Harris Academies
All Academies in our Federation aim to transform the lives of the students they serve by bringing about rapid improvement in examination results, personal development and aspiration.

Central Office

















Literacy and Morning Read

The Morning Read - all students take part in reading daily to share reading the same book, led by a teacher. Those with weaker reading levels are particularly targeted as a form of intervention.

Books v7.11

Building a culture of reading for pleasure at HAF:

  • A well-resourced library
  • Reading Reward systems (Library Ambassadors/Bedrock Brilliance)
  • Post-16 Reading Buddies 
  • Various Competitions and Trips 
  • Books 'n' Bakes Event/ World Book Day
  • Literacy Assemblies

Alongside this very targeted approach to functional literacy, this year will also see a renewed focus on inspiring a reading for pleasure culture at HAF.

Disciplinary literacy is an approach to improving literacy across the curriculum that emphasises the importance of subject specific support. All teachers will be supported to understand how to teach students to read, write and communicate effectively in their subjects.  We have already run training sessions on explicit vocabulary teaching and how this should be adopted to teach the highest leverage tier 2 and 3 words that students are less likely to encounter in everyday language.  


The school’s approach to the use of knowledge organisers to support homework and regular spaced retrieval practice within Do Nows are both useful mechanisms to harness vocabulary acquisition.  The use of Lexia, Bedrock Vocabulary and Switch-on Reading allow targeted students who need additional support in reading to access further explicit vocabulary instruction.


Supporting students to succeed in longer answer examination questions has been a key focus for a number of years at HAF. Visualisers play a vital role for all teachers, with all classrooms equipped with lecterns and visualisers.  Whilst staff surveys have shown that visualisers are predominantly used for the ‘show call’ of student work and live marking, many staff use visualisers to live-model their thought processes when tackling challenging written tasks. Our focus this year will be to develop that practice and further embed the use of visualisers to support our young people’s ability to access complex written tasks.


Within those subject areas for whom the combined teaching of reading and writing is a strength, the following strategies are adopted:

  • Annotating key features of the writing, either conventions of particular forms of writing or where assessment criteria has been met (supported by the visualiser).
  • Creating checklists/success criterion for their own writing, which is then supported with yellow sticker criteria.
  • Anticipating common misconceptions or errors made by previous students and using these to support teaching/purple pen improvements.

The power of explicitly teaching spelling will also support student writing, as it improves writing confidence and accuracy.  

The importance of oracy has been at the heart of our adoption of 'Teach Like a Champion' strategies from the outset. Turn and Talk was one of the first strategies to be adopted, so that both teachers and pupils understood the qualities of accountable, structured talk.