Why Literacy?


Here at Birches Head Academy we are always aspiring to be more! We want to unlock the individual potential of all our pupils. To do this, we understand the importance of high-level literacy skills. Furthermore, you will find a vast range of resources and useful tips to develop your child’s literacy skills such as igniting a love of reading, learning engaging listening skills and finding ways to support with speech! You will also find brand new literacy mats that the fabulous teachers here at Birches Head Academy, have created to support pupils in their learning.



We are fortunate enough to be able to offer an extensive selection of reading books from our amazing library. We also promote a love of reading through our Whole School Reads initiative. However, there are some fantastic things you can be doing at home to continue this love for reading such as:

  • Modelling reading to your children.
  • Recommending books that you enjoyed reading.
  • Giving books as gifts (you could use our KS3 recommended reading list).
  • Discussing what was enjoyable about the book.
  • Ask your child to read the local newspapers, news websites and letters from school as they all provide information for life.
  • Ask your child to read aloud or to summarise books in their own words.
  • If sitting down with a book is sometimes overwhelming with your child, try searching for an audiobook instead. You can find audiobooks on audible.co.uk or there are many free audio books on Youtube.

If your child struggles to find books that they are interested in, then you can register with www.lovereading4kids.co.uk. It offers great reading lists and sample book chapters that can be read before purchasing!


All Birches Head Academy pupils in KS3 receive the benefit of oracy lessons. This helps the students with their speaking and listening skills – skills that will help them throughout their lives: in further education, in employment and in relationships.

To support with this learning at home, you could:

  • Talk in detail about their day at school – ask specific questions about their subjects and curriculum. Ask your child to explain subject-related words that they have used.
  • Try to use standard English as much as possible – avoid slang when discussing school topics.
  • Model good listening skills. Try demonstrating that you are really listening to your child through eye contact, nodding and avoiding other distractions while they are talking.
  • Try discussing emotions and feelings with your child. There are some fantastic ideas about how to talk about emotions here: https://www.parentkind.org.uk/blog/8719/Helping-children-develop-emotional-literacy

For more guidance and support, visit: https://noisyclassroom.com/category/keep-kids-talking/ Here, you’ll find lots of games that you can play at home to improve oracy skills.

Ways to read

Click on the links below to view the subject Literacy Mats:

3D Design Literacy Mat

Art Literacy Mat

Computer Science Literacy Mat

Dance Literacy Mat

Drama Literacy Mat

Engineering Literacy Mat

English Literacy Mat

Food Literacy Mat

Geography Literacy Mat

History Literacy Mat

Maths Literacy Mat

Music Literacy Mat

PE Literacy Mat

RE Literacy Mat

Science Literacy Mat

Spanish Literacy Mat

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