The Excellence in Literacy Quality Mark
Barlow Hall Primary School were awarded the Quality Mark in July 2015.
The Excellence in Literacy Quality Mark from the International Literacy Centre provides access to evidence-based approaches to the teaching of literacy, literacy intervention, professional development and ways of engaging the whole school community to ensure that every child achieves a literate future.
Five inter-related areas of practice can be developed in partnership with the International Literacy Centre:
Quality Teaching and Learning For All
The aims of this strand are that schools provide carefully matched learning opportunities to ensure that every child is able to engage with the curriculum at the appropriate level and pace. Pupils enjoy learning and are able to articulate and demonstrate their literacy skills across subject areas. A variety of evidence-based teaching methodologies and groupings ensure equity of access. All teachers have consistently high expectations of all pupils. Drawing on excellent subject knowledge, teachers plan astutely and set challenging tasks based on systematic, accurate assessment of pupils’ prior skills, knowledge and understanding. They use well judged and often imaginative teaching strategies that, together with sharply focused and timely support and intervention, match individual needs accurately. All staff work to foster pupils’ love of reading and writing and the school has a strong culture of literacy.
The aim here is that for those pupils/groups identified as falling behind, the schools provide appropriate, evidence-based intervention. The SENCO/Reading Recovery teacher has expertise in and manages a range of proven literacy interventions. There is a clearly stated expectation, owned by all staff, that children receiving intervention will make between two and four times the normal rate of progress. Intervention lessons are high quality, pleasurable experiences for children where self-esteem is raised along with literacy outcomes and pupils are able to apply new knowledge and skills in class lessons.
Progress and Pupil Voice
Member schools should have high aspirations for every child and will not tolerate failure. Most children make age-related progress based on sound methods of teacher assessment. Children who are supported by intervention make accelerated progress – in Reading Recovery this will be four to five times the normal rate and in other interventions, should be at least twice the rate of progress of average children in the class. All staff know about children’s progress and no child slips through the net of support. Most children are reading and writing at age-related expectations at the end of each key stage. The school is confident in making appropriate provision for children who are falling behind based on assessment of their needs and knowledge of evidence-based practice in literacy difficulties. Children can talk about their own literacy learning and how to improve in reading, writing, speaking and listening
School should place a high value on ongoing professional learning, reflective analysis and self-evaluation to develop teacher subject knowledge. A planned professional development programme ensures that all adults understand the core principles of teaching and learning underpinning their work. Theory is linked with practice through ongoing collaborative classroom-based professional development. Adults leading literacy intervention have accessed quality training and receive on-going mentoring. Continuing professional development impacts both teaching and learning.
Parents, Carers and Partnerships
Member schools should aim to work in collaboration with parents and carers as partners in their child’s learning pathway and clearly demonstrate and communicate shared high aspirations for children. Parents and carers feel welcome in the school and know how to approach school staff for information and advice. Parents know learning focuses at each year level and the expected outcomes of any intervention are made clear.The school works with parents and carers to develop an understanding and appreciation of their child’s language and literacy needs, and actively assists the parents’ ability to support their child’s learning. The school also builds effective working partnerships with local and national organisations and with other schools, to enhance or broaden school-based expertise. A goal is to place the school at the centre of the community and to draw on what parents can offer as well as supporting their continued growth in understanding about their children’s learning.
Achieving the Excellence in Literacy quality mark indicates that a school is doing everything possible to facilitate a literate future for every child. The self-evaluation framework seeks to be responsive to the character and individuality of schools in different contexts, whilst illustrating aspects of practice which successful schools