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Our Lady’s R.C. High School

To Know, Love and Serve God



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?

In this academic year our primary priority is to ensure that all of our pupils are “Word Rich”. To this end staff professional development is focusing on a range of ways to ensure that we achieve this goal. In the first half-term we are focusing on ‘Academic Vocabulary’. All teaching staff have experienced training regarding the theory of ‘Academic Vocabulary’ and have set targets appropriate for their subject area. The forthcoming terms will focus on Root Words, Reading Skills and Spelling Strategies.


All pupils in Years 7-9 have an ‘Independent Reading’ lesson once a week, as part of their English curriculum. As part of this lesson Year 7 and Year 8 participate in a programme of Latin and Greek roots to support their vocabularies and understanding.


In form time, in Year 7 and Year 8, pupils read a contemporary novel, with their form tutor and access a “Tier Two” vocabulary programme.


Pupils in Year 7 complete a Hodder reading test . The information from this test is used to identify which pupils would benefit from reading intervention. These pupils are provided with additional support and take part in a termly reciprocal reading intervention programme. This reading programme focuses on the use of non-fiction and fiction texts to support pupils’ reading and understanding across all subject areas; this enables pupils to see the importance of reading skills in all subject areas.


Across all subjects teachers use the principles of the ‘Reciprocal Reading’ programme to develop pupils’ independent reading skills, this includes the following principles: predict, clarify, question and summarise.


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, consequently we have a well-stocked library that pupils are able to use before school, at break, lunchtime and after school. Pupils can use the computers for research, complete homework, use revision guides and read for pleasure.


In Year 7 all pupils have the opportunity to visit Manchester Central Library. They have a tour of this magnificent resource 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 they are in Year 7 and Year 8 they should have the following items in their school bag at all times: independent reading book and reading record book. If they are in Years 9-11 they should be encouraged to have an independent reading book and they should take part in our Penguin Classics reading challenge.

Notice to Pupils:



If you have any further inquiries in regards to literacy across the curriculum please contact Miss C Ryan.