Literacy and Numeracy
“Literacy is … the road to human progress and the means through which every man, woman and child can realize his or her full potential”
At Oulton Academy we believe that without strong literacy skills students will not be able to demonstrate their potential. Our key stage 3 curriculum has a strong focus on developing literacy skills. All students in year 7-9 have one lesson per week focussed on developing their love of reading. To ensure that students are accessing books of the correct level of challenge we use the accelerated reader program.
Our academy’ library is viewed as a learning resource centre. Our full time, specialist librarian ensures our library is a vibrant, welcoming space with well stocked shelves, computer access and a quiet place to study. Across each term our library runs exciting promotions and seasonal events to share the joy of reading and advertise what’s new.
A variety of different reading programmes operate within our academy to support our students’ love of reading and reading fluency. We provide a phased approach to reading that encourages reading at every level. Fresh Start phonics programmes support emergent readers alongside Lexia a comprehensive computer based and personalised reading programme, specifically designed for Year 7 onwards.
Students are supported to increase their automatic word recognition by reinforcing phonic elements and sound/symbol relationships. Intervention activities provide extensive practice in everything from basic phonological awareness to advanced word-attack strategies, as well as vocabulary development based on Greek and Latin word roots.
Whilst Accelerated Reader aims to develop a lifelong love of reading, motivate students to read more challenging books and most importantly raise literacy standards for students of all ages and abilities which will benefit them not only in English but also across our curriculum. With a greater emphasis on literacy across all subjects, Accelerated Reader is a vital part of our curriculum to develop not only reading skills but also students’ range of vocabulary and comprehension skills.
Our departments focus the importance of subject vocabulary within their delivery to develop content knowledge and aid reading in lessons. Our academy provides opportunities to encourage older students to read with younger students and to provide opportunities to discuss what they are reading. In class, our teaching and learning strategies encourage students to read and understand technical information. We ask parents to encourage their child to read at home.
Our aim is that by the end of year 9 all students have the literacy skills they need to succeed at Key Stage 4. Where students need additional support, this is provided on a bespoke basis.
“Numeracy is…a basic requirement for intelligent discussion”
Oulton Academy is committed to raising the standards of numeracy of all our students, so they develop the ability to use numeracy skills effectively in all areas of the curriculum and the skills necessary to cope confidently with the demands of further education, employment and adult life.
We believe that a solid grounding in numeracy skills forms a key part of student success. As well as building these skills in maths lessons students reinforce them across the curriculum. At Oulton Academy we appreciate the importance of numeracy across the curriculum and aim to develop in students a fluency of their numeracy skills which they will need to successfully access other subject areas.
The transfer of numeracy skills is something many pupils find difficult. It is essential to start from the basis that pupils realise it is the same skill that is being used; sometimes approaches in subjects differ so much that those basic connections are not made. By making subject areas more aware of the underlying maths skills needed and the approaches that go with the applications students use we can improve numeracy not just in maths but across the entire range of subjects.
We want our students to have the confidence and competence to use numbers and think mathematically in everyday life. When solving a problem, we want them to be able to make estimates, identify possibilities, weigh up different options, and choose the correct mathematical approach. When handling data, we want them to understand the ways in which data is gathered by counting and measuring, and how the data can be presented in graphs, diagrams, charts and tables. We want our students to have the necessary numeracy skills to handle money, finances, budgets, timetables and bills when they leave school.
Oulton Academy is committed to raising the standards of numeracy of all students, so that they develop the ability to use numeracy skills effectively in all areas of the curriculum and develop the skills necessary to cope confidently with the demands of further education, employment and adult life.
Strategies for Developing Pupils’ Numeracy Skills
- Work closely with feeder primary schools to develop consistent methods and approaches so that pupils arrive fully equipped for advancing their numeracy at Oulton Academy.
- Develop agreed methods for teaching core mathematical concepts and processes so that all Maths teachers at Oulton Academy give consistent messages which are then reinforced in other subject areas.
- Work closely with the STEM subjects as well as Geography and PE to embed and raise the profile of Mathematics across the curriculum.
- Build cross-curricular projects and lessons with STEM subjects so that pupils experience the importance of numeracy in other subjects.
- Build in memorable, exciting and rich Numeracy across the curriculum and STEM experiences to boost engagement and raise the aspirations of our students while developing their functional mathematics skills and widening their knowledge of STEM careers.
- Promote the use of problem solving within lessons to deepen and broaden numeracy skills in a range of contexts.
- Apply a consistent approach to problem solving in all subjects across the curriculum.
- Promote a positive and consistent approach to Mathematics, number and problem solving.
Mathematical opportunities across the curriculum and further details of our Numeracy work at Oulton Academy can be found on the Oulton Academy Numeracy Guide.