Literacy across the Curriculum
Objectives of the policy
At Beamont Collegiate Academy we place huge value on the importance and the delivery of literacy. Reading, writing and communication skills are crucial for all aspects of the curriculum. A secure understanding of literacy is necessary for the future of our students and for this reason we have adopted a whole school approach to the teaching of literacy.
Our whole school aim is to create Teachers will promote a love of reading and will ensure that they provide students with opportunities to develop their reading, writing, speaking and listening skills through well-planned, focused lessons.
Each September every child in year 7 is screened using CATS and NGRT so that literacy intervention can be focused and targeted. NGRT (New Group Reading Test) is repeated across KS3 during the academic year to track progress and refine interventions. For those students who are identified as needing extra intervention, individual plans will be put in pace. Identified students will follow Lexonik Leap or Lexonik Advance; these programs will be followed to help students’ make rapid and sustained progress against age related reading expectations.
At Beamont Collegiate Academy our day-to-day behaviours and long-term strategies evidence that we value reading and the access to society reading will bring for our students. Reading is an integral part of daily life at the academy and every teacher will teach reading skills explicitly within their subject areas.
What we do at BCA
As a school we embrace current research around metacognition and reading.
EEF findings state that pupil to pupil talk as well as pupil to teacher talk help build knowledge of cognitive and metacognitive strategies. These strategies directly link to the teaching of reading when effectively modelled and guided by teachers.
Practice of this knowledge until it becomes implicit in long term memory, frees up space in short term memory for greater comprehension as well as space for new vocabulary acquisition.
Reciprocal teaching is a reading practice based on the foundational skills introduced through guided reading in addition to the use metacognitive talk to develop and support comprehension. Students who participate in this practice are encouraged to read, talk and think their way through the text. Scaffolded talk about a text is guided by four comprehension strategies: predicting, clarifying, questioning and summarising
Reciprocal teaching is a supportive teaching practice because it:
∙ supports students to develop comprehension strategies in a supportive context
∙ makes explicit what readers do – predict, clarify, question and summarise
∙ develops students’ content knowledge and topic vocabulary
∙ fosters meaningful dialogue among students including extended talk about texts
∙ helps students to develop skills in locating, recording, and organising information in preparation for writing.
At BCA, we call this the FAB Four and this is our model for delivery of this bespoke Reading Curriculum. This is displayed in all classrooms and explicitly referred to by teachers when reading.
• Reading Curriculum- The rationale of the reading curriculum is to broaden the range of reading experiences for students so that their range of vocabulary is expanded whilst also encountering a wide range of topics and issues that link to their subject curriculum. Students at KS3 follow a timetable of bespoke reading instruction lessons (twice per week in years 7&8 and once per week in year 9.)
• Lexonik Leap- This intervention ensures students develop strong phonological skills, become proficient in their phonic knowledge. ALL students in years 7, 8 and 9 who have a SAS score below 85 will complete the 6 steps and then move on to Level 1 advance.
• Lexonik Advance- These intervention sessions are an intensive hour of sound training and vocabulary exploration – the aim is to improve reading and vocabulary / unlocking building through understanding of common, prefix, roots and suffix. The school recently invested in additional levels to maximise impact across KS3 and pre-exam at KS4.
• The library- our school librarian provides a welcoming atmosphere before and after school. Homework club is available to all KS3 students and a dedicated study zone space for KS4 runs weekly. All Library books have been colour-coded to aid students in selecting age and ability related reading which provides appropriate support and challenge.
• Reading buddies- identified students meet in small groups or 1:1 during tutor time to develop reading comprehension. The school uses ‘Talisman’ reading scheme to develop phonic ability and understanding of morphemes.
• News – In tutor time students read topical news items on a weekly basis and engage in comprehension activities, there is also a weekly news quiz in the library.
• Timetabled reading – this is a slot within the English timetable given to reading only. Students choose an age and ability appropriate book from our library, classroom bookshelf (or from home) and read for 10 minutes each lesson.
• Bespoke literacy boards-Departments throughout the school have had an input into creating bespoke literacy boards for their departments. It is a point of reference for staff and students alike and encourages students to become familiar with subject specific terminology for their different areas of study.
At Beamont Collegiate Academy we strive to do our best in everything we do. If it isn’t excellent, it isn’t good enough.
When writing, staff will ensure that students:
• Write in clear handwriting.
• Use headings, sentences and paragraphs where appropriate.
• Not graffiti on our books.
• Use the date and title when starting any new work.
• Stick all sheets into our books.
• Write in blue or black ink.
• Take responsibility for suggestions made by our teachers in our books
• To make sure we make improvements in our work.
• Whole class feedback includes feedback on specific spelling punctuation and grammar.
When introducing new forms of writing, teachers should:
• provide good written examples
• explore word/sentence/text level/features of the text
• demonstrate structure
• Model and scaffold in the early stages providing writing frames
• Encourage use of correct spelling, punctuation, grammar, connectives and language features for different writing styles.
Teachers should also ensure that literacy within exercise books is marked according to the weekly literacy objectives and the ‘marking for literacy’ policy.
Marking for literacy
As part of the academy’s ‘marking for Literacy’ policy staff should use the current codes to identify literacy needs within a student’s book.
The purpose of this policy is to ensure that the academy use a common approach and that students become familiar with the codes; this in turn will hopefully ensure that
Students are able to rectify any misconceptions they may have in relation to literacy.
Speaking and listening activities should be encouraged throughout the academy. Activities should be well-focused and targeted. Students should be taught to use subject specific vocabulary according to specific curriculum areas.
Communication should be taught through modelled examples from the teacher and spoken communication should be taught by teachers who promote group interaction and emphasise voice control and clarity.
Students can become debaters through attending Debate Mate enrichment; they will compete against other schools in a nationally recognised competition and whilst doing so will be improving their skills in spoken communication.
A whole school approach to the teaching of vocabulary has been adopted. This includes key words on knowledge organisers and specific teaching of roots, etymology and morphology of words via the Frayer Model. This is enabling students to develop their working vocabulary and ensure there is a uniform approach to the teaching of vocabulary across the curriculum. Students are also able to make cross-curricular links and begin to build a robust vocabulary.