Literacy

Literacy at Shrewsbury Academy and The Marches Academy Trust

At Shrewsbury Academy 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 year, we have developed a range of strategies to increase the status of literacy within our school environment, such as our DEAR daily session, World Book Day events, and a range of competitions including our ghost story writing competition.

We have also held a fantastic range of events to develop out students’ reading, writing, speaking and listening. These include:

 Celebration of World Book Day with a range of activities and events celebrating reading throughout the school.

 A range of debating competitions

 A young writer’s Club

 Our daily DEAR session

 Participation in ‘Tea and Talk’ workshops with Year 7 and 8 students to develop their confidence in speaking and listening.

Whole School Aims and Objectives

We, as members 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.

Literacy features as the main priority for The Marches Academy Trust. With regards to whole school literacy at Shrewsbury Academy, the School Development Plan identifies the following areas as being the key literacy focuses for the next stage of our development:

  • Consistency of the use of literacy across the school for all children
  • All children will write accurately and fluently with presentation being consistently high
  • Clear literacy expectations should be evident in every subject
  • Reading logs should be completed by all students, to support our ‘Reading School’ and log their reading throughout the academic year.
  • All students entering the school below expected literacy standards should make significant catch up and are able to swiftly join their peers

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.

Literacy – 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 library 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.

Helpful websites:
– 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 Shrewsbury Academy or you would like to recommend a fantastic book to other parents, please contact: a.grant@sa.sat.coop