Literacy across the Curriculum
This academic year at St Cuthbert’s we have seen the implementation of some exciting new initiatives to promote Literacy across the Curriculum.
As the Literacy Trust tells us, “Literacy skills are essential for young people to reach their potential in school and fulfilling opportunities throughout life”. In order for our students to excel in every subject area, developing their skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening is at the top of our agenda and our revised whole school literacy policy addresses our commitment to this.
Every teacher is a teacher of Literacy and our cross-curricular Literacy marking policy consolidates this; whether it’s rectifying spelling in History or correcting grammar usage in Religious Education, students are supported in improving their written accuracy with a clear, no-nonsense policy that is displayed in all classrooms and used by every teacher at St Cuthbert’s.
In addition to this, we have put into place a ‘Literacy Focus’ and ‘Word of the Week’ scheme that stretches across all year groups and subject areas. Each fortnight we have a particular ‘Literacy Focus’ (for example, ‘words using –ie and –ei’) that is actively promoted in Form Time and by all members of staff. Form time spelling tests and the ‘Word of the Week’ are centred around the current focus and students are encouraged to use as many of the focus words as they can, whether that be in written work, discussion tasks, or identifying related words in their everyday reading. This initiative supports our students in developing their subject specific vocabulary by building a strong and varied repertoire of language.
Furthermore, we are introducing the popular and successful ‘Accelerated Reader’ programme into year 7; this will both encourage reading for pleasure and help us to monitor our students’ independent reading practice and progression. Accelerated Reader is a programme that can be advocated at home as well as school, at break times and lunch times as well as in lessons, in the library as well as the classroom. It is a system that promotes reading for meaning and understanding which will enable our students to make notable gains in every subject they study. In brief, we are providing secure foundations for your child to succeed.
As well as providing excellent opportunities within the classroom, we are also committed to providing extra-curricular activities relating to the consolidation of Literacy skills and the creative paths this may take. To coincide with National Poetry Day in October, we held a school-wide poetry competition which proved to be extremely popular with students from all year groups; our overall winner was privileged to attend a writing workshop with published author, Chrissy Manby. We hope to repeat this success later in the year with a Flash Fiction Competition to help our budding authors flourish and display their writing skills.
Overall, the staff at St Cuthbert’s are committed to maximising the performance of our students. We understand that by improving Literacy skills across the curriculum we can foster a rise in achievement, advancement, and attainment that will be evident in every subject area and the wider world beyond our school.