At Harris Academy Purley, we believe that literacy is an essential skill to enable students to read and write as experts in every subject across the curriculum.
These skills are essential to understand the world around us and therefore, the better we are at these skills, the more successful we can expect to be in life. We recognise that improving literacy can have an impact on students’ self-esteem, motivation, behaviour and attainment and that reading, particularly reading for pleasure, has a direct impact on cognitive and social-communicative development. It has been shown that reading improves health and wellbeing, as well as compassion and empathy for others. Our goal is to develop each student’s potential to the point where they are reading at, or above, their chronological age.
Our aims are:
- Oracy to be at the heart of all teaching and learning activities
- To ensure that standards of writing, oracy and reading are raised
- To ensure that all students become active word learners
- To embed WORD skills across all subject areas
- To develop a common language of communication capability across all subject areas
- To empower students with the capacity to use language purposefully and efficiently in a range of contexts for a range of purposes, in both oral and written form
- To increase the range and depth of literary knowledge to create a lifelong love of reading
- To ensure that all students have undergone rigorous assessment to identify potential literacy, language and learning needs.
- Speech and Language Therapist to work in collaboration with teachers to ensure that oracy and language development is embedded within the curriculum.
- To provide a range of interventions for students with identified language and literacy needs.
Students at Harris Academy Purley are tested for reading age and spelling age at least annually. This, along with evidence from teachers about progress in lessons, allows staff to create a literacy profile for each child. Students identified as needing additional support, will be targeted for additional support.
Students complete two lessons every week between Monday to Sunday.
Bedrock Vocabulary is an online literacy and vocabulary curriculum, designed by English teachers to explicitly teach students of all abilities the academic words they need to succeed in school and beyond. Using a range of fiction and non-fiction texts, the programme exposes students to language and information which not only bridges gaps in their general knowledge but also provides them with the valuable cultural capital they need to understand the world around them.
At Harris, Bedrock is done as part of our homework programme and students in Years 7-9 are expected to complete two lessons every week. As a parent, you also have access to the work your child is doing on Bedrock. Using the access code provided by the school, you can access your child’s account to understand their progress. You can see the words they are learning each week and can weave them into family conversations to ensure even more language practise.
Parents, please contact your child’s English teacher if you have not received your access code. Also, please support your child’s learning by encouraging them to complete their two Bedrock lessons every week.
Students, have you completed your lessons? If not, what are you waiting for? Go on, log on to www.bedrockvocabulary.com, sign in to your account and do your lessons.
Literacy across the Curriculum
At Harris Academy Purley we are committed to empowering students by widening their vocabulary. We understand the link between confident, fluent reading and confident, articulate speaking and so we use Bedrock Vocabulary which is a computerised programme that explicitly teaches vocabulary through a range of fiction and non-fiction texts. This year we are introducing a word of the week in lessons to enhance our students’ ability to be effective orators and confident writers.
At HAPU, we have an Academy wide active marking code which is used to identify technical errors within each student's written work. Students respond to these codes consistently and teachers use them to determine common misconceptions that need addressing thereby improving their Literacy skills.
Extra-Curricular Literacy Activities
Throughout the year, there are many more literacy opportunities for both staff and students to participate in. As well as World Book Day, termly reading and writing competitions and creative writing challenges organised by external agencies will also be available to promote literacy across the academy.
The Library is central to what we do in the Literacy Department. It is a functional and highly resourced space for students to access before school, during break and lunch and after school. Our library has over 3,000 books, spanning a range of genres. Students can borrow up to three books at a time and can keep them for up to three weeks. There are no late fees and students can check the availability of certain titles through our Eclipse account, below.
The library is also a quiet space that students can use to complete homework or coursework before and after school. There are ample tables and resources available, as well as our photocopiers for printing work and copying texts.
Our library is managed by Ms A. Esilaba
The National Literacy Trust have 1500 free audiobook licenses to give away. The link below is aimed at women and non-binary readers aged 16 and over. It’s a book club that celebrates brilliant books with women at the centre of the story.
National Teen Book Club takes place over 4 weeks on Wednesdays at 15:30.
Jack Petchey's "Speak Out" Challenge!
On Monday 16th May, the Academy hosted the regional finals of the Jack Petchey "Speak Out" Challenge! Talented students from across the borough came to speak about topics important to them. Chidi delivered a talk entitled, 'A man thought he could be.'
As you will see from the video below, the speech was engaging and well delivered. Chidi was a runner-up and should be extremely proud of his achievement!
The overall winner for Croydon came from Coombe Wood School. You can see more talks from the evening on their website: https://speakoutchallenge.com/