Department Leader: Frances Dempster
The development of an effective literacy skillset (that is, speaking, listening, reading and writing) is fundamental to the achievement of a rich and fulfilling life. We use these skills every day in order to communicate with, and make sense of, the world around us. As such, the better we are at these skills the more successful we can expect to be in life. At Kettering Buccleuch Academy we recognise that at the heart of improving literacy skills is the opportunity to practise them. Improving literacy and learning can have an impact on students’ self-esteem, motivation, behaviour and attainment. It allows them to learn independently and is empowering.
Literacy unlocks the curriculum for students and provides a foundation for excellence in all subjects.
To improve standards of literacy in our schools we advocate a 3-pronged approach:
- Catch-up support for students working significantly below expected standard
- Literacy in every classroom and every subject
- Whole-school promotion of reading, words and grammar
Catch-up for students working significantly below expected standard
Why? Students who cannot read and write proficiently are hampered in nearly every lesson of every day. These students require targeted support to enable them to become proficient in reading and writing so that they can access the curriculum.
How? See Key stage 3 and 4 support
Literacy in every classroom and every subject
Why? It is in the classroom that students will be exposed to subject-specific vocabulary which they will not otherwise encounter. It is the responsibility of all teachers to teach students how to produce excellent writing in their subject, and to enable students to comprehend challenging texts.
How? Teachers at Kettering Buccleuch Academy teach literacy explicitly, embedding literacy into their schemes of learning and lesson plans.
Whole-school promotion of reading, words and grammar
Why? For many students, school is their one chance to encounter books which will enthral, enrich and build cultural capital. Schools have an opportunity to set out the books they expect students to read and provide the time, space and motivation to fuel this.
Our Reading programme includes:
- Accelerated Reader at Key Stage 2 and 3
- myOn digital reading programme
- ‘Drop Everything and Read Time’ each day for 20 minutes across Key Stage 3 lessons.
- Direct Reading instruction in Tutor Time, two mornings each week. This is when students are exposed to a range of challenging classics and are guided through these texts by their tutor in a structured programme of delivery. In year 10 and 11 students read their GCSE Literature texts. The focus in these sessions is: reading fluency, vocabulary acquisition and comprehension.
- Guided Reading sessions twice a week in year 7 for students who need extra support.
- Phonics catch-up in literacy lessons in year 7 and 8.
An extra- curricular programme of:
- Book Club in primary and secondary
- The Big Book Quiz
- Shadowing of the Carnegie Award
- Celebration and participation in National Literary Events
- Our very own ‘100 Books’ to read before you leave primary and secondary school – these texts form part of our ‘Subject Honours’ programme of activities
- House Reading competitions – Classics Mastermind and the ‘Houseopoly’ reading challenge in Key stage 3.
To measure and monitor impact:
- NGRT and ‘Star Reading’ diagnostic testing each year.