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Onwards to the finish!


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Congratulations to all our This Is Geography video contest winners, especially Kyle from and Ella from , who received special recognition for their efforts. You can read more about the programme and view some winning entries here:


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It doesn't get better than ; partnerships produce teaching and learning


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Hiking from Coney Hall to Frylands via Addington Hill on the third DofE Bronze Practice Expedition. An excellent team finishing the day and getting their campsite set up efficiently.


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It's absolutely wonderful to be able to bring some of our to see some practice . A huge to the teams & speakers involved!


The May 2022 Edition of the HCACP Academy News Letter is now available.


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So proud of the superb contribution of Head of History and Politics, Robert Primus, to this documentary which was on Channel 4 last night - and of all Harris City Academy Crystal Palace students who expressed their thoughts so eloquently to


Year 7 and 9 students taking part in the preliminary local rounds of the Harris Federation Spelling Bee.


arrisPlease be sure to check out our Palace Life page on the HCACP website for all the latest on what is happening for the week!


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Final climb to the finish at High Elms. Soaking wet day but two very determined teams persevered throughout to complete their DofE Bronze Practice Expedition!


Well done to our Silver DofE group & thank you to Mr Ewers!


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👏 wow, fantastic film- well done to all those who made it and all those who star in it!


Seçkin mastermind Gabriela Soares proudly displays her Sussex Enovation Centre Business Competition Digital Presence Award.


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Admiring the view from Addington Hill. Teams now departed the lunch spot and hiking to Frylands Wood campsite.


Congratulations to our students from our student company, Seçkin winners of the the Digital Presence Award in the Sussex Enovation Centre Business competition.


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Winners are grinners!!! Big well done to the Year 7 Netball Team who won all their matches at the Final today! Well deserved 😊


Staff enjoying jam roll making as part of the celebrations of World Mental Health week.


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Kinetic Harris City Academy Crystal Palace lifted their second trophy in a week as they won the Cup after a 3-0 victory against Stoke Newington! 🏆⚽️ 📸 - Matt White


Year 11s tackling the climbing wall last night after intensive English, Biology and Physics revision


Year 11 students working incredibly hard on their third and final revision residential!

Harris Academies
All Academies in our Federation aim to transform the lives of the students they serve by bringing about rapid improvement in examination results, personal development and aspiration.

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Literacy enriches a person’s life and enhances their life chances. It is essential that our students develop proficient literacy skills in order to gain the knowledge, confidence and motivation to be successful in their learning.

The responsibility to develop students’ literacy skills lies with the entire staff body, parents and carers. It is through this collective effort that students will be able to access learning across the curriculum.

Our aim is to foster a love of reading and develop enquiring minds that both think and question critically. A priority focus is to improve the ability of our students to write extended prose which demonstrates their skills of reason and argument in a clear and coherent manner.

Developing vocabulary

Bedrock logoResearch has shown there is a direct link between a student’s vocabulary size and their academic achievement. Children with a wider vocabulary make faster progress at school, in further education and beyond. Narrow vocabularies affect directly students’ grades.

Disciplinary literacy emphasises ways of knowing and communicating knowledge within a subject discipline. It helps students understand how language works in different subject areas and supports their understanding of how vocabulary is used, how question phrasing will shape the answer expected, and how to interpret the written and graphic materials used for learning.

What are vocabulary tiers?

At Harris City Academy Crystal Palace there is a focus on developing pupils’ ‘Tier 2’ and ‘Tier 3’ (Beck and McKeown). There are countless words in the English language and it is difficult for teachers to know which ones to teach! Beck and McKeown identified how words have “different levels of utility”. They created three tiers, with each tier characterising a different type of word.

