Great Literacy Expectations

How Charles Dickens Primary School turned failure into success When Liz Owens took over as head teacher at Charles Dickens Primary School in London, the school was in special measures having failed inspection with problems in English, mathematics and science. Six years later, however, it had been transformed into one of the best schools in the area.

This turnaround, and in particular the huge improvement in results in English, was seen as partly the result of an exciting and innovative approach to literacy. Using drama, art and music as a way in to reading and writing, and involving a Nigerian artist from the Tate and a professional musician in residence as well as many links to local arts organisations, the whole curriculum is now felt to be more integrated, with the children of all backgrounds more motivated.

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