Leeds East Academy



Leeds East Academy is committed to delivering a vibrant and engaging curriculum which produces the highest possible outcomes for each and every child. 

“Students should be taught in all subjects to express themselves correctly and appropriately and to read accurately and with understanding.” QCA Use of Language Across the Curriculum.

“We know that poor literacy blights life chances. We know being able to read, write and speak with confidence and accuracy opens doors otherwise barred and bolted… In the vast majority of lessons, pupils are asked to read stud and then write it down. Even in those where printed material and pens are seldom seen, there is almost always a requirement that pupils listen, if not speak. Without this, the gap between the haves and have-nots will only get wider.” David Didau, The Secret of Literacy.


The purpose of this Literacy Strategy is to further develop literacy skills through their application in all areas of the curriculum in order to promote better learning and raise standards.

Literacy underpins the school curriculum by developing learners’ abilities to speak, listen, and communicate, to think, explore, and organise. This includes helping learners to express themselves verbally and in writing.

Literacy Strategy 2018-19


Key Documents

High 5 Literacy Strategy 2018-19
S.H.A.P.E poster
Catch-Up Funding programme 
Home Learning Strategy 
One Minute Guide to Literacy

 Events and Competitions

 Leeds Book Awards

Members of the Library Readers Group will travel to Leeds Civic Hall on Thursday 16th May to participate in the Leeds Book Awards ceremony.

Leeds Book Awards is a successful citywide initiative run jointly between Leeds School Library Service and Leeds Public Libraries, with the aim of encouraging young people across Leeds to share in reading for pleasure. It also provides them with the opportunity to engage with and meet contemporary authors.

The group have been reading and discussing the titles from the shortlisted 11-14 category and posting their reviews online before casting their individual vote.

Check out details of the event and read the current reviews at www.leedsbookawards.co.uk 

All of the featured books are available for loan from the school library.

Writing Competition

Each term, at Leeds East Academy, we hold a literacy based competition. At Christmas, the first of our competitions was a creative writing task. Many of the students worked extremely hard on their entries and the winner was Year 7- Jessica. Miss Wood, who judged the competition, said, “Jessica has a fantastic imagination and this really shone through in her entry. Well done Jessica!”

Speakers Trust Workshop

25 of our Year 10 students were invited to take part in a workshop to develop their confidence and oracy skills. The students spent the day taking part in a variety of activities with a trainer from ‘Speak Out’.

The aim of the day was to improve students’ confidence and by 3:30pm, all of the students had proudly spoken about a topic they are passionate about in front of their peers.

Poetry Slam Workshop

Year 8 took part in a Poetry Slam Workshop on 19th November run by performance poet Andy Craven-Griffiths. Over 20,000 young people have benefitted from Andy's workshops since he began running them in 2007. As a poet, he has performed live on stage for Glastonbury and Latitude, with broadcast readings for BBC Radio and Television. Printed work also includes poetry journals such as Magma and Ambit.

Andy performed a sample of his own work before delivering a session on understanding and utilising language variation. Students then had the opportunity to develop and perform their own piece of spoken poetry under the guidance of Andy and the English team.

The event was both fun and exciting with many students enthused to perform spoken poetry for the first time before a captive audience.

Literacy Top Tip

Each week a literacy top tip is sent to all staff. The aim of this is to refresh everyone’s memories of literacy rules but most importantly make the students aware of this and make it a clear focus in their writing.

Termly Action Timeline

Term 1: Focus on oracy and implementing the High Five Literacy Strategy and S.H.A.P.E.

High five literacy mat will be prominently displayed in every classroom. Students will be encouraged to proof read, check their own and other’s work using the literacy mat and literacy codes will be displayed in every classroom.

S.H.A.P.E is a strategy used across the academy to develop oracy. It includes: Speaking using full sentences; hands away from their face whilst speaking; articulating their ideas; projecting their voices and keeping eye contact.

Term 2: Focus on reading and fostering a love of reading across the academy. Many events and competitions will be taking place across the academy. Year 8 are a part of a project that is aimed at improving reading and comprehension. The students complete R.I.C. tasks in both English and Maths and their progress is tracked through online reading tests. 

Term 3: Focus on literacy in written work across the Academy.

Red Hot Challenge

Rationale and Ethos

Red Hot Challenge is a new, whole school initiative that aims to develop and challenge learners further. The rationale behind Red Hot Challenge is that it is a task that will develop skills or knowledge required for the grade or band above the highest level student within the class (priority 4 – preparing for exam success.

