Literacy and Numeracy are fundamental to our ethos at Melior Academy. We aim to ‘Change lives through belief and collaboration, with a constant focus on literacy and numeracy’.
Every child at Melior Academy has access to Hegarty Maths, an online programme, on which students are set specific tasks to complete every week for home learning. In addition, Hegarty Maths can be used by any student at any point in time to support with areas of mathematical weakness. After school enrichment sessions are available for any students who cannot access this provision at home.
As an academy we run variety of numeracy tasks run weekly during tutor time and hold numeracy-based events and assemblies during certain weeks of the year.
For those students who fall behind in their age-related expectations in mathematics there are several support mechanisms in place including numeracy catch up tutor groups and small group tuition during maths lessons.
“The limits of my language mean the limits of my world” Ludwig Wittgenstein
Reading gives insights into the world, and into ourselves. Reading isn’t just decoding texts. Effective readers use a range of reading strategies. The gap between the word-rich and word-poor begins to widen long before the pupils reach us in secondary schools. Teachers must actively teach reading, demonstrating and instructing pupils, across all curriculum areas. Each subject area and each teacher has a responsibility for the literacy of students in three key areas: speaking and listening; writing; and reading. Unless we deliberately teach these skills, the gap will continue to get wider, especially when there is research suggesting that 30% of households in England have 3 or fewer books.
Improvements in reading at Melior Community Academy are being developed through the use of systems such as Accelerated Reader. Accelerated Reader (AR) is a reading management and monitoring programme that aims to foster independent reading. The internet-based software assesses reading age, and suggests books that match pupils’ needs and interests. Pupils take computerised quizzes on the books and earn AR points as they progress. Delta Academies Trust have also invested in GL assessments for all Year 7 and Year 8 students to be assessed to analyse reading ability.
Whole school provision includes the Word of the Week where pupils are encouraged to know the meaning and how the root word can link to others, helping to increase the vocabulary of all pupils. Also, there is a termly focus on accuracy within their writing. All tutor groups take part in a silent reading one a week where they can read a book of their choice or from our school library or do some paired reading with each other in tutor time
Finally, the whole English curriculum is underpinned by the theories of Reading Reconsidered by Doug Lemov. This theory ensures that pupils are reading challenging texts and focusses on a close reading of these texts. This then leads to an understanding of the precise meaning of the text. The texts we study include: ‘Private Peaceful’ by Michael Morpurgo, ‘Boy’ by Roald Dahl, ‘Animal Farm’ by George Orwell, ‘Adrian Mole’ by Sue Townsend and ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens.