depending on need (See recommendation 7 of the EEF document):
- Thinking reading – 1:1 intensive work with an adult trained in this programme.
- Reading mentors - Year 10 and 11 pupils support with 1:1 reading, comprehension and confidence with year 7/8/9 pupils during form in the library.
- Lexia – An online programme as a top up for pupils in year 7, 8 and 9 who are slightly under the required reading age for their actual age.
Curriculum wide, subject specific reading list for HPA pupils.
Book in the bag with bookmark – every pupil has loaned a book from our newly-stocked library and will be encouraged to read during any lesson, where appropriate. Books and bookmarks are colour coded for pupils who are receiving extra support with reading. This enables us to ensure that books are appropriate to reading age.
Explicit vocabulary teaching - New to Cromer Academy this year. Tier 2 and Tier 3 words are identified in departments and pupils are taught the morphology and where appropriate etymology of words. The purpose is for pupils to recognise word parts (stem, affixes) to promote better understanding across the curriculum. Words are recorded in a uniform way across the school. This culture of vocabulary teaching and learning across the school enables ALL children to access the curriculum. (See recommendations 1 and 2 of the EEF document).
SPAG – A strict but necessary whole school approach to writing ensures that all pupils write with accurate spelling, capital letters and punctuation in all subject areas. Book checks happen every three weeks and common misconceptions for literacy as well as subject knowledge are picked up and retaught and practised.
Neatness – is also key to pupils being able to use their work efficiently for review work. At Cromer Academy we insist on the use of a black pen and purple pen to mark and self-correct. Rulers are insisted upon to underline and writing has to be as neat as possible.
In addition to English, pupils in KS3 regularly write longer pieces of work in literacy rich subjects which promotes the development of writing as well confidence to produce longer pieces. A focus is put on sentence starters, paragraph organisation and the use of connectives. Work is scrutinised term on term within all specific groups of pupils eg. SEND, PP and different abilities to ensure that progress is being made. (See recommendations 4 and 5 of the EEF document).
In the classroom and around the school, pupils are encouraged to speak confidently and politely supported by our STEPS and SHAPE acronyms which are used school wide.
S – Sir or Miss
T – Thank you
E – Excuse me
P – Please
S - Smile
S – Full sentences
H – Hands away from mouth
A – Articulate
P – Project your voice
E – Eye contact
The purpose is to prepare our pupils for a world outside of school so they know that behaviour of this sort will equip them with skills that are required to make them successful in interactions outside of school as well as when they join the world of further education and work. Specifically, in English and MFL, oracy skills are practised and assessed with speaking and listening exercises.
School plays, year 7 choir, Radio/Cromer Waves, language speaking competition, student committees, Prefect-led assemblies and the Spelling Bee - Pupils have opportunities to audition for parts in school plays; sing; talk about current events; compete in foreign language speaking competitions and be part of student committees, for example, the Eco committee or School council. Regular choral response with key subject knowledge and also school-wide themes (school poem) build confidence in speaking with large groups.
Anecdotal evidence from teachers and eye-witness accounts from regular drop-ins to all of the above, illustrates the changing culture here at CA for most pupils. The uptake in numbers for all of the opportunities highlighted above is on the increase which suggests a growth in confidence in oracy skills which is key to our students’ development for their future beyond school. (See recommendations 6 of the EEF document).