Oldfield Primary, Ealing

"I became Headteacher at my new school in May 2018 and there were some whole class books with the new grammar content crammed in higher up the school and topics were mostly based around genre. Very often, each genre lasted a few weeks and used extracts of texts.  In my previous school, I had worked very closely with the Literacy Tree and seen its impact, so I had a vision for quality writing in my new establishment.

Firstly, the school signed up for the Literary Curriculum subscription and the English coordinator wanted to give everyone the go ahead and use it straightaway. However, having worked with the approach before, I knew it was not a “painting by numbers” resource. 

The power of the approach definitely lies behind the rationale behind each activity and the ethos of teaching to a whole class. In the early stages, teachers needed the support that working with a Literacy Tree Consultant could provide. I would describe the process similar to an “unlearning” of the way that English was taught before and the possibilities of how all children can be challenged and inspired.

During the second half term of the summer, we bought into the consultancy to plan for the Autumn. The staff embraced the approach and have overwhelmingly bought into the Literacy Tree ethos.

In addition, the children’s motivation has improved ten-fold, however, this would have not been sustained had the children not been engaged with the texts. Previously, our boys’ writing results were very low; we have seen an improvement in their results and enjoyment of the subject.

The display work in the school has been amazing. Year 5 took on an extra piece of homework to create Titanic models when studying Kasper, Prince of Cats. The lobby outside the head’s office is now full of high newspaper reports and 2-foot-long ocean liners.

I can highly recommend the Literacy Curriculum approach!"

James McCormack, Headteacher, Oldfield Primary School

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