With the continued need to develop students’ literacy skills beyond the English classroom, the greater proportion of marks being awarded for literacy in examinations and the knowledge that employers value good literacy in their staff, literacy is a significant focus within the school.
The school participates in the Accelerated Reader scheme, a reading scheme that allows students to read within a certain range and take quizzes on those books to help with fluency and confidence within reading. This is done within English lessons in year 7 and 8, and across the curriculum for 15 minutes DEAR time (Drop Everything And Read) twice a week. All students also have a reading record on the back of their pure cards to continue their reading at home.
All departments support students in developing their appreciation of literacy and the subject they are in. This may be ensuring key words are spelt correctly, or making sure that each use of evidence has a ‘why’ to explain it. All departments also use SQUAD paragraphs, a method to ensure students are expanding on their answers and structuring their work to enable them to fulfil the demands of the questions in each of their subjects. The aim with this is to allow students to see that Literacy is important in all subjects, and that there are commonalities between all areas of the school.
Other important literacy work includes annual liaison between the school and our link primary schools. For example, for the past four years, staff from the school’s English Faculty have met with KS2 teachers to share examples of good practice in the teaching of literacy and marking for literacy. Our Year 10 students participate in the Jack Petchey Speak Out Challenge each year - www.speakoutchallenge.com and our School Library leads World Book Day activities each March.