Literacy at The Grove School and The Marches Academy Trust

At The Grove School we want every child to have freedom of choice when it comes to careers and be able to take up great opportunities offered to them. No child should be prevented from having a fulfilled life and future by not having the necessary skills especially in literacy. Parents will know that literacy is fundamental to their child’s well-being. It enables them to function in their everyday lives whilst giving them the lifelong skills to be able to communicate effectively, articulate their ideas and understand and interpret the ideas of others. Over the past 4 years, we have developed a range of strategies to increase the status of literacy within our school environment, such as our Reading School, World Book Week, author visits and a range of competitions including our recent house competition that focused on essay writing skills.

Exciting events that promote improving literacy 
In recent years, we have held a fantastic range of events to develop out students’ reading, writing, speaking and listening. These include:

  • Celebration of World Book Week with a range of activities and events celebrating reading throughout the school
  • All Year 6 students receiving an independent reading book for our summer transition project and Summer Reading Challenge
  • Visiting writers Frank Cottrell Boyce, who promoted his new novel ‘The Adventures of Broccoli Boy’, and both Paul Dowswell and Linda Newberry, whose short stories featured in the ‘Stories of World War I’ anthology
  • A range of debating competitions
  • A young writer’s club
  • Our daily Reading School session
  • The success of our Reading Rangers programme, where Year 7 and 8 students are supported by our Year 10 and 12 students who act as their reading buddies.
  • Participation in ‘Talk the Talk’ workshops with Year 9 students to develop their confidence in speaking and listening.

Confident Communicators


Students at The Grove School will be able to articulate themselves in a confident and academic manner. They will be able to discuss tasks or ideas, question one another, construct considered arguments, negotiate meaning, clarify their own understanding and make their ideas comprehensible to others. Literacy will be at the heart of the school.

Confident Communicators takes a focus on developing Confident Speakers this half term, with the launch of our Speeches Free public speaking competition. Entrants are in teams of three, though you can apply as an individual and potentially either be teamed up with others to form a team or you can support a speaking team in a non-speaking role. You can speak on any topic of interest to you and the two best performing teams in school will be entered for the prestigious ESU Churchill Public Speaking Competition, sponsored by the International Churchill Society and the oldest and largest such contest in England and Wales. There will also be opportunity to compete with other teams across the Trust.

Writer’s Corner

Welcome to the inaugural article of Writers’ Corner. Every half term we will celebrate and promote the perspectives of our students, supporting them as they discover and develop their views of the world, as well as how they can make their written voice heard. We encourage all writers to become Confident Writers and to see the value in contributing to debate in a healthy, valuable and academic way. If you would like to submit your own article to Writers’ Corner, please email your article to Mr Pledger via email

Review of ITV2’s ‘Love Island’ by Tanisha Dewey

Love Island is a reality dating series that first aired in 2005. A group of men and women are sent to a villa on an undisclosed island to carry out tasks with a partner. These partners swap until they find the ‘love of their life’. This show is watched by millions globally, a majority of the viewers being children and teens. Due to this, it has created many problems and added to the already demanding media list of expectations for the ‘perfect person’. It presents false ideals to the younger people of this generation such as body image, behaviour and expectations in a relationship.

Body image and self-confidence have been issues for a while, poisoning the minds of young people with the role models they are presented with. Because of social media, instead of supporting and looking up to people for their views and actions, teens in particular are slowly starting to idolise people because of what they look like and how famous they are. Love Island doesn’t help this. Contestants are often social media influencers and gym junkies, presenting unnatural body types to impressionable minds. The women are usually stick thin with perfect makeup and hair, often wearing revealing clothing. The men on the show are also unhealthy stereotypes of male physique, being fit and athletically inclined with a perfect tan.

Food psychologist Kimberley Wilson explained how media can have a negative impact, dubbing it the ‘Love Island effect’. She said that the ’Love Island effect’ is the continuous promotion of a singular body type and the uniformity of the contenders, and how it affects the youth. Watching hours of focused TV and social media content filled with body images negatively impacts self-esteem and impacts not only the viewers, but the contestants as well.

There have been protests and rants on platforms such as Twitter about the effect of the show and all of the comments contribute to one thing: this is the belief that ‘You have to look a certain way to be deemed attractive and to be deemed worthy of love’.

The show also affects young people’s views on expectations in a relationship. It is no secret that contestants are encouraged to swap and change partners, just to cause drama and pick up interest rates on the show. This teaches young people that being unfaithful to a partner is OK. In 2019, Woman’s Aid issued a statement about the show and the effects it has on youth. It mentioned ‘Gaslighting’ – a form of emotional abuse that makes someone question their own feelings, memories and version of reality. This is an important issue that has been talked about in the past, but is still prevalent. Studies show one in four young teens state that they are more influenced by celebrities than people they are close to. Love Island showcases a few forms of emotional abuse as normal, desensitising impressionable people to its toxicity.

In my opinion, Love Island is unhealthy for the minds and wellbeing of young people. It shows off unrealistic standards and gender-role stereotypes. The show also lacks diversity, both in terms of ethnicity and of body type. This generation has changed inequality, gaining rights and respect for all minorities, so I think it would be good for reality TV to showcase that.

To conclude, this show isn’t positive for anyone and should either change its course or be taken off air for the good of impressionable minds.