Here at All Hallows Catholic High School, Literacy is a whole school focus at the forefront of our teaching and learning. The power of reading, writing and oracy is a skill which must be mastered and cultivated and we have a number of initiatives to ensure that every child has opportunities to solidify, stretch and challenge their skills in these areas. Whilst Literacy is a crucial component required to succeed across the curriculum, we also recognise the importance of conquering these skills for life beyond the school gates – our intent is to ensure that every child leaves school with not only understanding and confidence, but a love and appreciation for expression and the literary heritage.
- Weekly Literacy lessons at KS3 which include 20 minutes reading a whole class reader (some options include: Animal Farm, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, Lord of the Flies, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, The Woman In Black, The Yellow Wallpaper, The Boy at the Back of the Class, The Great Gatsby). We hope that this helps develop students’ ability to read with accuracy, fluency and proficiency whilst also creating a love and appreciation for reading and the literary heritage. Literacy lessons also include a weekly spelling/vocabulary test and a designated Literacy activity to help promote and improve accuracy.
- Cross Curricular reading posters are on display around the school and detail at least two reads for each year group every term. These books are often linked to the topics being studied that term to encourage pupils to read widely across the curriculum whilst also discovering which areas interest them. We also have a wonderful reading display in the Junior Building which displays all of these posters.
- Word of the Week is displayed on all school televisions to help bridge the vocabulary gap and encourage students to develop their understanding of low-frequency vocabulary. Our Word of the Week has a cross-curricular focus and subject disciplinary vocabulary from all departments are regularly used.
- Read of the Week is displayed on all school televisions to help encourage our pupils to read widely and to foster a love of reading. These include books relevant to all departments and often include staff favourites too!
- Literacy rewards have been added to Synergy and staff are aware that they should reward pupils with a Literacy ‘gold’ if they impress them in areas of reading, writing and oracy.
- The school library is open every day 1-1:25PM to all pupils. The library is a safe space for our pupils to come and read, discuss books with teachers and peers, borrow books or revise quietly.
- Reading By the Fire is a weekly quiet reading club which encourages pupils to come and enjoy a quiet time of reading.
- We have a Literacy Loyalty Card which encourages pupils to engage in reading, writing and oracy. They can collect one of these cards from the library and new challenges are posted every half term. Tasks can include: reading a prayer in form; short writing competitions; creating posters; helping in an assembly. Rewards are offered at the end of every half term for pupils who have fully stamped loyalty cards.
- We have a whole school reading strategy called ‘Reciprocal Reader’. Details on how to use this structured reading format can be found on our website.
- Every pupil at KS3 completes the NGRT Reading Age Test. This enables us to collate valuable data on all our pupils to ascertain who may need extra support with their reading comprehension and phonics. Additionally, this test is used to stretch and challenge our high ability pupils who we encourage to read widely, including classics.
- Miss Poston (Literacy Coordinator) and Mr Case (SENDco) run Lexonik phonics intervention for our struggling readers; this happens weekly during their Literacy lesson. We use data from NGRT to enable us to target pupils most in need of this extra support.
- A half-termly Literacy Look newsletter is distributed to all parents and staff; this document includes the Literacy focus for each year group each half term. It also documents useful websites, links and opportunities to help parents and guardians support learning at home.
- Regular writing competitions are promoted across the school and our pupils are always encouraged to submit entries to National writing contests.