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 can aim to equip students with the essential literacy skills to achieve academic success and thereby enable them to participate in the highly competitive world of employment.

Writing

You only get one opportunity to make a first impression and to engage a reader. As such, written accuracy is essential and it is essential to recognise that it is not acceptable to continue to make the same errors day after day, year after year.

How can written accuracy be improved?

Always strive for accurate expression. Every piece of work should be checked for basic errors and for opportunities to improve expression and develop ideas. Where possible, we ask parents/carers to get involved with checking any homework for these basic errors. Simple aspects such as capital letters and full-stops can make a massive difference to the quality of a piece of work.

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 and the impact it can have on students’ writing. If a few spellings were learnt every week, it would have a dramatic long-term effect on writing.

Ways in which you can support your child with writing and spelling:

  • Check that sentences have been used properly (capital letter to start and punctuation at the end)
  • Incorporate imaginative and appropriate use of vocabulary
  • Use the Literacy pages in the planner to support accurate written expression
  • Below is a list of basic mistakes many students make if we can get these right students will be moving forward
  • When practicing spellings use the ‘look/cover/remember/write/check’ method

There are some common errors which lots of people seem to struggle with. The aim is to ensure that everyone is able to use the following list of language features accurately and reliably. It is important to learn the rules rather than simply guess which is the appropriate choice.

  • was/were
  • your/you’re
  • of/have
  • there/their/they’re
  • been/being
  • possessive apostrophe
  • its/it’s
  • plural – ys and ies
  • contractions

Reading

Many children leave primary school with fairly proficient reading skills. However, reading as a ‘life skill’ requires so much more than this. Students need to be able to understand different types of texts, their influences and conventions. 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.

Ways in which you can support your child with writing and spelling:

  • Listen to your child read.
  • Ask questions about the texts they are reading: Why? How? What might happen next?
  • Read regularly – 30 minutes a day. This doesn’t need to be a novel; newspapers and magazines are always a good way to get children reading and learning without even realising it.
  • Read with another person and then discuss the text.
  • Read a variety of texts e.g. fiction and non-fiction, magazines, newspapers.
  • Visit a library or book shop to inspire varied reading.
  • Encourage your child to take books out of the library.

How we can work together to support your child with their literacy skills:

The library is integral to supporting students with their literacy skills, and alongside the English department runs the programme The Better Reading Partnership (BRP). Through this programme we work with parents/carers to be able to support students with reading. If you would like to know more about the programme or any other literacy based questions please do not hesitate to contact Miss R Edwards (Literacy Co-ordinator/Second in English).