“Every teacher is a teacher of reading and every teacher is a teacher of academic vocabulary. They are the most vital tools for learning that our children possess.” – Alex Quigley
Literacy is an essential life skill for maximising our students’ academic achievement, employability, and life experiences. At Wilmington Academy, every teacher is a teacher of Literacy. As a school, we are committed to ensuring that our learners experience quality first teaching across the curriculum and we recognise that the explicit teaching of literacy is integral to quality first teaching.Furthermore, we are dedicated to developing our students’ desire and ability to communicate with enjoyment, precision, and impact.
The overarching theme for Literacy is : Literacy Unlocked
The key strategy for this academic year will be on creating ‘word-rich’ classrooms that have a focus on vocabulary development by:
- Promoting the ‘Word of the Week’ in lessons and at tutor time.
- Teachers build explicit teaching of vocabulary into their lessons enabling students to become ‘word-rich’.
- Teaching academic vocabulary explicitly and clearly, with coherent planning throughout the curriculum.
- Promoting high-quality academic talk in lessons.
- Fostering ‘ word-consciousness’ in our students.
- Teaching students independent word-learning strategies.
- Utilising ‘word walls’ effectively in lessons to demonstrate the use of key-words and new vocabulary in context.
Accelerated Reader Programme (AR)
All Year 7 and Year 8 students are enrolled on the Accelerated Reader Programme, a computer-aided reading programme designed to improve both reading ability and enjoyment. Students are tested for their reading age through the use of the STAR reading tests and then provided with a suggested range of books suited to their ability. Students select books, read, and then quiz to demonstrate their comprehension skills. Students are given bespoke modular targets based on ability to ensure they maximise the effectiveness of the programme. Teachers monitor progress and intervene as needed.
MYON online library
All year groups, Y7- Y11 have been enrolled onto our digital platform called MyON. MyON has been established as an integral part of our school’s digital strategy allowing access to a 24/7 student-centred personalised literacy platform which will match students with the right book and at the right reading level based on their interests. This has enabled our students to access a digital library of 7,000 books and age-appropriate news articles to extend and develop their reading skills. MyON allows staff to remotely set reading and writing projects and this has supported students to become more engaged and capable readers. MyON and AR are connected so students can continue reading and quizzing to support their progress in reading and comprehension skills.
Tutor-time – Literacy
Throughout the Year, the Academy tutor time programme includes opportunities to develop student literacy.
- Word of the Week – this is a literacy focus on Tier 2 words. Each week, students practise a new word in their form groups to increase their word hoard over time. Using the Academy WANT announcements, ‘Word of the Week’ is published throughout the school to ensure that the key TIER 2 words are embedded in student learning. Spelling tests are conducted at the end of each module on the ‘Word of the Week’.
- Vocabulary notebooks- students create a vocabulary bank of keywords in these books to support their spelling and to develop their knowledge and understanding of vocabulary to increase their word hoard over time.
- Explicit teaching of TIER 2 words in form lessons- students are taught the etymology and morphology of words to support their understanding and recall of these keywords.
- Form time reading – using our MYON online platform, students read as an entire unit during tutor time. Tier 2 words and key vocabulary are highlighted, discussed and spelt. Tutees demonstrate their understanding of the texts by answering reading comprehension questions during form time.
“Literacy is a bridge from misery to hope. It is a tool for daily life in modern society. It is a bulwark against poverty, and a building block of development…. Literacy is a platform for democratisation, and a vehicle for the promotion of cultural and national identity….For everyone, everywhere, literacy is, along with education in general, a basic human right…. Literacy is, finally, the road to human progress and the means through which every man, woman and child can realise his or her full potential.” – Kofi Annan