Talk is our main method of communication and is fundamental to our development. We hold high standards for the oral responses expected of our students and in all areas of the curriculum they will be expected to “speak like a scholar” where they use subject specific terminology. During lessons there are regular opportunities for pupils to use talk to develop their ideas and responses as we recognise the value of discussion as a tool for learning.
Reading is a skill that is not just developed through the English department but underpins learning across the curriculum. Students access a range of texts which provide ambitious opportunities for them to develop subject knowledge and cultural capital in all lessons. Where necessary, reading is scaffolded to ensure that all of our pupils have the same opportunities and access reading interventions appropriate for their stage to close gaps between them and their peers. We promote the pleasure in reading through a range of extracurricular opportunities but also through our library. All students have access to the library and Year 7-9 receive regular library lessons. This time does not only allow for them to develop reading through choosing and renewing books but also to participate in guided, group reading of seminal young adult texts.
Our Year 7 and 8 cohort will also experience the Read Aloud programme in which they are read to for twenty minutes a day, 4-5 times a week. All students read the same book with their teachers and have the opportunity to read challenging but enjoyable texts. This not only helps to improve their comprehension and vocabulary, but also broaden their understanding and knowledge of the world around them.
We have high expectations of the standards of writing we expect from our young people. Lessons may have a Focus 15 in which students are expected to work independently on a task, in the majority of subjects this task will be written. To ensure that the value of classwork as revision aids is maximised, we expect students to present their work clearly and neatly and have clear presentation guidelines for our students. For extended pieces of writing, modelling is used, as appropriate, to ensure that students are aware of the standard, structure and tone of writing and checklists are employed as success criteria so that pupils are scaffolded with their writing.
Live marking will be used to correct errors of literacy. Teachers will use verbal feedback to point out literacy errors within a piece of work and students will reflect and correct these in lesson. Wider feedback will be offered in a range of ways as outlined in our feedback policy.