For Example: If the highest level learner is working at a grade 5, then the Red Hot Challenge should develop skills needed to gain or work towards a grade 6.

Red Hot Challenge must;

  • be visually signposted using the corporate logo, so that it is recognisable and clear for all learners.
  • be a feature of all lessons, however the activity can be varied, but still strongly linked to exam skills with the aim of stretching and challenging students outside of their comfort zone.
  • be extra challenging so that the teacher is constantly stretching and moving students on.
  • be well linked to the exam skill that the lesson is focusing on and developing.
  • be personalised to the level of the class, to ensure it relevant to the grade that the learners are currently working at.

We are a Reading Academy

At Leeds East Academy we think that reading, and in particular reading for pleasure, is one of the most important factors in allowing children to reach their full potential. A love of literature and a genuine desire to read opens doors to students that remain closed for reluctant readers, no matter how strong their ability. In order to support the drive to engage students with reading for enjoyment, the academy offers a range of activities and experiences linked to reading for pleasure. 

The school celebrates National Poetry Day each year with a variety of poems shared in English lessons and during students’ coaching sessions. This allows students to really appreciate poetry and the importance of reading for pleasure.

The school also celebrates World Book Day each year. During this event, the librarian, Mrs Dingwall, organises various competitions across the academy, which include a quiz that takes place during coaching sessions in which students identify various books and authors based on images and questions. The Academy staff also dress up as book characters during this event and students find enjoyment in guessing which character staff are dressed as.

Roald Dahl Day was another event celebrated across the Academy this year to commemorate the life and works of the famous author. Students had the opportunity to take part in quizzes and read various excerpts from Roald Dahl’s most famous books during their coaching sessions. In addition, we voted for our favourite Roald Dahl book as a school and a display was made to reflect this in the school’s library.

The English department also welcomes visiting authors into the academy to work with students of all ages and abilities on reading and creative writing skills. In particular, we have been working with the First Story project. Our resident writer, Sarah Bradley, visits the Academy every Thursday to deliver workshops to a selection of Year 9 and 10 students. This project has helped students to develop and gain confidence in their reading and writing skills. At the end of the course, students also have the opportunity to have their work published in the First Story Anthology. As part of this project, students recently took part in The Young Writers’ Festival at Lady Margaret Hall, at The University of Oxford where they took part in various writing workshops and had the chance to meet authors such as Juno Dawson and Anthony Mc Gowan. Students also had the opportunity to purchase books and have these signed by the authors themselves.

Of course, a love of reading is also fostered within the library with all students in Years 7 and 8 taking part in weekly Reading lessons as an addition to their traditional classes. Students in Years 7 and 8 all take part in the Renaissance Reading Accelerated Reader programme which tests students’ comprehension of books they have read and suggests novels that will both entertain and challenge them. In addition to taking part in a shared reading of an audiobook linked to their specific ability level.

All students have access to the well-resourced Library, which is at the centre of reading in the academy. All students are encouraged to have a reading book and weekly reading sessions are held during coaching sessions. The librarian, Mrs Dingwall, organises a number of events to raise reading enjoyment throughout the year. All year 7 participate in Bookbuzz: a reading scheme from Book Trust. Students choose their own book to keep from a list of 17 titles suitable for 11 - 13-year-olds and selected by a panel of experts. Library Reader Groups participate in the Leeds Book Awards by reading the six short-listed titles; posting reviews on the official website and attending the prize-winning ceremony at Leeds Town Hall where they meet and interview the authors. The British Comic Awards is also a hugely popular event and our librarian and students have worked with many of the previous Award winners. Last year students were thrilled to work with acclaimed Comic-writers Dan White & Craig Conlan. This year our Y10 students will be actively involved in presenting the British Comic Awards at Leeds Civic Hall. LEA were also proud to win the WRAT Poetry Slam for a second year running. A competition organised by Mrs Dingwall across all 3 Academies consisting of two days working with BBC3 writer and performer Andy Craven-Griffiths culminating in a final showcase which is broadcast live on local radio-station Chapel FM.

For those students who need extra support in reading we use the Read Write Inc programme, which is aimed at helping students to develop the phonics skills they need to become fluent readers and writers. Students who need it, also gain extra support through our Catch Up Literacy programme, which develops their comprehension skills and understanding of the text they have read. Specifically, for students with dyslexic tendencies, we use several ICT based interventions: Lexia and Units of Sound which can be accessed in afterschool sessions, break time and lunchtime.