What Is Literacy?
Literacy includes the key skills of reading, writing and oral communication that enable pupils to access different areas of the curriculum.
How are Literacy Skills Developed at Our Lady’s RC High School?
Our primary priority is to ensure that all of our pupils are proficient readers, writers and orators. Staff professional development has therefore focused on a range of ways to ensure that we achieve this goal. All teaching staff have participated in training in the following areas: root words, academic vocabulary, reading skills and spelling strategies.
As part of their English curriculum, all pupils in Years 7-9 have a ‘Student to Scholar’ lesson once every two weeks. As part of this lesson, all pupils in Year 7 to 9 participate in a programme of Latin and Greek roots to support their vocabularies and understanding. Additionally, they are explicitly taught study skills that will assist them in becoming more effective learners.
Pupils who require extra reading support are identified at the beginning of Year 7 and take part in a termly intervention programme. As part of this intervention, they use the Lexia Powerup literacy programme which develops pupils’ word recognition, grammar and reading comprehension.
Across all subjects, teachers use the principles of the ‘Reciprocal Reading’ programme to develop pupils’ independent reading skills. This programme teaches pupils about the key principles of reading: prediction, clarification, questioning and summarising.
Across all subjects, teachers use a simple yet effective marking policy which supports pupils to independently proof- read their writing to ensure that they are consistently writing in Standard English.
How Are Literacy Skills Developed Through Extra-Curricular Activities?
At Our Lady’s we understand that reading for enjoyment is essential both in terms of outcomes and pupils’ cultural capital. Our guiding principle is that reading takes us on a journey that we actively shape throughout our lives. With this in mind, we have a fantastic new school library that pupils are able to use before school, at break, lunchtime and after school. Pupils can read for pleasure, use the computers for research, complete homework and use revision guides.
In Year 7, all pupils will join Manchester Libraries and receive a library card that can be used in libraries across Manchester. They will also have the opportunity to visit the local Avenue Library and the iconic Manchester Central Library. They will have a tour of these magnificent resources and are given the chance to borrow books to read at home.
How Can You Support Your Child in Developing Their Literacy Skills?
The most crucial way that you can help is by ensuring that your child is regularly reading at home.
If your child is in Year 7-Year 9, they should have the following items in their school bag at all times: an independent reading book and ‘Student to Scholar’ exercise book. If they are in Years 10-11, they should be encouraged to have an independent reading book.
Notice for Pupils
A reminder that in the library you can:
- Borrow books from a range of different genres
- Get book recommendations from our wonderful librarians
- Use the Chromebooks to complete your homework
- Find a quiet place to read and revise