Any UKLA member can nominate a school which they believe to be worthy of the award and independent assessors will visit the school in question to see their practice in action. Criteria have been formulated which reflect the wealth of international research into and experience of good literacy practices:
- The school’s literacy curriculum: is imaginative and creative, aimed at engaging all pupils in literacy; links with parents and carers, and the wider community enhancing pupil engagement and achievement in literacy; pervades the whole school curriculum; takes place both in and outside the classroom; takes place both in and outside the school.
- All the staff are enthusiastic and ‘signed up to’ the school’s creative approach to literacy teaching. They demonstrate to pupils that they themselves are readers and writers.
- There is tangible evidence throughout the school that literacy thrives and in particular that the school has a well-developed and well used school library
- Pupils are enthusiastic and engage with literacy both in and outside the classroom. They are confident communicators and can demonstrate breadth in their reading and writing, including reading for pleasure.
- There is access to and creative use of 21st Century digital texts as well as more traditional texts.
- Pupils feel that the literacy curriculum is meeting their needs and challenging them to make progress.
- There is evidence of future plans and developments for ensuring literacy continues to thrive in the school and its community
The winning school is invited to the UKLA International Conference in July as guests of the association.
Watch the video by 2017 winners Horfield CoE Primary School, Bristol, about how they incorporate the arts with core subjects and the impact of winning the UKLA Literacy School of the Year award and Artsmark.