Westbourne Academy is part of the family of Academy Transformation Trust academies.

Our mission is to transform learning, aspirations and opportunities for all our pupils, and the communities in which they live.

We believe that every child matters and deserves a first class education. We believe everyone has hidden potential to be uncovered and nurtured.

Our extensive family of primary and secondary academies are based in the Midlands, East of England and South East.

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Improving Reading & Writing at Westbourne Academy


Literacy in every lesson

At Westbourne we are fully committed to improving students' reading and writing skills at every opportunity.  In Year 7, 8 and most Year 9 lessons, students have access to subject specific Reading and Writing help mats. They can use these to improve their written work.

Teachers promote basic literacy skills through our Academy Literacy Objectives and all work is marked in a consistent way following our literacy Marking Guidelines.  This way student's get to recognise the symbols and can make improvements to their work.

Reading is the key to success

At Westbourne we believe that reading is the key to success.  Students undertake a reading programme during their English lessons throughout Year 7 and 8.  This programme, called Accelerated Reader, involves students reading books, and quizzing on those books.  When students pass the quiz they move on to a more difficult book.

On 4 occasions during the academic year we test students' reading age.  These reading ages are shared with their teachers so that they can plan work at the right level.  Parents can check their child's reading age by logging into GO4Schools.

All students at Westbourne are expected to carry their reading books with them as part of their equipment. Students are asked to silent read two mornings per week during registration. 

Helping those that are behind

Did you know that the average reading age of GCSE exam materials is 15 years and 7 months?  It is our priority to ensure our students have a reading age close to their actual age.  All students are invited to attend Reading Enrichment Club in our Learning Resource Centre after school.  The club is staffed by Teaching Assistants, teaching staff and literacy leaders from year 9 and 10.  They will listen to students read.

Last year the programme was a major success.  After just 6 months of the Reading Enrichment programme, 35% of Year 7 participants had improved their reading age by more than 12 months.  In Year 8 the results were astounding, 49% of participants had improved their reading age by more than 12 months

At Westbourne Academy we also run a range of intervention programmes run by our Higher Level Teaching Assistant in English, aimed at improving students Reading and Writing skills.  Parents are informed of interventions that their children are involved in by letter.

Working together

Please help your child at home by listening to them read.  Accelerated Reader has a website called Home Connect which enables you to check on your child's progress- https://ukhosted5.renlearn.co.uk/2589695/HomeConnect.

You will need your child's username and password to log in.  You can use the website to see your child's overall progress and how they have scored in the quizzes.  Additionally the website also provides details on your child's reading targets.  The 'My Bookshelf' function allows you to see the books which they have read and how they have scored with each individual quiz.  You can also opt in to receive emails when they have taken quizzes by clicking on the 'Email Setup' button.  It is important that students read for at least 15 minutes per evening.  Regular reading is the key to excellent progress.

Rewarding success

We know that the best way to encourage students to read is to reward their efforts.  We reward in the following ways…

- Students that attend Reading Enrichment Club receive Vivo reward points.

- At the end of each month students that have made an effort with their reading and with quizzes get a certificate and prize from the Learning Resource Centre.

- We have a reader of the month in Year 7 and 8, they are rewarded with a certificate and prize in assemblies.

- At the end of the academic year we award prizes for the most words read and the most improved reading age.