Literacy Development at Goffs-Churchgate

Literacy Development at Goffs-Churchgate


Welcome to Literacy at Goffs-Churchgate Academy! 

Here you will be able to learn a little more about what we do here on a day to day basis to promote and enhance the literacy skills of our students and why, as well as be provided with information and updates on recent literacy events that have taken place throughout the year with accompanying photos.     

If you have any questions relating to Literacy here at Goffs-Churchgate, please contact me on

      Mrs Sophie Everist

      Director of Literacy and English Teacher 

‘Think Pink Book Marking’

As part of the usual school book marking policy, spelling, punctuation and grammar mistakes in students’ written work are identified to them by being highlighted in pink highlighter. This allows both staff and students to see where literacy errors have occurred in their work. Students are then given the opportunity to correct the errors that are highlighted during lesson time and in time should come to see less errors in their work as their literacy skills increase. 

Reading Books

All students are asked to have an age appropriate reading book with them at all times. Students are given time during assemblies, form time and Reading Recovery lessons (Year 7 and 8 only) to read from their books and C3s are issued to anyone who does not have a reading book on their persons or that is age appropriate.

Reading Lists

An extensive list is available to all on the school’s website and can be accessed at any times.

Toilet Door Literacy

On the back of all toilet doors in the main school building is a poster advertising common spelling, punctuation and grammar mistakes and their corrections. These are available for all who use the toilets to read and are changed on a half termly basis. These posters are designed to promote the importance of literacy and correct any common mistakes that the students may be making.

‘Teachers’ Favourite Book’ laminates

These are evident in every teaching classroom and allow students to see a teacher’s favourite book as well as the book they are currently reading. This allows all teachers to promote a love of and the importance of reading.

‘Word of the Week’ laminate

These are evident in every teaching classroom and students are encouraged to use the Word of the Week in their class or homework, R3s are rewarded to those that do. This allows students to broaden their current vocabulary.


These are Speaking and Listening Active Development days where students are encouraged to use their spoken literacy skills through lessons that are planned by their class teacher to include more speaking, debating, questioning and presenting. These take place on one day every half term.

Author and Speaker Visits

At least two events of this type are arranged within the academic year. This allows us to promote the importance of reading, allows those that enjoy reading to meet authors and inspirational speakers as well as encouraging more reluctant readers to engage with reading and literacy further.

Year 11 Literacy Groups

These are created to further enhance the literacy skills of students that don’t always gain as many marks in the accuracy section of the mark scheme for English Language. The sessions are designed to target particular spelling, grammar and punctuation skills in order to allow students to gain more marks in this particular area of the exams.


The Day Newspaper Link

The Day Newspaper


Rapping Their Way To Literacy Success!

On Wednesday 13th February 2019, Breis, from ‘Student of Life’ visited Year 7, 8 and 9 students to talk to them about the importance of literacy in everyday life, as well as how crucial literacy can be to being successful in our chosen future careers.  Student of Life, is an organisation that uses Hip Hop culture to engage young people in learning. The day was designed to expose students to a range of literacy techniques in a different and engaging way.

After performing to these year groups, Breis collaborated with a selection of Year 7 and 8 students in workshops that encouraged them to write a piece of poetry or rap, with a close focus on using words they wouldn’t usually use, as well as engaging with English in a way that they wouldn’t usually have had exposure to.

Overall, the students really enjoyed their morning with Breis and those that were part of the workshop really engaged in approaching English in an alternative way as well as a determination to improve their literacy skills by broadening their vocabulary.

A massive well done to all of those involved!



World Book Day Celebrations – Friday 8th March 2019

On the 8th March we celebrated the infamous World Book Day in style!

Many teachers across the school dressed as their favourite book character to promote their love of, and the importance of, reading to everyone here at Goffs-Churchgate. The best dressed teacher prize went to Mrs Powell, who teaches German, and the best dressed student prize went to Bobby Halls in Year 7, who won himself a £15 Amazon voucher!

As well as the fancy dress competition, we also had a non-uniform day to raise money for the National Literacy Trust, and collectively we raised just over £270 which is great.

We also received numerous library books due to the book donation point that was set up on the day. Thank you so much to those of you that donated. Your donations have been gratefully received and will be put to good use in our library.

Some students also took part in a ‘Teachers’ Favourite Book’ quiz that took place on the day, with Vinni Whyte in Year 9 claiming first prize for this - well done!

Year 8 and 9 also got to take part in a talk from a published author, Non Pratt. Non was in credibly engaging and many of the students were able to relate to her personally as well as to the story lines in her variety of successful novels. Students had the opportunity to meet      Non Pratt and purchase copies of her novels at the end of her talk. 

Later that day, a smaller group of students from Year 8 and 9, worked with Non on how to create characters within stories. This allowed the students to develop their creative writing skills in preparation for what is to come for them in the English Language GCSE specification in Year 10.

Vertical tutoring that day also saw students coming together to write either a poem or a paragraph about what Goffs-Churchgate means to them for a ‘Goffs-Churchgate Community’ scrapbook. Some of my favourite additions to this were as follows:

'Churchgate is the best it's ever been, us as a community and a family'

'I feel safe here and I love to come to school'

'None of us are horrible- maybe sometimes- but we get over it because we are one big family'

'Some schools might be jealous of us'

'My school is the school that has a bright and vibrant community'

Overall, we had a fantastic day; students were able to dress up or wear non-uniform, we raised over £200 for charity, prizes were won and poems were written but most importantly, the significance and love of reading was celebrated


Shakespeare School Foundation

Goffs Churchgate had the pleasure of welcoming the “Shakespeare School Foundation” to our school. They delivered a workshop to Year 11 on one of our GCSE core texts, Macbeth, using rehearsal and dramatic techniques to engage with the themes of the play and its historical context.


By combining learning with active engagement, students developed their understanding through a range of workshop activities which included: role play for key scenes through the form of freeze framing; learning key quotes and the poetic techniques of the play though “cardiograming”; and engaging with key characters by examining how they are manifested through their language choices.


All in all, the students thoroughly enjoyed the experience coming away with a greater appreciation and enjoyment for Shakespeare, and all the while learning important details for their upcoming GCSE.


The Mayor’s Debate 2018


On the 21st November, six students from Goffs-Churchgate Academy attended and took part in the annual Mayor’s Debate at the Broxbourne Council Offices. The evening consisted of a total of six different schools from the local area presenting to a panel of four councillors, as well as the Mayor of Broxbourne, on issues regarding loneliness and

social isolation in the local area. The concept of the event was to create and present ideas on how the Council could further invest their time and money into ensuring that loneliness and social isolation percentages in the local area improve. At the end of the evening, the school who delivered the best presentation and ideas would be named the winners and take home the trophy for 2018.


This year, the trophy went to St Mary’s High School who delivered a fantastic presentation and collection of ideas. However, to say that I am proud of our school’s team is an understatement. Our group consisted of six students and were by far the youngest team there, with four of our six being from Year 7!


The presentation that they delivered was informative, confident and very well-rehearsed. For such a young and

inexperienced public speaking team, they really out-did themselves, with all of them working with me every lunchtime for over two weeks in order to be ready for the competition.


Despite not winning, the students thoroughly enjoyed the evening, especially meeting the Mayor and have informed me that they are ready to go again for next year’s event!


I would like to take this opportunity to say another huge well done to the following students:

  • Jake Rowley
  • Amari-Lee Boyaram
  • Vanshi Pujara
  • Grace Kitchiner
  • Daniella Ako-Nai
  • Aimee Foster    

We couldn’t have been prouder of you and I look forward to working with you again next year for the 2019 trophy!