Witham St. Hughs, has beaten national competition in being selected as one of 32 schools across the country to become an English Hub. The academy will now take a leading role in supporting schools by improving the teaching of early language and reading.
As one of the best performing primary schools, Witham St. Hughs will work to increase reading standards across the nation and improve education outcomes for the most disadvantaged children, particularly in underperforming schools.
Building on the success of phonics, which has contributed to 163,000 more six-year-olds on track to becoming fluent readers now than in 2012, the academy will spread best practice and teaching techniques – including the provision of school workshops for teachers and more intensive school-to-school support.
The hub schools were selected by the Department for Education through a competitive process - all 32 have a background of excellent phonics teaching and are placed to benefit the areas that need it most. Each hub will identify specialist literacy teachers who will receive additional training to act as experts in early language and reading from reception year to Key Stage 1. The hubs will work with up to 170 local primary schools and will build a network of excellent phonics teaching in every region.
Alongside the already established and successful Teaching School Equate, this will provide Witham St. Hughs with the opportunity to share their current provision with others. It will also enable reflection upon current practice in order to make outcomes even stronger for their own pupils and the schools that they work with.
Headteacher, Amanda Griffiths, said; “Following a rigorous application process, we are delighted to have been selected to take a lead role in supporting schools with the teaching of phonics, language and early reading skills. Having worked relentlessly to develop strategies which make a difference in these areas of the curriculum, we are eager to share these approaches with others to ensure that more children can benefit from high quality provision in this area.”
Useful Reading linked to the English Hub
Improving Literacy in Key Stage 1
EEF Developing Early Language Guidance doc