Literacy Policy - Ss John Fisher and Thomas More Roman Catholic

Ss Fisher More RC High School Literacy Policy
At Ss Fisher More RC High School we recognise that all teachers at our school are teachers
of literacy. As such, we are committed to developing literacy skills in all our pupils because
we believe it will support their learning and raise standards across the curriculum. Literacy is
therefore an integral feature of our whole school Teaching and Learning Policy.
We believe that pupils need to develop the literacy skills required to confidently access all
areas of the curriculum, e.g.;
to develop a wide and varied vocabulary so that they can understand the world
around them and express themselves with confidence;
to read widely so that they may learn from sources beyond their experience and be
inspired to new and broad horizons;
and to write with clarity so that they can articulate their ideas confidently and in an
logical, structured way;
The Four Elements of Literacy at Ss Fisher More RC
High School
Our Literacy Policy is comprised of four simple elements that diverge into more diverse
Talk - Model Write
literacy skills
every lesson
Check work for
Promote wider
The Strands
Talk – Model - Write
Teachers should use the talk – model – write teaching and learning approach when setting a
writing task. The approach aims to impact on pupils’ engagement in writing, by
demonstrating and scaffolding exemplar work and by promoting discussion about writing in
a supportive learning context. Studies have shown that bridging the gap between quality
talk and quality writing can be challenging but that effective scaffolded writing experiences
result in independent written outcomes and improved quality of written work.
Teachers should guide pupils to plan and prepare for writing by using this
scaffolding technique. When writing tasks are set, teachers should explain the
task and model appropriate parts of the task to demonstrate to pupils what the
expectations and outcomes should be.
Through use of the talk – model – write approach, teachers should encourage
pupils to make informed choices about what they are writing and as they write,
(for example, about vocabulary, grammar, text structure, etc.)
There should be particular emphasis placed on using the talk – model – write
approach when modelling the use of Standard English and formal writing.
Developing Literacy Skills
Pupils should be given opportunities every lesson to develop their literacy skills. This will
include reading, writing and/or oral communication.
Curriculum leaders should outline Literacy provision in departmental schemes of
Teachers should encourage conscious development of literacy skills during lessons.
It may be appropriate to cover a range of literacy skills in some lessons, whereas in
other lessons one area of Literacy may be covered in greater depth.
Teachers should promote the use of Standard English whenever appropriate. Pupils
should be encouraged to write in a formal style, using full sentences, unless
instructed otherwise, for example when writing for a specific audience that requires
informal writing.
Why Standard English?
Standard English is used in most written media such as books and newspapers. It provides
the basis of sign language. It is also taught to people learning English as an additional
language. It can be quite different to spoken English. Crucially however, Standard English is
used in educational resources and in GCSE exams. Students that are confident in
understanding and using Standard English are better placed to access the content of
textbooks and assessment information.
Confidence can be developed and skills can be taught. Through our promotion of Standard
English and formal writing we will prepare students for successful progression.
The main features of Standard English include:
No slang words.
Replacing informal words with formal words; replacing ‘kids’ with ‘children’ for
Fully writing out words that are often contracted in speech; writing ‘they are’ instead
of ‘they’re’ for example.
Writing in fully constructed sentences.
Writing in a formal tone.
A comprehensive summary of the development of pupils’ literacy skills is further outlined in
our ‘Developing Literacy across the Curriculum’ overview, which can be accessed through
our school website.
Checking Work
Teachers should check pupils’ work for literacy and develop skills in spelling, punctuation,
grammar and handwriting through written and verbal feedback. The whole school Marking
Policy includes periodic (every 3 weeks) focus on accuracy of spelling and/or grammar in
each subject.
Teachers should provide written feedback that reinforces both common and subjectspecific words which all students are expected to spell correctly (e.g. there/their)
through their marking, verbal feedback, form time activities and reference materials
displayed in classrooms.
Teachers should consistently reinforce expectations for grammar, punctuation and
handwriting across the curriculum through their marking and verbal feedback to
Teachers should promote the use of the student Literacy Guidebooks to assist with
peer and self-assessment.
Pupils are expected to check their work for literacy before they hand it in using their
green pens. There should be particular emphasis on pupils checking work that
includes extended writing and instances of formal writing.
Promoting Wider Reading
Staff should promote a culture, through form time, lessons and extra-curricular sessions,
which encourages pupils to enjoy reading, share their views on what they have read and
develop the ability to compare texts and express opinions about them.
Ss Fisher More RC High School staff may participate in our book recommendation scheme
whereby suggestions from staff are shared with students through school displays and form
time promotions. Students can access recommended books through our LRC. The Literacy
Co-ordinator and LRC Manager also promote interest in reading by advertising LRC ‘new
releases’ to students during form time.
All teachers should actively promote wider reading through form time, lesson and
extra-curricular sessions. Teachers should encourage students to read regularly to
develop their literacy skills.
Curriculum Leaders should review and update the wider reading list for
parents/carers and pupils that is linked to their curriculum area and accessed via our
school website.
Curriculum Leaders should outline and keep a record of departmental wider reading
Form tutors should promote silent reading within form time.
Form tutors should promote wider reading through use of the student planners in
form time. Form tutors should encourage students to update the Literacy pages,
such as the book review pages and reading wish lists.
We are committed to our whole school approach to develop the literacy skills of all our
students through our co-ordinated policy. An overview of the cross-curricular Literacy
provision at Ss Fisher More RC High School can be accessed via our school website.