The guidelines that follow provide staff with a framework for reference when planning lessons and opportunities for assessment in order to raise literacy standards. Subject staff should also be guided by aspects of literacy highlighted in subject specific documents and cross‐curricular objectives identified in the National Literacy Strategy for Key Stage Three and specific information provided by the Academy’s SENCO to support students working below Level 3.
To develop the ways in which planned talk is used productively in a range of group situations within the classroom, students should be provided with the opportunity to plan, discuss and evaluate their own speaking and listening. They should be presented with a range of purposes and a variety of audiences. Importance should be placed on the value and respect students show when listening to the talk of others. Whilst English is clearly the major mode of communication, the development of aural and oracy skills is of great importance.
Incorporated within departmental schemes of work, there should be planned provision for students to practise a variety of reading techniques when responding to a range of subject matter that places different demands on them as readers. Departments should also regularly review the suitability of the texts they use. It is important that all students are able to access worksheets; font size, layout, sentence structure, use of relevant visual aids, clear differentiation between information and instructions all having a major impact on the way in which the text is received by the student.
Working with departments, the library has a central role to play in the promotion of literacy. Its structured use and review of the information handling skills core lessons (note‐taking, skimming and scanning, research skills) will equip students with the necessary skills to retrieve, question and process relevant information. Students will also be encouraged to transfer these skills when working with online texts. The contributions made by the library will remain in harmony with the ethos of promoting reading for pleasure.
Students should be provided with opportunities to write in a variety of forms for a range of audiences using the planning/drafting process. This may include writing to recount, explain, instruct, argue, persuade and discuss. Throughout Key Stage 3 departments should develop students’ extended writing skills, placing importance on the structure of the work in addition to content. Structured frameworks and examples of the teacher modelling written work might be considered appropriate to develop students’ own writing skills across the Key Stages. When marking written work an emphasis should be placed on respect and sensitivity. As well as individuals proof reading, peer assessment where appropriate can develop the students’ evaluative and practical skills. The technical accuracy of students’ work is a shared responsibility. All staff need to be prepared to identify and correct general spelling, punctuation and grammatical inaccuracies which could be detrimental to the overall quality of the writing.
To build students’ use and understanding of subject vocabulary departments should focus on subject specific key words, providing a visual display in each classroom, to be updated at regular intervals throughout the academic year. It is also recommended that subject staff incorporate a regular ten minute ‘word burst’ session into their lesson planning, to explore word families, origins and spelling patterns. To improve students’ individual spelling subject staff should also apply a more consistent approach, in line with Academy strategies recommended by the Literacy Co-ordinator.
Literacy should be promoted outside of the classroom. Special events such as Reading Week, Readathon, the Book Fair, the Carnegie Shadowing Scheme, library theme weeks, visiting authors and literacy competitions play a vital role in the promotion of the pleasure of literacy skills for lifelong learning.
As part of the agreed programme of activities for tutor times, Key Stage 3 tutors should promote the development of Literacy skills through the use of the Accelerated Reader programme and encourage participation in a range of reading and speaking and listening activities.