Literacy Matters

Across the school this year, we will be focusing on improving the literacy of all our students. We all see the huge benefits that this has on our students, in every aspect of their life and we hope that you are already seeing the benefit at home.

Why Literacy Matters!

  • Statistics from 2014 show that one in five children in England cannot read well by the age of 11.
  • Further research, conducted in 2015, found that similar percentages of 15-year-olds across the UK do not have a minimum level of literacy proficiency: 18% in England and Scotland, 15% in Northern Ireland and 21% in Wales.
  • Students are less able to learn other curricula if they do not develop sufficient reading skills by the middle of primary school.
  • Only 35% of 10-year-olds in England report that they like reading ‘very much’. This lags behind countries like Russia (46%), Ireland (46%), New Zealand (44%), and Australia (43%).
  • By the final year of compulsory schooling in England, the reading skills of children from disadvantaged backgrounds are on average almost three years behind those from the most affluent homes.

Our first focus of this academic year has been vocabulary:

Our first focus of this academic year has been vocabulary:

We are, in particular, helping students to improve their knowledge and understanding of Tier 3 words that are specific to the subjects that they are studying. By doing so, students will be better able to navigate their lessons, as they feel confident in using a range of words.

Tier Explanation
Tier 1
Words occur frequently in everyday life - such words generally are not worth teaching explicitly as they will be absorbed via natural exposure.
Tier 2
Words that occur across a range of domains are characteristic of written texts and occur less frequently in oral language.
Tier 3
Words consist of technical vocabulary specific to a certain domain or discipline. They are subject specific and highly specialised.

These words form the Keystone Vocabulary for each unit in a subject – the most important words that we need our students to know and understand. As part of this, we have introduced Frayer Models across the school.

Frayer Model Explained

Frayer model example:

Frayer Model Example

They are a simple yet effective way to organise our knowledge of the keystone vocabulary. Students will be completing these in class collaboratively, as well as independently, as part of their home learning across all year groups. Students will become more confident in their use of these words and will further develop their word consciousness moving forwards.

All our students have taken to this initiative with excitement and inquisitiveness. Ask your children what new words they have learnt this week and what they mean? We have seen some amazing work from our students in all years, confidently being able to discuss the etymology and morphology of some really complex words. You will be amazed at the wonderful work they have done!

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