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As you enter our Academy it is evident that Literacy is a high priority focus. In our Reading Mall you are greeted by the bold statements “Love Literacy” and “Read to Succeed.” Literacy at OSSMA pervades the Curriculum. All teachers at the Academy teach Literacy and as such all lessons include key words and a specific Literacy lesson outcome that frequently targets the Academy aim to read widely and often across the Curriculum.

Indeed reading is priority at the Academy. We deliver a reading programme at Key Stage Three called ‘Accelerated Reader’ which boosts students’ reading ages through their daily reading. All pupils read as a form time activity and there is a bespoke Literacy Form Focus activity each week which addresses a key area of Literacy.

Focus on Reading

We have fun too! Our annual World Book Day celebration involves staff dressing up as a range of key literary figures. Have a look at the photographs in the Reading Mall and try to guess who we are! National Non-Fiction Day is recognised by all departments using a non-fiction text as a key resource in their lesson. Poetry Day is also featured in our Literacy Form Focus; we are proud to have our own Poet Laureate! Competitions are also a regular feature, from activities related to Valentine’s Literary Lovers, to Roald Dahl “Gobblefunk” words and even Dr Who villains!

All subjects offer students a dedicated reading area to stimulate interest and encourage independent study.

In addition students’ work is regularly marked for Literacy in all subjects and the students are then given an opportunity to improve their work by acting upon the feedback given.

Students at the Academy take pride in their written presentation. Oracy is also a key feature of the Academy where many lessons employ Kagan teaching techniques to encourage and develop cooperative learning and confident speakers.

DEAR Time – Drop Everything And Read

The (fun)damental reasoning behind DEAR Time is to encourage your children to read widely and often. As the bold statement in the Reading Mall suggests we “Read to Succeed” at OSSMA.

What is DEAR Time?

The students read for 15 minutes daily except for Wednesday, at 14.00.

Staff model reading to the students.

Students can read their own books or magazines, school books or their AR books.

If a child forgets their book they will be provided with a suitable text from their form tutor/subject teacher but as a reading book forms part of the Super Seven then this should be a rare occurrence!

We encourage the students to keep a record of their reading at DEAR Time in their student planner. As a parent you can monitor their progress and variety of reading material.

DEAR Time is precious; equally important is reading at home too. Please encourage your child’s love of reading. We want them to succeed!

Finally, here at OSSMA we put the Wow factor into Literacy with our Wow Word of the Week. The word links with our Academy Reflection Time and is chosen to develop our students’ vocabulary and language awareness at word and context level. Students are encouraged to “Say it! Spell it! Define it!”


WOW word of the week


Our WOW word of the week is:



tr. verb ex·ac·er·bat·ed, ex·ac·er·bat·ing, ex·ac·er·bates
To increase the severity, violence, or bitterness of; aggravate:
a speech that exacerbated racial tensions;
a heavy rainfall that exacerbated the flood problems.

[Latin exacerbāreexacerbāt- : ex-, intensive pref.;  ex- + acerbāre, to make harsh (from acerbus,harsh]

ex·ac′er·ba′tion noun.

Example in context: 

The reduction in police numbers in London could be exacerbatingthe rise in violent crime.