There is a strong focus on reading, writing, oracy and mathematics across our curriculum. Students will leave our care with excellent literacy and numeracy skills because they have first learnt the prerequisite knowledge that enables competence in literacy and numeracy to automaticity. Each day they will have multiple opportunities to demonstrate and develop these skills through debates, role plays, problem solving, discussions and interactions with our expert staff members. This is ably led by our Literacy and Numeracy leads on our senior team, our strong Director Team and our Heads of English and Maths.
Students will become highly literate through the explicit teaching of tier 2 and 3 vocabulary across the curriculum following the recommendations contained within Quigley’s Closing the Vocabulary Gap (2018). Grammar will be explicitly taught within English lessons, building upon the grammar learnt at primary school. This teaching will be reinforced across the curriculum where high levels of spoken and written accuracy will be expected to be demonstrated by each student. Where this doesn’t occur staff will give feedback and ask for students to present their best selves.
Reading is prioritised in every subject by teachers modelling excellent practice and then by asking all students to read out loud accurately with eloquence and expression (see section below about reading). Our academy provides a variety of programmes and initiatives such as Fresh Start, Accelerated Reader and reciprocal reading etc. Our academy operates a Written Accuracy Campaign to focus students’ punctuation and spelling accuracy. Spelling programmes are used and subject vocabulary is defined and promoted in lessons.
Students will become highly numerate because of the strong foundations provided by our Maths department. Students will master basic operations, times tables, data handling, algebra, shape, geometry, probability and statistics until they are fluent. This initial work is supported where relevant in Science, Geography, Technology, Business Studies and Computer Science using the same methodologies. The cross curricular links have been identified and sequenced so that students benefit from interleaved, spaced and retrieval practice. We use programmes such as Numeracy Ninjas and Times Table Rock Stars.
The progress of our students in literacy and numeracy is closely tracked by our literacy and numeracy lead. There are regular awards and praise events for students who perform highly and make excellent progress. For students requiring specific literacy and numeracy support, small group and bespoke programmes are provided. The focus on the components of numeracy, language acquisition and accurate language use through reading, writing and oracy will ensure the students rapidly develop the high levels of literacy and numeracy that raises cultural capital and gives students opportunity and choice in later life.