Literacy Policy 2014-2015

S. Beeby
Date Written
September 2014
Approved by
New Policy
1. Aims
Literacy is at the heart of everything we do. Without the ability to read for comprehension,
critically respond to written texts, express their ideas successfully in written form and
communicate effectively verbally, students will neither be able to access the curriculum
successfully nor engage in the world beyond school. Therefore, it is recognised that every
teacher at Scalby School is a teacher of literacy and every subject requires confidence and
fluency in literacy in order for students to flourish. There will be a coherent approach to
supporting the development of students’ literacy. Literacy will be evident in every class
room in the school. All teachers should “demonstrate an understanding of and take
responsibility for promoting high standards of literacy and the correct use of standard
English, whatever the teacher’s specialist subject” (Ofsted, 2011, Literacy Guidance to
The following extracts from the Ofsted School Inspection Handbook 2014 demonstrate the
aim of the policy:
Grade descriptors – overall effectiveness: the quality of education provided in the school
Outstanding (1)
There is excellent practice that ensures that all pupils have high levels of literacy and
mathematical knowledge, understanding and skills appropriate to their age. 1
Pupils whose cognitive ability is such that their literacy skills are likely to be limited make excellent progress
appropriate to their age and capabilities.
Grade descriptors – Achievement of pupils at the school
Outstanding (1)
From each different starting point, the proportions of pupils making expected
progress and the proportions exceeding expected progress in English and in
mathematics are high compared with national figures. For disadvantaged pupils, the
proportions are similar to, or are rapidly approaching, those for other pupils
nationally and in the school.
 The attainment and progress of disadvantaged pupils at least match or are rapidly
approaching those of other pupils nationally and in the school.
 Pupils read widely and often across all subjects to a high standard.
 Pupils acquire knowledge and develop and apply a wide range of skills to great effect
in reading, writing, communication and mathematics. They are exceptionally well
prepared for the next stage in their education, training or employment.
Grade descriptors – Quality of teaching in the school
Outstanding (1)
The teaching of reading, writing, communication and mathematics is highly effective
and cohesively planned and implemented across the curriculum.
From the 2014 Ofsted Inspection handbook p18-19:
Inspecting the impact of the teaching of literacy including reading
Literacy includes the key skills of reading, writing and oral communication that
enable pupils to access different areas of the curriculum.
Inspectors will consider the impact of the teaching of literacy and the outcomes
across the range of the school’s provision. They will use the evidence they gather to
inform the overall evaluation of pupils’ achievement, the quality of teaching and the
impact of leadership and management on raising standards. Inspectors will consider
the extent to which the school intervenes to provide support for improving pupils’
literacy, especially those pupils at risk of underachieving.
During the inspections of infant, junior, primary and middle schools, inspectors must
listen to children reading; among others, they should listen to lower-attaining pupils
reading and should discuss their reading with them. Inspectors will hear the weakest
readers in Key Stage 1 and later years. There may be occasions when inspectors need
to hear lower-attaining pupils read in Years 7 and 8 in secondary schools. This is to
find out how effectively the school is teaching reading to its weakest readers and to
assess whether the pupils are equipped with the phonic strategies needed to tackle
unfamiliar words.
Inspectors should decide which pupils they will listen to, taking into account the
school’s progress data on reading and other information such as lesson observations.
Inspectors should hear children read from books that are appropriate to their age,
including from previously unseen books.
Wherever possible, inspectors should listen to children reading within a classroom or
in an open area with which pupils are familiar.
“Pupils should be taught in all subjects to express themselves correctly and appropriately
and to read accurately and with understanding” (QCA, 2010, Use of Language Across the
2. Definition
Scalby School considers the definition of literacy to be all three components of effective
language use - speaking and listening, reading and writing. The aim of this policy is to
recognise that all teachers are facilitators of literacy through their subject. By applying a
consistent literacy policy throughout Scalby School, we aim to raise literacy attainment at
every level of ability, in all subject areas, in order to maximise the potential of every
student, and to ensure that all pupils have the opportunity to become effective readers,
writers and communicators.
3. Overview
A whole school literacy policy is necessary because:
 pupils need vocabulary, expression and organisational control to cope with the cognitive
demands of subjects
 reading helps us to learn from sources beyond our immediate experience
 writing helps us to sustain and order thought
 language helps us to reflect, revise and evaluate the things we do, and on the things
others have said, written or done
 responding to higher order questions encourages the development of thinking skills and
 improving literacy and learning can have an impact on pupils’ self-esteem, on motivation
and behaviour. It allows students to learn independently. It is empowering.
All staff will ensure they mark for literacy errors during every mark, focusing on highfrequency words writing in green ink:
sp (in the margin)
new paragraph
punctuation error, corrected
grammatical error
word omitted
4. Roles and Responsibilities
Senior Leadership Team
The Senior Leadership Team will implement the policy by:
 Ensuring that Subject Leaders develop and regularly evaluate the implementation
and impact of the literacy policy.
 Carrying out drop-ins to evaluate the impact of the literacy policy.
 The AAHT Deep Learning to arrange for all students in the school to undertake a
reading age test. The results are to be made available to the whole staff team.
 The AAHT Deep Learning timetabling meetings of a Literacy Working Group (LWG)
meeting at least once a term and will work to ensure the sharing of good literacy
practice and consistency across the school with regards to the application of the
whole school Literacy Policy.
