At Friesland School language is crucial to the development of thought. Through language, learners explore their world and their views of it. Speaking and listening, reading and writing are therefore inseparable, interdependent and of equal importance. Literacy is taught as an integral part of the whole school curriculum and holds a key position as such.
All students learn differently and in the teaching of Literacy we make maximum use of a variety of learning styles and a range of tasks to ensure that students have a broad range of experiences.
In KS3, all students are issued with a ‘reading record’ which encourages them to track and record their extra-curricular reading habits. These records are monitored by their form tutor, who rewards them every time they read. Students are encouraged to read at home with friends and family and are asked to get them to sign their record page. When students hit certain milestones they are awarded a certificate, as detailed below.
- 25 reads – bronze award
- 50 reads – silver award
- 75 reads – gold award
- 100 reads – platinum award
When students receive their ‘platinum award,’ they are invited to a ‘success evening,’ held in the summer, which celebrates their achievements in reading, alongside their family and teachers. This is an annual event, which aims to foster and maintain a love of reading in students.
Many students are also involved in a mentoring project, which allows sixth form students and year 9 students to work with younger students and help support them in their reading. Students meet, on a weekly basis, with their mentor who listens to them read; helps them choose new books and signs and monitors their reading record. This is aimed to harness new skills in the mentors and to help support the mentees with their progress in reading across the curriculum. Both mentors and mentees are invited to the ‘success evening’ at the end of the academic year.
Each year we hold a series of Spelling Bee competitions for year 7. This X Factor style competition begins in tutor time, with a series of rounds in English groups following on from this. We then conclude this with a Spelling Bee competition in the hall.
Tutor time literacy
Tutor time Literacy involves students learning the key word or skill of the week. Key words and skills are enforced throughout the school, in all subjects. There are also recommended books of the week, offering challenge and engagement to all students.
The English department have identified five common literacy errors to focus on in English lessons and across the school. These have been branded as 'First Five' and posters have been placed in every department and across the school to remind students of their importance.
How you can help
Parents often express concerns over their children’s spelling. At Friesland School, we employ a whole school approach to improving your child’s spelling, involving not only the English Department but work with tutors and all other subject areas.
If your child is to consolidate and improve his/her spelling, it must also be reinforced at home. We would therefore ask you to be actively involved in encouraging your child to:
- use spelling strategies that work for them
- use a dictionary in class and at home