Leeds East Academy

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Literacy

Our unified approach to reading at LEA is: Predict, Read, Summarise when teaching a new text or concept. Opportunities to develop reading will be embedded into a rolling reading hour, known as our Integral Reading session. 

We also ensure opportunities for pupils to read through the following forums:

  • Guardian time reading and vocabulary exploration
  • E1E
  • In curriculum areas to enrich our students with powerful knowledge
  • Through Ambition lessons in English where students visit the library and engage with a range of reading 

While many of our pupils are confident readers, be aware of those who are not. Establish good practice in your classrooms, whereby all pupils are encouraged but not forced to read aloud, in an atmosphere of mutual support. Reluctant readers often want to read aloud but lack the confidence. Establish ‘reading rules’ for your classroom, such as ‘We will all try to improve our reading’ and ‘No one is made to read aloud, but everyone is welcome to.’

Literacy Strategy at LEA

 

Unified Approach to Literacy  

Opportunities for SPAG to: mark for literacy to develop strong proof-readers

Then remove the rest of the section and add: We feel it is important that our students leave LEA with the fundamental basics in literacy and written accuracy. Therefore, we have narrowed our focus in literacy marking to include the following: 

  • Full stops/capital letters 
  • Apostrophes 
  • Tenses 
  • Homophones 
  • Commas 
  • Paragraphs 

These are the fundamental basics of literacy to ensure that our students become accurate, competent and confident writers. It is the expectation that all teachers mark literacy marking should happen alongside general book marking. Where there are common misconceptions and errors, teachers should utilise part of their feedback lessons to re-teach or support students in this area. 

Vocabulary 

At LEA we recognise that pupils are systemically exposed in all subjects on the wider curriculum to vocabulary of a sophistication beyond their chronological reading age. Therefore, the Vocabulary Challenge wall utilises a range of Tier 1 (common, everyday words) Tier 2 (a range of more sophisticated vocabulary from Tier 1) and Tier 3 (conceptual subject-specific academic vocabulary integral to pupils knowing the exam content at KS4) which is interleaved in weekly lesson practice to incorporate both current and prior vocabulary from each HT SOL.

The writing element in the classroom

The Leeds East Academy IMAGINE ISMELL Non-Fiction Writing Strategy is introduced in small stages at KS3 before being further implemented as pupils progress into KS4. At LEA we recognise that pupils will be exposed to a wide variety of contentious and controversial current affair topics and subjects and so with our writing strategy we ensure pupils have a secure plan for any non-fiction scenario through deliberate practice of IMAGINE ISMELL: 

Imagine

Pupils craft the introduction of their formal letter, speech, or newspaper article by using figurative language to create a dystopian, worst-case view of society. This uses three separate Imagine statements that incorporate the use of similes, metaphors, personification, and alliteration.

Individual

Pupils imagine how the question focus would affect themselves son a personal level.

Society

Pupils consider how the question focus will impact on a wider society. In this section pupils will craft rhetorical and persuasive devices.

Moral

Pupils will consider the moral implication of the question focus.

Environment/ Economy

in this section pupils consider the potential negative impact the question focus could have on the environment and/or economy.

Legal

In this section pupils consider the potential legal implications of the question focus.

Link

In this closing section pupils craft three contrasting Imagine statements which use a Utopian, best-case scenario view of society in relation to the question focus.

 

We are a Reading Academy

At Leeds East Academy we think that reading, and in particular reading for pleasure, is one of the most important factors in allowing children to reach their full potential. A love of literature and a genuine desire to read opens doors to students that remain closed for reluctant readers, no matter how strong their ability. In order to support the drive to engage students with reading for enjoyment, the academy offers a range of activities and experiences linked to reading for pleasure. 

The school celebrates National Poetry Day each year with a variety of poems shared in English lessons and during students’ form time sessions. This allows students to really appreciate poetry and the importance of reading for pleasure.

The school also celebrates World Book Day each year. During this event, the librarian, Mrs Dingwall, organises various competitions across the academy, which include a quiz that takes place during coaching sessions in which students identify various books and authors based on images and questions. The Academy staff also dress up as book characters during this event and students find enjoyment in guessing which character staff are dressed as.

Integral Reading (our drop everything and read hour) is a rolling literacy/reading hour that takes place every week in all curriculum areas, bar core PE. This will begin in September from the first week back into full time lessons. The IR cycle will begin during first lesson on Monday morning, and will then roll across the rest of the week. The idea of the whole school ‘dropping everything and read’ is to highlight the importance of reading and add real gravitas to the strategy. 

The rationale behind this is to ensure that students are exposed to a range of texts to build incorporate a number of areas to increase pupil performance and cultural capital through the following areas:

  • Explicit teaching of new vocabulary‚Äč
  • Building background knowledge and cultural capital (as the texts are be based on non-fiction and subject knowledge)
  • Closing the reading age gap (knowledge and reading skills) 

As outlined above, the texts are non-fiction based linking to the schemes of learning of each curriculum area; this ensures that the reading that is taking place is also purposeful and develops pupil’s wider knowledge of the world. The rationale for our non-fiction focus is that vocabulary is particularly important to text comprehension, as children’s books tend to deploy far less common vocabulary than is found in day-to-day speech (Snow et al, 1998; Stanovich, 1993). This in turn prepares students for ‘every day’ texts and reading for further education and every day life skills.  therefore providing:

  • A more purposeful focus for all subjects
  • Opportunities to build reading skills to support life skills and next steps in education; this also allows us to build background knowledge and cultural capital.