‘Literacy is a bridge from misery to hope. It is a tool for daily life in modern society…Literacy is, finally, the road to human progress and the means through which every man, woman and child can realize his or her full potential’Kofi Annan
Literacy is a fundamental requirement of learning, thinking and exploring. At the County High School, Leftwich students are encouraged to harness their literacy skills so they leave school as independent, critical thinkers, confident language users and communicators, prepared for success academically and beyond. By ensuring all students leave us with high levels of literacy, students enter the world as autonomous, dynamic citizens.
Our literacy programme consists of five foundational concepts:
- Reading Fluency
- Reading for Pleasure
- Vocabulary Instruction
- Disciplinary Writing
Students who have access to a wealth of powerful reading experiences are proven to be more academically successful, and subsequently enjoy a fulfilling and rewarding career (DfE. 2015). Students are given the opportunity to read in many areas of their school life. In tutor time, students have a weekly DEAR session, where they are exposed to a range of fiction and non-fiction texts to explore and deepen their critical thinking, develop their empathy and understanding of emotions and the vocabulary to express this, as well as cultivate their self and social identities. In addition, at Key Stage 3, students participate in the Accelerated Reader Programme to build on their reading fluency.
As part of their curriculum content, students are exposed to high quality academic texts across a suite of subjects. Students are explicitly taught the academic and disciplinary vocabulary they need to speak and write with intention, developing their expression and ability to showcase their knowledge.
Routinely in lessons, students are supported in their development of writing for purpose. Through scaffolding and modelling, students are encouraged to adapt their expressions, structure and vocabulary to best suit different contexts and roles, preparing them to be effective communicators in the wider world.
In a democratic society where freedom of speech is a protected right, it is unequivocal that we show students how best to use their speech to be kind, sensitive and intentional. At Key Stage 4, students complete Debate sessions in tutor time, giving them a sustained opportunity to develop and practise their critical thinking, listening and speaking skills in preparation for civic life. In lessons, students are regularly offered opportunities to practise structured, academic discussion.
It is our aim that all students leave the County High School, Leftwich with the literacy skills required to navigate the wider world. Any student who is struggling with literacy is given targeted support. This may be through encouragement from the form tutor and librarian, small group interventions, or more intensive phonic support. We use the STAR Reading and Accelerated Reader assessments and Read, Write, Inc programme to ensure students are offered the best possible support to ensure their success.