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Literacy policy

Adopted: April 2018


At Cromer Academy, we recognise that literacy skills are essential not only for young people to reach their potential in school, but to realise opportunities throughout life. Therefore, we are committed to ensuring that every student possesses excellent skills in reading, writing, speaking, and listening.

This literacy policy has been created in response to the recent changes in the literacy landscape:

  • The national curriculum framework for English schools for Key Stages 1-4 (2014) emphasises that "teachers should develop students’ spoken language, reading, writing, and vocabulary as integral aspects of the teaching of every subject".
  • The framework also emphasises that "students should develop the stamina and skills to write at length, with accurate spelling and punctuation. They should be taught the correct use of grammar. They should build on what they have been taught to expand the range of their writing and the variety of the grammar they use."
  • The reformed (9-1) GCSEs place higher expectations on students' vocabulary, ability to comprehend and interpret extended instructions, questions and source material, and place greater emphasis on the quality of students' SPAG.
  • The most recent Ofsted inspection framework (September 2015) continues to place great importance on literacy, which it takes to be "the key skills of reading, writing and oral communication that enable students to access different areas of the curriculum". Ofsted will examine and evaluate evidence of "the impact of the teaching of literacy and the outcomes across the range of the school’s provision".
  • The Teachers’ Standards (2012) require all teachers to "demonstrate an understanding of and take responsibility for promoting high standards of literacy, articulacy and the correct use of standard English".

All teaching and support staff at Cromer Academy are teachers of literacy, regardless of their specialism, and should use the appropriate data (KS2 NC test levels for reading and writing, spelling ages and reading ages) to gain an awareness of any literacy barriers students may experience.


Our belief is that the successful outcomes of this policy should be:

  • That all students have developed the range of literacy skills necessary for them to achieve their ambitions and potential.
  • That all students are competent readers, writers, and communicators when they leave Cromer Academy.
  • That there is no significant variance in the progress that different groups of students make in acquiring and mastering literacy skills.
  • That all members of the Cromer Academy community are united in their recognition of the vital importance of being literate.
  • That all staff and parents actively promote the development of strong literacy skills in our students.
  • That Cromer Academy has developed a culture that loves and values reading, writing, and speaking aloud.
  • That Cromer Academy has an accurate and rigorous understanding of the literacy skills of our students and is relentless in continuing to develop them further.

Monitoring and review

The implementation and success of the policy will be monitored and reviewed by:

  • Student surveys to be conducted in line with the current monitoring process.
  • Work scrutiny to be conducted in line with current monitoring process.
  • Departmental reviews and self-evaluation to be conducted in line with current monitoring process.
  • KS3/KS4 English examination results data will be analysed by head of English and lead teacher for literacy and areas for development identified to inform the following year’s literacy foci.
  • Use of progress tests for literacy, baselined against prior attainment and CAT data, three times across KS3.
  • KS4 examination data for questions which include literacy marks will be analysed by relevant curriculum leaders.

Roles and responsibilities

Lead teacher for literacy

  • Contribute towards the development of a whole-school vision for literacy.
  • Take a lead in ensuring that regular and effective whole-school training in the teaching of literacy takes place as part of the CPD programme.
  • Take a lead in championing literacy across the school community, and ensure the area has a positive profile with students, staff, and parents.
  • Support SLT in auditing the provision for literacy across all curriculum areas.
  • Support SLT in evaluating the effectiveness of literacy provision across the school and development planning in response.
  • Support SLT in ensuring that marking and feedback is used effectively to support the development of literacy skills across all subjects.
  • Arrange a calendar of literacy-focused events including author visits and competitions to motivate and inspire students, enriching the provision available to them.
  • Co-ordinate and offer advice on approaches to reading across subjects and through form time and enrichment.
  • Liaise with outside agencies to enhance literacy provision within the school.
  • Liaise with the school librarian to ensure their work supports the provision for literacy across the school, including the running of reading groups and book boxes.
  • Ensure there are strong links with the feeder schools to provide continuity in reading and literacy.
  • Coordinate a reading-focused transition unit with the feeder schools.
  • Work with the head of English to develop a literacy intervention programme to be delivered to students dis-applied from MFL (in Years 7-9 from 2016, Years 7-11 by 2018).
  • Work with the head of English and SENCO to analyse data from GL and progress tests at key stage to identify areas of student strength and weakness, and to target intervention.

Vice principal (teaching, learning, and curriculum)

  • Work with the lead teacher for literacy to develop and communicate a vision for literacy across the school.
  • Work with the lead teacher for literacy to audit and evaluate provision across the curriculum.
  • Work with the lead teacher for literacy to produce a development plan for provision across the school.
  • Work with the lead teacher for literacy to develop and deliver high-quality CPD that responds to the professional needs of staff.
  • Ensure that staff are using marking and feedback effectively to support the development of literacy skills across the school.
  • Ensure that staff are compliant and consistent in their use of literacy strategies across the school.
  • Line manage the lead teacher for literacy to support and quality assure their practice.

Heads of department

  • Ensure that provision for literacy is embedded in schemes of work and lesson planning.
  • Ensure that provision for literacy is incorporated into departmental development planning.
  • Ensure that provision for literacy is incorporated into departmental self-evaluation, and that the impact of provision is evaluated as part of learning walks, student surveys, and book scrutiny.
  • Be aware of curriculum and assessment requirements in their subject area, demonstrating an understanding of how literacy skills contribute.
  • Analyse student performance data and use it to identify students for whom literacy is a barrier.

All teaching and support staff

  • Promote reading for enjoyment and wider reading by displaying and discussing personal and subject-specific reading material, and be a reading advocate by modelling reading during form time reading sessions, which will take place weekly.
  • Develop opportunities to integrate reading (including reading aloud) into the taught curriculum and homework.
  • Model effective writing strategies, and provide scaffolding and writing frames where appropriate to support the development of independent extended writing skills.
  • Ensure that extended writing is marked regularly, in line with the school marking and assessment policy, providing specific feedback on the standard of literacy.
  • Ensure that students are given meaningful, extended opportunities to act on literacy feedback in purple pen. This should include identifying and correcting errors, as well as practicing the corrections of misspelled words.
  • Ensure that literacy feedback is provided sensitively and constructively. No more than five errors should be identified per page so that students are not overwhelmed or demoralised by their feedback.

SEN department

  • Identify the least able students in Years 7, 8 and 9 (those with reading ages which prevent them from accessing the national curriculum) and provide a daily literacy intervention session.
  • Test any student arriving at Cromer Academy after the start of Year 7 to establish reading and spelling ages; provide intervention if appropriate.
  • Identify students with low spelling ages and offer intervention using programmes such as Lexia, Word Wasp, Sounds Discovery, Spelling Mastery, Nessy, and Word Shark as appropriate to the individual student.
  • Identify students with poor handwriting and provide handwriting support.
  • Ensure all staff are aware of this group of students and provide guidance to departments in supporting them.