This page is designed to give a potted overview of our comprehensive approach to Literacy at St John Henry Newman Catholic School. For more detailed insight into Literacy, we have a comprehensive literacy strategy below, and a recently updated Literacy Policy that can be viewed in the ‘Policies and Documents’ section of the school website.
The below strategy covers the years 2020 – 2023 signposting where our Literacy journey is currently and how we intend to move it forward strategically over a three year period.
In order to bridge the transition from Primary to Secondary school we find out about pupils’ writing and reading ability from their primary teacher. We also like to know details such as approaches to writing from each primary school to inform our curriculum in KS3. Furthermore, we ask for pupils’ reading ages and also a copy of their best written work, so that we can ensure consistency of standards from Year 6 into 7 and to avoid any transition dips.
Throughout the summer term, we publish a range of numeracy and literacy tasks on our website, to gain an insight into the standard of work pupils are capable of producing independently.
Reading & DEAR Time
We afford 30 minutes of reading time in Tutor Time 3 times a week, and pupils in KS3 are issued with a whole class reading book per half term to read at these sessions. Moreover, throughout the week, DEAR (Drop Everything and Read) time operates on a daily carousel, ensuring that every subject area has a responsibility to promote and instil a love for reading. During DEAR time, pupils have the opportunity to read their reading book, some will be asked to read aloud to their class teacher, and it may be that the class teacher reads aloud to the pupils. This means that collectively we offer the opportunity for two hours of dedicated reading through the course of the week.
For a small number of our pupils with reading ages significantly below their chronological reading age, we have an intervention programme that takes place before and after school. pupils work closely with our Learning Support and Reading Support teams in a nurturing, small group environment where they have the opportunity to hone their word decoding and comprehension skills. This intervention shows year on year to have a significant impact on the pupils who engage regularly with it – with many pupils making in excess of a year’s progress in a couple of terms.
Pupils in Years 7 to 10 will be given a prescribed range of topics that are rooted in HRSE and Citizenship themes. In their English lessons, pupils will develop and deliver their presentation to their peers. This promotes the importance of good oracy skills and helps to develop confidence in our pupils.
SALAD Days (Speaking and Listening Activity Development)
Further promoting standards in oracy, we have implemented drop down mornings known as SALAD days. These prove very popular among our pupil body, with engagement and behaviour standards being very high during the delivery of these days. Each subject area takes a turn throughout the year to develop a deepened or extended sequence of learning from their curriculum. The main thrust of the sessions however is that pupils predominantly talk, discuss and present their ideas in a variety of ways, predominantly making use of their oracy skills over their written skills.