  • Tier 1 words. These are words that pupils pick up naturally, for example nouns such as ‘clock’ or basic verbs like ‘running’. These words do not need teaching explicitly.
  • Tier 2 words. These are ambitious vocabulary words that learners will come across in a variety of contexts, for example reading a variety of texts or listening to a speech, but will not hear in everyday conversations. Tier two words might include: ‘analyse’, ‘emerge’, ‘peculiar’ and ‘context’.
  • Tier 3 words. These are subject specific words which are integral to teaching a specific subject. These are made explicit in lessons and pupils are encouraged to use the language of a ‘mathematician’ or a ‘geographer’ in their writing and speaking

Teachers guide pupils through reading complex and challenging texts by isolating Tier 2 and Tier 3 vocabulary to support them in accessing complex material and embed the use of more sophisticated vocabulary in not only their reading but oracy and writing skills too.

Teachers are supported through a professional learning programme help pupils read, write and communicate effectively in their subject. As part of departmental curriculum planning teachers and subject leaders consider which words and phrases to teach.

Alongside explicit teaching in lessons our pupils develop their disciplinary literacy through an online programme – ‘Bedrock’.

Bedrock learning

All pupils in years 7-9 use an online vocabulary programme programme called Bedrock to help them become word-aware and as a tool to improve their vocabulary to help address the word gap. The programme allows students to access both non-fiction and fiction texts to improve their reading skills and learn new vocabulary that will enhance the way they read, speak and write across all of their subjects.

As students’ progress through the Bedrock curriculum, they will study hundreds of new words.

You can log in to Bedrock at

When students first log in they will be asked to complete an alpha test. This must be completed on their own as it means that the programme is designed around them. Logins are provided by your child’s English teacher.

Literacy intervention

All pupils complete annual NGRT and Lucid tests which identifies pupils that need the literacy intervention programme.

World Book Day1Reading

Pupils in years 7 – 10 have dedicated DEAR (Drop Everything and Read) time at the start of the day to read with their Form Tutor. Pupils have the opportunity to share and discuss what they are reading with their Tutor. Tutors share their favourite books with their class and have posters in their classroom to share what they are reading.

There is a dedicated library where pupils can borrow a range of current fiction and non-fiction books, with regular new publications added every term.

Online library

Our online library can be accessed here where you can download PDF copies of many books. You can select from a range of books aimed at Key Stage 4 & 5.

For access to digital books at home and audiobooks you can try these websites:

  • Project Gutenberg - good for classics.
  • – free (30 days) audible books for all ages.
  • Researchify - Word/PDF/Audiobooks of Children’s Classics.
  • Have a look at World Book Day’s World of Stories, where you can listen to audiobooks of some of your favourite books.
  • Literacy Trust: The Book of Hopes. Completely free for all children and families, the extraordinary collection of short stories, poems, essays and pictures has contributions from more than 110 children’s writers and illustrators, including Lauren Child, Anthony Horowitz, Greg James and Chris Smith, Michael Morpurgo, Liz Pichon, Axel Scheffler, Francesca Simon and Jacqueline Wilson.
  • Literacy Trust: Virtual School Library
  • Time Edge is a digital magazine that teachers you about current events. All of the content is written by the editors of the world famous publications TIME and TIME For Kids. You'll need to submit your email address to access the magazine.


At Harris City Academy Crystal Palace, pupils learn effective communication skills which allows them to communicate key ideas and opinions in a range of contexts.

There is a subject-specific focus on using academic language and vocabulary to support pupils to become ‘experts’ in that subject. Teachers plan opportunities where students can listen sensitively and respectively to others’ ideas

Pupils are encouraged to become experts at speaking through a variety of enrichment clubs such as Debating Club and participating in discussion through a variety of different forums, such as the Student Council.

Debating Club is a successful enrichment where pupils are taught how to speak on the public platform and master the skill of thinking and speaking on their feet. Pupils often have the opportunity to compete against other Harris Academies through Federation-wide competitions.

Reading and literacy rewards

LiteracyHarris City Academy Crystal Palace students are encouraged to read a range of different types of literature. As part of the termly Success Passport, we make a range of age-appropriate book suggestions. Students must read three books, chosen from six categories, to fulfil the reading success criteria. The categories are:

  • Diverse author celebration 
  • An American text
  • A non-fiction text about how things are made, or a part of the world students know little about
  • A 19th century classic
  • An autobiography
  • A novel about humanity and society