We have identified three literacy foci that we believe are important to improve scholars’ reading and writing skills. These strategies will initially be taught in English lessons, but we recognise that they will have a higher impact on scholar progress if they are reinforced across the curriculum. These strategies are to be used to support the literacy of all Year 7 and Year 8 scholars.

Marking for Literacy

Scholars will receive grammar instruction in English lessons. However, scholars often fail to recognise the importance of maintaining good writing skills outside of English lessons. Therefore, we have designed a marking for literacy component for the whole school literacy strategy. Staff across the curriculum must set and mark at least three pieces of extended writing per year.

Vocabulary Instruction

Many of our scholars have weak vocabularies when they come to Ark All Saints Academy. To address this, we have devised a system for developing scholars’ vocabularies in lessons other than English. We have selected 20 words that teachers across the curriculum will teach to their scholars. Each subject teaches three of these words over the course of the academic year. The words have been chosen because they can be used in any subject, but some subjects may have preferences (e.g. Maths may wish to teach the word ‘calculate’ because of its relevance and regular use in maths lessons). All scholars receive instruction in all 20 of these words.

Summary Writing

Summary writing is an extremely useful skill and is becoming more important for the new GCSE English specification. Scholars in Year 7 will be taught how to write a summary in English lessons early on in September. They will be told three strategies for summarising, which have been personified into the cartoon character ‘Summary Man’. To reinforce this skill, teachers of all subjects ask scholars to write summaries.

Summary Man

Meet Summary Man. The world’s bravest, most efficient superhero.   

He doesn’t waste time  when he’s writing. He chooses his words carefully.

After all, Summary Man is very busy saving the world! If he wrote pages and pages of writing, he’d never get anything done!

Summary Man has three superhero super powers that help him save words AND the world:  
  1. Highlight the most important words.
  2. Remove or replace words or phrases to make sentences shorter.
  3. Use general terms instead of lists.