Today was World Day at HAPU! We celebrated with cultural activities including language lessons, world cuisine tasting and even dance classes! Many attended school in cultural dress. Thank you to the students who helped organise the day and to staff who ran sessions!


On Saturday Ethan competed for in the 4x100m relay at the Alexander Stadium, Birmingham. He ran the 4th leg and received the baton in second place and did what Ethan does best - WIN! He finished nearly a second ahead and helped set a season best of 43:03 🥇


On Monday evening, the Academy hosted the regional finals of the Jack Petchey "Speak Out" Challenge! Talented students from across the borough spoke about topics important to them. Chidi delivered a talk entitled, 'A man thought he could be.' View it here:


On Monday three Y7s competed in this term's South Quadrant Cook Off at HASN! The students had 1 hour to produce a three-course meal with the theme 'The Queen's Jubilee'. Merton were *crowned* the winners, but as you can see the dishes looked (and tasted) amazing!


TfL have announced bus strikes in south London on May 11th, 16th and 17th. Buses in Croydon, Thornton Heath, Streatham and Brixton are among those affected. Please keep these strikes in mind when planning your journey to and from school! 🚌


After a competitive game that went into extra time, our boys managed a 5:4 win against St Joseph’s on Friday. Their next game will be the final! Good luck! ⚽️


Earlier in the week, our students met with author Simon James Green, who came to talk about the process of having his novel 'Noah Can't Even' published. His novel deals with 🏳️‍🌈LGBT+ themes and Simon was overwhelmed by the way our pupils support and promote equality and diversity


PE had the pleasure of taking Y7 and Y8 teams to the Croydon Athletics Relay Championship. The Y7 girls were just beaten on the line for a podium finish. The Y8 boys competed in a final against Trinity, HCACP, Tenisons and Oasis to finish 1st and be named Croydon Champions! 🥇


It was great so see our students so engaged in rugby training yesterday. The session was led by a coach from the Matt Ratana Foundation and will get the players ready for our game against Lanfrac! 🏉


Our amazing Year 8 football team managed a 5-2 victory over Clapham in their semi final yesterday. The boys will face either Harris Academy Riverside or East Dulwich in the final! Goals courtesy of Raff, Kahlan and Judah! ⚽️


Our latest Newsletter is available from our website:


The issues in the Academy kitchen have been rectified. Hot and cold meals and snacks will be available from Tuesday 19th April.


We've cooked our dinner and pitched our tents. We're now enjoying the sunset ☺️


Our Silver Duke of Edinburgh students have set off for a weekend of walking around Ashdown Forest on their practice expedition. It's a bit chilly! 🏕️💨


Earlier in the week we posted about Gardening Club being busy planting crops before the break. We are now excited to announce has granted us £1,994 to go towards our gardening project! We're eager to share what we use this amazing sum for next term! 🚜🥕🥔


A letter regarding Year 11 Prom and intervention sessions has been published on our website:


⚽️ Our newly formed Y7 girl's football team are having a busy year. Not only have they competed in a Croydon Schools tournament AND the U13s league, they also played a Y7-8 competition against some very tough opposition and were excellent throughout. Well done girls!


A letter form the Principal has been published on our website:


Our Year 7 rugby team returned to Riddlesdown for another friendly. Previously, we had a smaller group and had to borrow players, but this time we were able to play as our own team. We came up against a Riddlesdown side that had more experience and only lost by one try 8-7 🏉


Despite this year's hot weather coming to an end 😅 Gardening Club took to the allotment for the final time this term to get their shooting potatoes in the ground. The club has planted a variety of vegetables and look forward to a September harvest 🚜🥔🥔

Harris Academies
All Academies in our Federation aim to transform the lives of the students they serve by bringing about rapid improvement in examination results, personal development and aspiration.

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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.


Bedrock Vocabulary

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, 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

Online Library Directory (

Reading Material

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: 


Page Downloads

Title Date  
Active WORD Marking Code poster 18th Jan 2022 Download
Literacy and Reading Policy 2022 18th Jan 2022 Download