Literacy is an extremely powerful tool which will enable students to access all aspects of the curriculum. Our aim is to improve the literacy skills of all our students at all levels. With parents’/ carers’ support, we aim to equip all students with the essential literacy skills needed to achieve academic success and thereby enable them to participate in the highly competitive world of employment.
You only get one opportunity to make a first impression and to engage your reader. As such, written accuracy is essential and it is also essential to recognise that it is not acceptable to continue to make the same errors year after year. Across the curriculum we understand the importance of enabling all our students to write in an extended and fluid way, giving them all the best opportunity to perform well in longer examination written tasks.
Anxiety about spelling is one of the major barriers to confident writing. However, it is a barrier that with practice and patience can be broken down to produce a confident communicator. Our aim is to promote the value of accurate spellings, careful spelling practice and the impact it can have on writing. The spelling ‘Dirty Thirty’ identifies commonly misspelt words that many people struggle with to provide our students with a base to build their confidence.
The student planner includes pages for all students to record key words that are causing difficulties in their writing. If a few spellings are learnt every week, it has a dramatic long-term effect on writing. We actively encourage students to learn spellings weekly within Literacy lessons and VMG Literacy activities. The words chosen are selected by a wide range of curriculum experts, assisting students in learning spellings which cause common misconception or difficulty, providing our students with a helpful and relevant spelling experience.
To help students further develop their spelling accuracy, across the curriculum, we allow ‘Self Reflection Time’ for students to correct and review their key spellings and commonly confused spelling errors.
Many children leave primary school with fairly proficient reading skills. However, reading as a life skill requires so much more than this. A modern day curriculum requires students to be able to access increasingly more complex texts as a means of achieving qualifications in a variety of subject areas.
By focusing on reading as a key part of the curriculum, we provide students with the ability to read avidly and with confidence. By building in reading time to VMG, we ensure that all students have time to enjoy their reading material and independently apply a range of reading strategies, such as peer reading, to create a supportive and collaborative approach to boost confidence and apply skills that will be beneficial in examination situations.
We have a superb Learning Resource Centre, a facility that provides our students with a varied and exciting selection of reading material from which to choose. Students can build their reading independence by selecting books that intrigue and interest them, supporting them in building skills that contribute to such a valuable life skill. We encourage reading within the curriculum and outside the classroom to build, but also embed, a love of reading for all our students.
All students in Years 7, 8 and 9 access Accelerated Reader, a facility that allows students to quiz on their recent reads and track their own progress and development. Accelerated Reader is a key part of our English curriculum and is also accessed within VMG time. We reward and encourage students to make progress relative to their starting points; this ensures that their love of reading extends into a passion.
How can reading ability be improved?