Literacy at Ark William Parker begins in the English classroom but we recognise that we will have a higher impact on student progress if these skills are reinforced across the curriculum therefore literacy at Ark William Parker has been developed around these three key areas:

  • Ark William Parker’s Literacy Curriculum
  • Whole school literacy

Ark William Parker’s Literacy Curriculum

At Ark William Parker we are committed to closing the reading age gap by the end of Year 8 and therefore have a programme devised for students joining us with a less than chronological reading age.

Any student joining the Academy in KS3, with a less than chronological reading age, will enter into our literacy curriculum. This includes timetabled lessons, run by literacy specialists, that are designed to catch students up to not only a chronological reading age but also to provide them with a skill set that will enable them to be successful in their KS4 pathways and beyond.

McGraw Hill SRA is the reading programme used in Year 7. It is designed to teach children to read with greater confidence and fluency. It uses a phonic approach and is aimed at children, aged 9-13, who are below expected standards in reading and writing. Scholars are taught in smaller groups allowing for more one-to-one tutoring to guarantee progress and ensure that no student is left behind.

  • Gets students reading and writing fluently in 33 weeks
  • Uses rigorous assessment so every child is taught at the right level
  • Embeds all learning through partner practice

Following Year 7’s Fresh Start Programme, we also follow McGraw Hill’s SRA Corrective Reading programme in Years 8 and 9. This focuses around the acquisition of multisyllabic words and comprehension. The Literacy Curriculum at Ark William Parker looks to reinforce each of Ark’s six pillars, specifically depth before breadth, so that each student at AWP can tackle our challenging curriculum with confidence.

Precision Intervention

In addition to the timetabled lessons here at Ark William Parker we also use Precision Teaching. This is a teaching method used to accelerate progress particularly in word reading and spelling skills (although it is also used to increase children's proficiency in number facts).

Precision Teaching is very effective for children struggling to acquire automatic skills in learning letter sounds, recognising whole words and spelling. The principles of Precision Teaching match the good teaching principles recommended in Sir Jim Rose's report of June, 2009 Identifying and Teaching Children and Young People with Dyslexia and Literacy Difficulties.

It is a model centred around short, sharp withdrawal that does not detract from the core learning of a subject. We use it with all students who have a reading age close to their chronological age but have been identified as needing some support in their accuracy when writing.

Whole school literacy

We have also identified three literacy foci that we believe are important to improve students’ reading and writing skills. These strategies will initially be taught in English lessons, but we also expect that these key areas feature in all lessons across the subject range to reinforce the need to develop transferrable skills in and around literacy. These strategies are to be used to support the literacy of all KS3 students.

Marking for Literacy

As a Mastery school Students will receive grammar instruction in English lessons. We have also 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.