Since January 2012 Harris Academy Merton has increased its focus on and raised the awareness of Literacy across the curriculum. This has led to the inclusion of the above branding, along with a Literacy activity in every lesson for every subject.

Each student from year 7 up to year 11 will be tested for their Reading and Spelling Age in the first couple of weeks and will be tested again later in the year to assess progress.

We have established a Parents Reading Group, run by Miss Brown, who meets up with a group of parents once a month to discuss that month’s chosen book. Miss Brown also ran the Literacy Leaders Project, where Year 9 students helped Year 7’s to improve their literacy skills both inside the Academy, which took the form of paired reading and outside, as you will see below.

However, Literacy is not confined to the classroom. There have been a variety of whole school events including poetry competitions, a Spelling Bee and an Evening Standard World Record Breaking “Read”, which led to the Academy’s name being added to the Guinness Book of World Records.

The culmination of our efforts was Literacy Week in March. Below is a brief description some of the many activities and photos of the students who took part.


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 Gracem, Year 9, B2

Jude Sterling-Ampoma, Year 8, G4

Abdirahman Adan, 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.


Michael Williams

Cross Curricular Strand Leader for Literacy


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