Literacy at Caludon

INTRODUCTION

At Caludon Castle we are committed to ensuring that all students have the confidence and skills to read, speak and write with fluency and accuracy. These skills are needed across the whole curriculum and have a significant impact on both attainment and wellbeing. 

LITERACY IN YEAR 7

Literacy is not a discrete subject or lesson at Caludon: our staff integrate ‘disciplinary literacy’ into their subjects so that students learn how to think, read write and speak like a specialist in that area. For example

in English they learn how to analyse which is similar to being a literary critic; or they learn how to use subject specific terminology to speak and write as an historian; or they learn about the origins of words for science so they can better biologists… We feel this is an exciting way to approach ‘literacy’ and means that all students are supported in the spelling, writing and discission of subject content and terminology across the whole school. It also means that all teachers are ‘teachers of literacy’ and can support with varying needs.

There is also, however, specific things we do at Caludon to boost and support effective literacy skills:

  • All Year 7 students will have access to Bedrock Vocabulary, a digital learning platform which adapts to their independent needs to identify, teach and practise a fantastic range of new vocabulary that can be applied across the different subjects. Bedrock will be an integral part of English lessons and home learning. Students earn points for their engagement with Bedrock and throughout the year we will run a number of competitions to reward excellent effort and progress.
  • Our library is at the very heart of the school and is constantly updated to include the latest novels, graphic novels and non-fiction. Year 7s visit the library every two weeks with their English teacher and are expected to read their chosen books at home. The free BorrowBox library app is an extension to the library and provides access to ebooks and audiobooks to enjoy from a digital device.
  • We recognise that some students find reading and writing particularly challenging and adaptive support will be given throughout the year in small groups to build confidence and skill.

HOW YOU CAN SUPPORT LITERACY AT HOME

  • Ask your child about the book they have chosen from the library or BorrowBox and listen to them read aloud, pausing to ask questions about the characters, settings, plots or information. 
  • Talk to your child about Bedrock Vocabulary and ask them which new words they have learned from using the programme. 
  • Look out for informal and enjoyable opportunities for writing at home, for example writing a diary, thank you letters or postcards.
  • Look out for book recommendations from our librarian (Miss Barton), which will be shared in our newsletters, and ask your child which ones they are interested in and why.
  • Engage in conversations where you encourage the use of full sentences and developing/expanding on things.