 The AAHT Deep Learning offering whole school training to staff to support the
implementation of the Literacy Policy.
 The AAHT Deep Learning working closely with the 2nd Department English to
collaborate on the development, implementation and evaluation of the literacy
Subject Leaders
Subject teachers will implement the policy by:
 Writing and keeping up to date a specific literacy focus as part of the Department
Development Plan which will be based upon the key literacy skills to be developed in
that particular department.
 Carrying out monitoring and evaluation in the form of drop-ins, lesson observations,
book trawls, lesson plan sampling to assess implementation and impact of the
literacy policy in their department areas.
 appointing a Literacy Co-ordinator, who will attend meetings of the Literacy Working
Group. Some faculties may decide to appoint a faculty literacy co-ordinator
particularly if the faculty is comprised of small subject areas.
 ensuring their subject area has compiled a list of key vocabulary and is present in
classrooms clearly visible from any point in the room.
 creating their own reading lists for students who wish to read independently. These
should be stored together with Schemes of Work.
 encouraging and rewarding independent reading outside of school.
Subject Teachers
Subject teachers will implement the policy by:
Ensure that the reading age for each student taught is transferred to a the seating
plan and work record sheet.
Following the feedback and marking policy and marking up to two literacy errors per
page during every mark. High frequency words should be the initial focus for
correction, together with words which sound the same but are spelt differently, such
as there and their, and subject-specific words.
Ensuring that following a mark, students demonstrate in their books that they
understand the error and have practiced the skill/misspelling until they can execute
it correctly.
Regularly checking spelling as a focus of self and peer assessment during starters and
Ensuring that at the beginning of every unit of work, key topic words are introduced.
Individual departments should ensure that these key topic words are corrected in
students’ work when misspelled.
Students should be encouraged to use dictionaries, which will be made available in
all classrooms.
Encouraging students to structure their work with paragraphs to signal a change of
topic, change of speaker, change of time and change of place.
Encouraging students should use punctuation, including full stops, commas, semicolons, question marks, apostrophes, quotation marks and speech marks, correctly.
Encouraging all students to begin a sentence with a capital letter, along with all
proper nouns. Again, mistakes should be identified by staff and corrected.
Encouraging students to use discursive markers or connectives, such as ‘finally’ and
‘however’, to signal the development of an argument or their opinion, or their
consideration of another’s opinion. These connectives should appear in formal
written work in order to aid clarity and understanding by the reader.
Actively encourage students to plan, organise, draft, edit and reflect on their writing.
Writing frames can be useful to promote extended writing. Offer pupils a model for
writing in unfamiliar forms or for unfamiliar purposes.
Ensure students use formal Standard English in their writing and oral work as
Identifying and correct use of “text speak”, inappropriate informalities and
abbreviations such as “gotten”.
Using the Learning Resource Centre, where appropriate, to promote active reading
and research strategies that involve negotiating an index or the contents of a book.
Encouraging students to make use of different reading techniques, such as
skimming, scanning or reading intensively according to the nature of the task.
Encouraging students to retrieve and locate information from a text, so they select
or note only what is relevant.
Develop specific opportunities for individual, pair and small group speaking and
listening activities. Talk can be used to explore and evaluate, to ask and answer
questions, to plan, discuss and evaluate their own speaking and listening and to
solve problems collaboratively.
Insisting on all work being titled and dated, all titles and dates should be underlined
using a ruler. The date is to be written in words using capital letters i.e. Tuesday 2 nd
September, 2014.
Ensuring students should write in blue or black ink. Pencils should be used for
graphs, the drawing of boxes, or other illustrations.
Students can support this policy by:
 Writing answers to questions using full and complete sentences.
 Spelling words correctly and using support materials (e.g. dictionaries, word walls) to
help spell words they may find difficult
 Structuring work with paragraphs to signal a change of topic, change of speaker,
change of time and change of place.
 Using punctuation, including full stops, commas, semi-colons, question marks,
apostrophes, quotation marks and speech marks, correctly.
 Beginning a sentence with a capital letter, along with all proper nouns.
 Use discursive markers or connectives, such as ‘finally’ and ‘however’, to signal the
development of an argument or their opinion, or their consideration of another’s
 Planning, organising, drafting, editing and reflecting on their writing.
 Using formal Standard English in their writing as appropriate.
 Not using “text speak”, inappropriate informalities and abbreviations such as
 Through their reading and writing, being increasingly familiar with the key
vocabulary of each subject.
 Taking pride in the presentation of their work
 Writing the title and date of all work in full
 Using only blue or black pen to write and using pencil for graphs, the drawing of
boxes and other illustrations.
Parents can support he implementation of this policy by:
 reading with their children and encouraging them to read more widely
 buying books as presents
 visiting libraries or literacy events
 Reading through the comments written by teachers regularly
 Supporting the school in checking that students are correcting spellings
 Supporting the school in providing a bag that can accommodate books comfortably.
 Making every effort to attend parents’ evenings when requested
It is the role of the governing body to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of this policy
and its practice. They will be informed of its impact through:
Receiving feedback on this in the regular teaching and learning feedback provided by
Assistant Headteacher/Associate Assistant Headteacher Deep Learning.
17th September 2014