Our literacy development covers three core areas: explicit teaching of vocabulary, using strategies to improve reading and the development of academic writing.
Continuing Professional Development has underpinned our approach followed by specific work in curriculum areas to develop and adapt strategies to meet the demands of each subject taught. We aim for our students to think like a mathematician, write like a critic and analyse like a historian.
The Literacy Diet for our Students
Explicit teaching of vocabulary to enable students to access work and increase their conceptual thinking and expression. All teachers are trained in etymology and root words. This has led to the development of subject specific glossaries and a consistent approach within curriculum areas of teaching of tier 2 and 3 vocabulary. Across the secondary phase, we have introduced word of the week, suggested by each curriculum area, and rolled out as an integral part of the pastoral curriculum.
Reading for understanding and fluency is explicitly taught in dedicated reading lessons to students’ in year 7 and 8. We monitor student progress to help us refine and adjust our programme. In addition, the school have a real aloud approach where the teacher or a confident reader will read text aloud to demonstrate fluency and intonation that in turn strengthens and develops understanding. We have dedicated paired reading for students either at an early stage of English acquisition or identified as needing additional intervention.
The development of academic writing has been part of a whole school focus on writing. As a school, we reflect continuously on where we can improve and the training needs of staff. Following a cross-curricular literacy audit, we identified and addressed any gaps. Staff have had CPD in Disciplinary Literacy and are getting students to think like a mathematician, write like a critic and analyse like a historian. As a school, we will continue to trial strategies, train staff on “The Writing Revolution” and evaluate the impact of these throughout the year. We will constantly strive to ensure our students are able to articulate themselves in both speech and writing effectively.