Literacy - School Overview

Intent

At Beauchamps High School we strive to create confident communicators in reading, writing, speaking and listening not only across the curriculum but for life. The development of a whole-school approach towards promoting high levels of literacy, as well as providing extra-curricular opportunities for students to develop a love of all forms of communication, is central in our core ethos. We intend for students to spell and punctuate with confidence, adapt their writing style to meet various purposes as well as read and comprehend a range of material, in addition to valuing literacy across all subjects.

Alongside this, we recognise the need to promote high standards in Information and Digital Literacy, enabling our students to engage with the many forms of information with which they are faced in this fast-changing world. The ability to find, evaluate and work with information, in all formats, is vital for success academically, professionally and personally.

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Implementation

Beauchamps High School seeks to establish a framework to make it possible for students of all abilities to learn and develop their literacy skills, by helping them through the following strategies both within the curriculum and outside of the curriculum.

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Within the Curriculum

  • Literacy display within all departments and in community areas.
  • The Accelerated Reading Scheme for all Year 7 & 8 students, embedded into English lessons alongside Information Literacy skills.
  • Drop Everything And Read (DEAR) sessions three times a week.
  • Key vocabulary lists for students with a focus on closing the gap between boys and girls. Developing knowledge on word etymology focussing on key words throughout the curriculum.
  •  A whole-school marking policy identifying literacy errors, encouraging improvement through consistency.
  • The process of gathering and conveying information, ensuring that these skills are consistent across curriculum areas, developing as students progress through their school career.
  • The process of developing independence and discrimination, encouraging students to consider the quality and appropriateness of the reading material and sources of information they choose.
  • The study of language at sentence and word level within all subjects, paying close attention to a common practice of high-quality literacy instruction.
  • The study of texts – fiction, non-fiction and poetry – whilst linking these texts to subject knowledge and development.
  • Literacy competitions (each half term).
  • Sharing best practice throughout the school.

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Supporting Extra-Curricular Activities

  • Lexia programme
  • Reading and Writing Clubs, for students of all abilities.
  • Workshops run by performance poets, authors and writers.
  • Participation in World Book Week, encouraging an appreciation of the work of visiting authors.
  • Faculty based, KS3 literacy quiz/competitions.
  • Parent and child reading club/community literacy programme.
  • Teacher and student reading club targeted at students with low reading ages.
  • Sixth Form engagement with KS3 students, acting as reading mentors at extra-curricular reading sessions.
  • Girls’ targeted reading sessions.
  • Ensuring a high profile for Literacy news in each copy of the school newsletter.
  • National literacy schemes, where students work is published (parents have the option to purchase).
  • Higher Attaining students are encouraged to read a selection of novels outside of those in the syllabus to broaden their understanding. Subject specific reading suggestions are shared and resources are made available through the Learning Resources Centre.
  • Other opportunities for Higher Attainers include entrance into writing competitions and trips. 
  • Engaging Key Stage 3 students through national reading and football programme - targeted at students with low reading ages.
  • Shadowing and participating in the judging of many national book awards: The Carnegie Medal, The Essex Book Awards; The Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize (science based) and the Costa Book Awards.
  • The creation of an annual Beauchamps Teen Book Award, allowing students to nominate, champion and vote for the best in recent publications for young people.

We encourage and support staff to model high-level literacy skills in presentations, materials selected and verbal communication with students. To ensure high levels of literacy are promoted throughout the school, the literacy policy also aims to implement:

  • Continued staff training on literacy strategies.
  • Continued research into literacy strategies and implementation.
  • Continued liaison with local secondary and primary schools.
  • Ensuring staff awareness of students' reading ages.
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SEN

The school has a well-resourced Learning Support base which is well equipped to assist students who are experiencing difficulties with literacy acquisition. The SEN department offers thorough ‘screening’ on student intake, small group literacy teaching in Opportunity Groups, in-class support, lunchtime workshops, spelling workshops, modified lesson materials, differentiated tasks, appropriate setting arrangements and entry-level English delivery. LSAs have a literacy booklet which they can use in all lessons throughout the school.

 

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Impact

Students leave Beauchamps High School both confident and capable in all aspects of literacy.  Whatever their future path, we aim to enable students with the essential skills to be able to read, spell, punctuate and express themselves verbally in an appropriate way for their personal learning path, as well as source, evaluate and use high-quality information, to enable life-long learning.

 

"A child who reads will be an adult who thinks."
Sasha Salmina