Literacy

Literacy at The Marches School and The Marches Academy Trust

At The Marches School we want every child to have freedom of choice when it comes to careers and be able to take up great opportunities offered to them. No child should be prevented from having a fulfilled life and future by not having the necessary skills, especially in literacy and communication skills. Parents will know that literacy is fundamental to their child’s well-being. It enables them to function in their everyday lives whilst giving them the lifelong skills to be able to communicate effectively, articulate their ideas and understand and interpret the ideas of others. Over the past 6 years, we have developed a range of strategies to increase the status of literacy within our school environment, such as our Reading School, World Book Week, author visits and a range of competitions including our recent house competition that focused on essay writing skills.

Exciting events that promote improving literacy at The Marches School
In recent years, we have held a fantastic range of events to develop out students’ reading, writing, speaking and listening. These include:

  • Celebration of World Book Week with a range of activities and events celebrating reading throughout the school and hosting World Book Day’s own ‘Big Book Event’ for local primary schools and our Key Stage 3 students.
  • All Year 6 students receiving an independent reading book for our summer transition project and Summer Reading Challenge
  • Visiting writers Frank Cottrell Boyce, who promoted his new novel ‘The Adventures of Broccoli Boy’, Olaf Falafel, and both Paul Dowswell and Linda Newberry, whose short stories featured in the ‘Stories of World War I’ anthology
  • A range of debating competitions
  • A young writer’s club
  • Our daily Reading School session
  • The success of our Reading Rangers programme, where Year 7 and 8 students are supported by our Year 10 and 12 students who act as their reading buddies.
  • Participation in ‘Talk the Talk’ workshops with Year 9 students to develop their confidence in speaking and listening.

Literacy Aims and Objectives

Whole School Aims and Objectives 

We, as members of The Marches School, as part of The Marches Academy Trust, believe that literacy is important for several reasons:

  1. Literacy is among the major antidotes for poverty.
  2. Literacy makes your life better.
  3. Literate people have more choices in their work and personal lives, leading to greater freedom.
  4. Literacy is great at teaching you how to think successively – that is, making meaning one step at a time to then build a story. Narrative is a key feature of learning and participating within society.
  5. Literacy soon becomes the currency of other learning.

With regards to whole school literacy at The Marches School, the School Development Plan identifies the following areas as being the key literacy focuses for the next stage of our development:

Reading:
Developing a culture of ‘Reading for Pleasure’ where all members of The Marches School and The Marches Academy Trust appreciate and champion the importance of reading.

Writing:
To improve standards of academic writing so that all students can demonstrate a confident control of Standard English and that they are able to write grammatically correct sentences, deploy figurative language and analyse texts confidently.

These aspects will be monitored throughout the academic year to identify our strengths as a school and identify where we need to go next. Regular updates will be provided to all members of the school community to help share our journey together.

Purposes of Writing Conventions and Structure Frames
Toolkit for Effective Writing

Supporting your child at home

Research proves the importance of the family home in raising literacy levels. Here are five suggestions you could adopt in your home:

  1. Have a range of books at home (just having books around your house has a massive impact). Encourage your child to read every day at home and to visit the LRC at school or your local library. It is suggested that students read for at least 30 minutes per day in order to truly develop their skills.
  2. Talk to your child about what he or she has read recently.
  3. Read yourself! Be a literacy role model.
  4. Help your child to proofread their written work. Assist her/him to check spellings and punctuation. Encourage your child to ask for clarification when unsure of a spelling or the use of a punctuation mark. See the following website for more information: http://www.parentsintouch.co.uk/Help-your-child-at-home-with-punctuation.
  5. Read the news together at least twice a week and discuss current events.

Please access our Parent Guide for literacy: ‘How do I support my child’s literacy?’ here: Literacy Support

Parent guide supporting the improvement of handwriting

Parent guide to help improve spelling

Helpful websites and more information:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/websites/11_16/site/english.shtml
– http://www.literacytrust.org.uk/

If you would like more information about literacy at The Marches School or you would like to recommend a fantastic book to other parents, please contact our Literacy Coordinator, Miss P Smith: smith.p@mmat.co.uk