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Our Rationale for Literacy

Literacy is the foundation stone for learning throughout the curriculum, underpinning success for every student at every level. High levels of literacy equate to improved attainment in all subject areas. If learners have competent skills of written and spoken expression, and the ability to read, understand and interpret texts, they will have the ability to understand and respond to subject content across the curriculum.


It is our duty and moral obligation to ensure that every student can read fluently and is equipped with high standards of written and spoken communication in order to be successful both in and out of the classroom. In an increasingly challenging world, effective communication skills are essential to lead a fulfilling and successful life. We are committed to providing all students with a skill set which will improve their life chances. Every member of teaching and support staff has a role to play in supporting our whole school drive for the highest standards of literacy and oracy for every student, whatever their entry level.


It is the responsibility of every teacher to ensure that literacy is embedded in the curriculum of every subject, to support their acquisition of knowledge. Opportunities for speaking and listening, reading for meaning and extended writing should be outlined in all schemes of learning and progress. The reading and literacy policy exists to ensure that all pupils, in all subject areas, are provided with opportunities to develop as competent readers, writers, speakers and listeners.


We are committed to the development of the whole person within a supportive, secure and creative environment. A broad, balanced and appropriate curriculum provides equal opportunity for all students to maximise their potential regardless of age, gender, race, colour, religion, disability or sexual orientation. This commitment will be consistently applied within the context of whole school reading and literacy.


The literacy policy in action

1. Insist on standard English.

2. Talk, model, write.

3. Insist on full sentences.

4. Insist on proofreading.


1. Insist on standard English

  • All members of staff should be role models for the accuracy of spoken English. They should challenge and correct grammatical errors in students’ speech. Subject teachers and classroom-based support staff should guide students in their understanding of key terms and vocabulary and consistently reinforce the importance of core skills.

  •  Students should be taught to speak clearly and convey ideas confidently using standard English. They should learn to justify ideas with reasons; ask questions to check understanding; develop vocabulary and build knowledge; negotiate; evaluate and build on the ideas of others; select the appropriate register for effective communication.


2. Talk, model, write

  • Effective talk for literacy should be modelled every lesson through high levels of spoken standard English and the modelling of tier 2 and tier 3 vocabulary.

  • Students should be given opportunities to practise public speaking so that they grow in confidence when presenting their ideas to others.

  • Structured talk should be present in every lesson. Students should be taught to give well-structured descriptions and explanations and develop their understanding through speculating, hypothesising and exploring ideas. This will enable them to clarify their thinking as well as organise their ideas for writing.

  • Teachers and classroom-based support staff should develop vocabulary actively, building systematically on students’ current knowledge. They should make links between known and new vocabulary and discuss the shades of meaning in similar words.

  • Students should be given opportunities in the classroom and through homework tasks, to write for a variety of audiences and purposes including: narratives, explanations, descriptions, arguments, reports, comparisons, summaries and evaluations.


3. Insist on full sentences

  • Students should write fluently in full sentences using accurate punctuation in all pieces of extended writing.


4. Insist on proofreading

  • Students should be given regular opportunities to proofread their work and to value the process of editing. They should strive to produce Gold Standard Work consistently.

  • Teachers should mark for literacy using the literacy marking codes, checking students’ use of standard English, spelling, punctuation and grammar. Students should regularly and consistently act on feedback for literacy in order to make progress.

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