Improving literacy in students has always been a key aim in education and something that is prioritised in primary schools. The focus in secondary schools
of continuing to develop literacy has historically rested in English departments and with literacy co-ordinators. Although many other teachers would
recognise the importance of literacy, its teaching in other subject areas can be variable. Over the last 5 years Macmillan Academy has tried to improve the
literacy levels of students, particularly since the introduction of exam reforms in 2017, which have increased the rigour of the process and made high
levels of literacy ever so important for being able to access the curriculum at all key stages.
Vocabulary has been a key focus of curriculum design and there has been a whole school approach to teaching new vocabulary. Key vocabulary is being built
into lessons to encourage students to use them in their written and oral answers. Staff encourage academic talk in their lessons and ask students to say
their answers again but better, if they are not appropriately academic in tone. There is also a word of the week shared in tutorial so that tier 2
vocabulary is taught across the academy. Furthermore, we use the Frayer model to teach new vocabulary school-wide.
We are successfully trying to develop 'reading for pleasure' amongst all of our young people. There is a young librarians scheme, regular competitions
in the library and book reviews highlighted in assemblies, broadcasts and social media. In addition, we have recently introduced tutor-led reading in
years 7-10. Within tutorial, once a week, a tutor led reading session will take place (please see the tutor-led reading section on the site). Students will
be given a 'class read', which is a carefully selected book to share and discuss together with the aim of encouraging and improving reading and raising
the profile of reading for pleasure. Students will engage with the text by using the reciprocal reading technique (our whole school reading strategy).
The texts will be no more than 5 hours to read. A full list of our texts can also be found in the tutor-led reading section.
Alongside 'reading for pleasure', within the curriculum there is a focus on ensuring that students have access to quality texts. All of our teaching is
linked to an academic piece of reading. This may be a short article, journal, extract from a book etc. The aim of this is to allow students to engage
with high quality texts, as well as exposing them to different vocabulary.
Additionally, all students in Year 7 have English library lessons whereby they read an appropriate reading level book and complete accelerated reader tasks.
Students continue with the Accelerated Reader programme into Year 8, with plans for this to be extended to Year 9.
To support our weakest readers we have a robust reading intervention programme led by our KS3 English Intervention Lead. Students in Years 7 to 9 work in
small intervention groups and develop their phonics or take part in accelerated reading to ensure they develop their fluency. As well as a wide range of
other tailored intervention programmes. Moreover, our SENDCO works with teachers to ensure students receive targeted help they need in lessons.