Literacy is a set of reading, writing, speaking and listening skills that form the key to academic success.
Disciplinary literacy – or subject-specific literacy – recognises that literacy skills are both general and subject specific. Across all disciplines in our school, teachers model for students how to read, write and communicate effectively in their subjects to equip them with the literacy skills required for further education, employment and adult life.
Our school is passionate about Literacy and leads on the trust-wide ‘TCAT Reads’ project: “every teacher, an expert teacher of reading.”
Our literacy values:
- Every teacher teaches and models excellent literacy.
- Disciplinary literacy makes clear that every teacher accurately communicates their subject through the reading, writing, speaking and listening that are at the heart of knowing and doing every subject.
- Confident and accurate reading, writing, speaking and listening is vital for students to access the curriculum and achieve their potential.
What we deliver to support students’ literacy in school:
As well as a clear focus on accurate use of SPaG in students’ written work, we provide the following evidence-based literacy strategies:
- Access vocabulary, delivered by teachers each lesson, to improve students’ knowledge about word morphology, etymology and build cultural capital.
- TTRAT (Tutor Time Reading Aloud Together), led by tutors every week, to understand the writing process and share an engaging values-based novel together.
- RfP (Reading for Pleasure), in tutor time every week, to broaden students’ literary horizons and promote wellbeing.
- Reciprocal Reading or ‘the Fab Four’ skills (predict, question, clarify, summarise), taught in English lessons once per fortnight, to develop reading expertise so students can confidently annotate text in any subject. Included in the programme is a bronze, silver, gold reading rewards system.
- Bespoke interventions: we follow the latest research into literacy and deliver interventions e.g. Lexonik Leap and Lexonic Advance for students who struggle with areas of literacy.
- Bookbuzz: from September 2021, we are involved in Bookbuzz- a reading programme from BookTrust that aims to inspire a love of reading in our Year 6 into 7 students. Students choose their own book to take home and keep from a list of 17 titles – all of which are selected by a panel of experts to ensure quality, suitability and to encourage reading for pleasure.
- The National Literacy Trust: we are members of this independent charity working with schools and communities to give disadvantaged children the literacy skills to succeed in life.
To promote our students’ enjoyment of reading, we facilitate access to variety of texts via our school library.
What does the library provide?
- Access every morning, tutor time, break and lunch time.
- Engaging extra-curricular clubs are ran after school including the ‘BBC’ (Boteler Book Club and ‘Boteler Writers’.
- A range of exciting books, magazines and newspapers are on offer to read and enjoy.
- Opportunities for staff to take students to the library to search for books and even teach their lessons.
- Book requests each half term to ensure students always have something to read that is interesting and challenging for them.
In addition to our library, this year each tutor group has also been given its own class library and our student ambassadors have helped monitor and maintain a steady supply of books to each classroom. Our staffroom too has a community bookshare so you can see that our school’s love of reading runs throughout the entire staff!
As well as our ‘Fab Four’ bronze, silver, gold system, we also run a wide range of exciting competitions over the academic year to encourage our young people to get involved with reading, writing, speaking and listening. We have both school and national competitions. Some of our favourites are the BBC’s ‘500 Words’ writing competition and the National Literacy Trust’s team competition to find the nation’s ‘Reading Champions’. This year, in our Merseyside heat, 38 schools took part in a live quiz answering 100 questions on book knowledge. Our school team came in the top 3 with just 3 points separating first, second and third positions.
Our Teacher of English Mrs Woodcock has created a presentation that provides a greater knowledge and understanding around the reading process, and the research behind it. Click here to view.
Did you know?
- Children who read books often at age 10 and more than once a week at age 16 gain higher results in maths, vocabulary and spelling tests at age 16 than those who read less regularly.
- Less than half of 8 to 16 year olds have read a book in the last month.
- Reading for pleasure is more important for children’s development than their parents’ level of education and is a more powerful factor in life achievement than socio-economic background.
- 16-year-olds who choose to read books for pleasure outside of school are more likely to secure managerial or professional jobs in later life.
- 1 in 3 children do not own a book. Having books in the home is associated with both reading enjoyment and confidence. Of children who report having fewer than 10 books in their homes, 42% say they do not like reading and only 32% say they are ‘very confident’ readers. For children who report having over 200 books at home, only 12% say they do not like reading and 73% consider themselves ‘very confident’ readers.
- 22% of children report that no one at home encourages them to read.
- Teachers and parents together owe it to children to help them acquire the very best literacy skills, in order to improve their chances in life and to enable them to succeed in whatever path they choose! Together we can succeed.
How to support your child at home – literacy:
BBC Skillswise is a fabulous resource for parents and has a wealth of ideas to support all areas of literacy.
Speaking and Listening