In June the Academy’s teachers attended a training event looking at the importance of our literacy to students’ learning across all subjects. From September, the Academy is putting in place a drive to improve the quality of speaking and listening in all lessons. This means that staff will be expecting all students to speak in full, grammatically correct sentences during their lessons, with an emphasis on explaining their ideas clearly. The aim is that by raising expectations, by teaching students to improve their speaking skills and by maintaining a consistent approach, standards will rise quickly. (Link to the PowerPoint we have given students can be found HERE)

The Academy is also looking at ways of improving the way we mark students’ books, in particular giving students time in lessons to respond to our feedback and to act upon the targets they have been set. 

Below is a brief description some of the many activities we have arranged through the Literacy Strand.

Spelling Bee

Spelling Bee

March 12th saw the inaugural HAM Spelling Bee with separate competitions for years 7, 8 and 9.

16 students, watched by their peers, competed on the stage, spelling words of increasing difficulty until just one remained.

The winners, who will all receive £20, a trophy and a certificate, were

Laila, Year 9, B2

Jude, Year 8, G4

Abdirahman, Year 7, Y7A


Breaking a World Record

World Record

On Monday 26th March Harris Academy Merton joined forces with 45 other schools from the Federation and beyond to take part in a World Record Breaking attempt. All Year 7 students stopped their lessons at 10 o’clock and read an extract from Michael Morpurgo’s “Born to Run” and were quizzed by their teachers on what they had just read. The attempt was an over whelming success and we all look forward to seeing our academy in the Guinness Book of World Records.


Literacy Week Holy Trinity Primary School

Literacy Week

On Monday 2nd July a group of 20 students from Trinity Primary school in Wimbledon braved public transport and journeyed to Harris Academy Merton. The idea of the day was to give them a taste of what life at an Outstanding Academy would be like. They enjoyed lessons in Drama and English, around a theme of Shakespeare. At the end of each session they performed a short piece in front of their peers, with some excellent results. The students thoroughly enjoyed themselves and all the teachers commented on the exceptional behaviour and enthusiasm displayed throughout the day.

As a follow up to the visit by Trinity Primary School, four Year 9 students, who have been working as Literacy Leaders helping younger students to improve their literacy skills, went over to Trinity to help out with their Literacy Week. They assisted Year 6s, 3s and 1s in a variety of tasks, including Year 3 reading buddies, a quiz on literature and grammar for Year 6, and developing Mister Men characters with Year 3s. The Literacy Leaders showed great initiative in developing their own resources and positive reinforcement through praise-filled certificates.

Literacy Across the Curriculum - Student Version 2014 PDF

Michael Williams

Cross Curricular Strand Leader for Literacy


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