New Academic Year starts on Wednesday 4th September 2019.


Language for Learning at Tile Cross Academy

‘Acquiring literacy is an empowering process, enabling millions to enjoy access to knowledge and information that broadens horizons, increases opportunities and creates alternatives for building a better life.’

Kofi Annan (Seventh Secretary General of the United Nations)


The importance of literacy

We believe that developing literacy skills is vital if our students are to achieve their full academic and personal potential. Improving literacy can have an impact on students’ self- esteem, motivation, behaviour and attainment. Acquiring developed literacy skills allows students to become independent learners who can access all educational opportunities. Literate students become empowered adults; the link between literacy and life chances has never been as widely researched and recognised as it is now. According to the OECD, ‘adults with good literacy skills (the equivalent of a good English GCSCE or better) are much more likely to be in work than those with lower standards of literacy : 83% compared to 55%’ ( DFE, 2015, page 7) Without strong literacy skills, a young person’s life chances are severely diminished; their employability , health, confidence and happiness are all compromised ( National Literacy Trust, 2016)


Our school’s commitment

All teachers are teachers of literacy, regardless of their subject specialism, and our school must do everything possible to ensure that pupils can read. National teaching standards state that all teachers should ‘demonstrate an understanding of and take responsibility for promoting high standards of literacy, articulacy and the correct use of standard English, whatever their subject specialism’  ( DFE, updated June 2013))

As such, the staff at our school are committed to developing literacy skills in all of our students, in the belief that it will support their learning and raise standards across the curriculum. A student’s attainment in literacy has been identified as a key factor in their capacity to learn in other subjects.  Literacy is present in all subjects and so all Faculties have a role to play in supporting students’ language development.  It is important that we work together to ensure we equip students with basic life skills in literacy and identify opportunities for cross-curricular and literacy development.

Literacy activities at Tile Cross Academy


November 2017 Topic Day

On our recent Topic Day in November, we were fortunate to have the Birmingham Poet Laureate with us all day. Matt Windle worked with the Year 9s, inspiring them to write poetry on the theme of ‘hopes and dreams.’ Matt really enjoyed the day and was impressed by the enthusiasm and positive behaviour of our pupils. He was so impressed that he is hoping to return to work with the Year 11s in the near future, to support them with their preparation for the upcoming GCSEs.

Matt’s visit has added to a focus on creative writing in our school this term. We had a great response to National Poetry Day, which was based on the theme of ‘freedom’. We visited Shard End Library to participate in a creative workshop. Pupils wrote their own poems, with contributions of favourite poems from staff, and we produced our own Tile Cross anthology. There are some very talented pupils in our school, and we hope to have more of their work showcased this term.

Joanne Mawby

Literacy Co-ordinator


Please click on links to see photographs below: