Fluency and Literacy

 

Our vision for the curriculum clearly identifies that first and foremost, we must develop students’ fluency in literacy, and prioritise removing any literacy barriers so that students can access, enjoy, and achieve their full potential at Eaton Bank Academy. Our vision is defined by the following:

1: Prioritise ‘disciplinary literacy’ across the curriculum.

2: Provide targeted vocabulary instruction in every subject.

3: Develop students’ ability to read complex academic texts.

4: Break down complex writing tasks.

5: Combine writing instruction with reading in every subject.

6: Provide opportunities for structured talk.

7: Provide high quality literacy interventions for struggling students.

8: Provide boundless opportunities for developing students’ fluency for pleasure.

 

Strategies for Fluency

Core Time Fluency

Every day, students make use of the recently extended Core Time to develop their Fluency. Throughout the week, Key Stage 3 Core Time has the following focus:

  • Assembly: starting with a book recommendation made by the speaker.
  • Powerful Words: a programme which explicitly teaches two academic words each week to develop students’ vocabulary.
  • Numeracy Ninjas: a numeracy programme which targets the skills that are key pre-requisites for success in secondary Mathematics.
  • Spellings – each week, students learn and practice using 10 commonly misspelt words.
  • Topical Talk – a programme that provides students with the opportunity to engage with current affairs and have high quality discussions.

 

An example from the Powerful Words booklet.

 

An example of Core time spellings, where students focus on a key phonic sound, prefix or suffix.

 

An example from the Numeracy Ninjas tasks.

 

Targeted Intervention Support

Students in Years 7 and 8 who are identified as requiring bespoke support (from reading age and assessment data) receive targeted support in small groups, covering a wide range of literacy areas. This includes; phonics, reading fluency, comprehension and spelling. Fresh Start Phonics is used as the method within these small group sessions.

 

Fluency Champions – Disciplinary Literacy

Within each faculty there is a designated Fluency Champion to promote fluency across the school. They support the development of ‘disciplinary literacy’ and share with others any specific strategies that have been effective in their subjects. So far this year, they have also generated six Key Words for each year group which are displayed in classrooms and highlighted in lessons. They are also in the process of creating a recommended reading list for each subject.

 

Book Buzz

As part of a national reading programme, organised by the Literacy Trust, all students in Years 7 and 8 receive a book of their choice to inspire a love of reading and celebrate the power of book ownership.

 

Reading Challenge

Linked to the school’s reward system, each student participates in a Reading Challenge where reading for pleasure is encouraged and celebrated. Rewards are given for the successful reading of one, three and five books, with all staff encouraged to have conservations about reading and the joy it brings.

 

Sixth Form Paired Reading

Students in Year 7 who need extra support with their reading are assigned a Sixth Form reading buddy, who supports them with reading one morning a week.

 

Accessing Books

Our library is at the heart of the school and central to fluency at Eaton Bank Academy. It is an outstanding resource where students can borrow a wide range of reading material that is continuously updated or find a space to work and read.  We welcome requests and suggestions from parents, carers and students.

 

What can I do to support?

  1. Have a range of books at home (just having books around your house has a massive impact). Encourage your child to read every day at home, and to visit the library at school or your local library. It is suggested that students should read for at least 30 minutes each day to truly develop their skills.
  2. Each faculty has created a suggested reading list for each year group to encourage students to read further around their subjects. The list is made up of fiction books, non-fiction books, articles, blogs and e-books and is linked to the curriculum and in-class learning.
  3. Talk to your child about what they have read recently.
  4. Be a literacy role model by reading something yourself!
  5. Encourage your child to check their written work for errors. Sometimes, this can simply be a case of reading their work aloud to you or to themselves. This can often encourage students to see their own errors.
  6. Read the news together at least twice a week and discuss current events.