Literacy. A term that is often used in Education and one that we all know is vitally important to maximising young peoples life chances. Twitter and Educational blogs are full of information about Literacy. One such post that resonated with me is David Didau’s (@learningSpy) post on the Matthew Effect.
But what does “literacy” actually mean? Can you define literacy in the education context? What does an effective literacy strategy look like?
These questions were asked at our SLT meetings at the start of our “literacy” journey. Geoff Barton (@RealGeoffBarton) has written a book called Don’t call it Literacy!, which incidentally, was something that our Principal wanted to do (or not).
Our “literacy” strategy is one of numerous policies and strategies that have been implemented at BCA since becoming a sponsored academy in September 2012, each being linked to one or more of Teaching and Learning, Behaviour and Safety, Achievement and Leadership & Management.
Here is an advert for a new post at BCA, which communicates our journey and the result of some exciting and innovative work.
The advert is due to go live in the coming days.
Here it is…
- Reading Buddy: volunteer members of staff (mainly non-classroom facing support staff) who listen to students read on a daily basis.
- Accelerated Reader: this was implemented at the academy 18 months ago and has become a vital element of the improvement journey. Whilst it is not necessary for applicants to have worked with the Accelerated Reader scheme, it is important to understand that this feature must be retained and further developed.
- LEAP: All lessons at BCA follow the LEAP framework, where L represents Language for Learning, with all teachers understanding that they are expected to develop the listening, speaking, reading and writing skills of students as part of their responsibility (E = Engagement, A = Assessment, P = Progress)
- Reading / Literacy lessons: these are on the timetables of all KS3 students with some taking place in the area currently known as the Library
- Public Speaking: this is an area that we are working hard to develop at the academy with written and spoken performances playing an increasing role in academy life.
- Modelling of effective SPAG through ‘feedback stickers’ used as the main form of written feedback and reporting to students
- Transform the room currently known as the Library into a new space with a new name which will be the hub of all L4L4L activities, radiating practice into all curriculum areas and academy life.
- We envisage zones within the L4L4L space (we don’t have a name for it yet, we just know we are not planning to call it a Library!) for students to develop their listening, speaking, reading and writing and we need an imaginative persons who can inject personality and zest into each area so that students catch their passion and develop their own love of each pursuit.
- We desire multiple opportunities for students to engage in public events to compete within each discipline (spelling bees, speaking competitions, poetry performances, etc within and beyond the academy)
- We are excited about all aspects of language and literature becoming a feature of this emerging academy, led by a magnetic individual who will be committed to raising standards of ‘literacy’ across the academy.
- We require commitment to the aims of the academy and expect teamwork from all staff. The Leader of Language for Learning for Life will work closely, but not exclusively, with the Leader of English to ensure practices are consistent and appropriate to the curriculum and to develop ‘literacy’ lessons where appropriate.
- We believe that the right person will arrive with many ideas of their own, in addition to thoughts that germinate through engagement in programmes such as those run by the National Literacy Trust (eg http://www.literacytrust.org.uk/conferences_training/training/outstanding_literacy_leadership/literacy_across_the_curriculum) so that this area, and wider academy strategy continues to embed without limit.