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New standard of excellence for schools announced

UKLAThe UK Literacy Association is proud to announce the first recipient of a brand new award. Frederick Bird Primary School in Coventry is the 2012 Literacy School of the Year: A school where literacy thrives

UKLA is a registered charity, which has as its sole object the advancement of education in literacy and is committed to promoting good practice nationally and internationally. UKLA President Alayne Öztürk said “We hope that this award will soon become an aspirational and recognised kite mark of excellence for schools”

Criteria have been formulated which reflect the wealth of international research into and experience of good literacy practices. Any UKLA member can nominate a school which they believe to be worthy of the award and independent assessors will visit the school in question to see their practice in action.

Frederick Bird is a large inner city primary school, rated by Ofsted as “Outstanding” and a designated national teaching school despite what might be described as “challenging” circumstances.  Eighty two per cent of pupils are from minority ethnic backgrounds, well above the national average. Forty four different languages are spoken at the school. The proportion of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities is above average and the proportion of pupils known to be eligible for free school meals is over twice the national average.  The assessors were most impressed by the way that “from Early Years to Year 6 and including the three libraries, there was clear evidence of the way literacy pervades the whole curriculum and ethos of the school”  Every child they spoke to was enthusiastic about reading and able to talk about favourite books and authors.  “Wherever we went there were high quality books, both classics and books by new authors.”

UKLA has invited Headteacher, Chris Lockwood, and her team to present a seminar to share their good practice at the UKLA International Conference in 2013, when they will also receive their Award.  For further information please contact Brenda Eastwood: UKLA General Manager on admin@ukla.org / 0116 2231664

The school’s literacy curriculum:

  • is imaginative and creative, aimed at engaging all pupils in literacy;
  • links with parents and carers, and the wider community enhancing pupil engagement and achievement in literacy;
  • pervades the whole school curriculum;
  • takes place both in and outside the classroom;
  • takes place both in and outside the school.


  • All the staff are enthusiastic and ‘signed up to’ the school’s creative approach to literacy teaching. They demonstrate to pupils that they themselves are readers and writers.
  • There is tangible evidence throughout the school that literacy thrives and in particular that the school has a well-developed and well used school library
  • Pupils are enthusiastic and engage with literacy both in and outside the classroom. They are confident communicators and can demonstrate breadth in their reading and writing, including reading for pleasure.
  • There is access to and creative use of 21st Century digital texts as well as more traditional texts.
  • Pupils feel that the literacy curriculum is meeting their needs and challenging them to make progress.
  • There is evidence of future plans and developments for ensuring literacy continues to thrive in the school and its community.

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