A number of strategies are in place at Eden Boys’ School to support improved levels of literacy and, as a result, improved grades and confidence, for all pupils. These strategies fall into two main categories: the first promotes improved literacy across the whole curriculum; the second supports pupils who struggle with specific elements of literacy or who struggle with literacy in general.
To support literacy across the curriculum we have introduced standard procedures to improve spoken language, reading and writing across the curriculum. Each classroom has a common literacy wall to ensure consistent approaches to developing pupils’ skills in the three strands.
To develop Spoken Language skills, staff have been trained in the use of, and importance of, Spoken Language; questioning techniques to extend pupil answers and strategies to actively teach high order thinking skills. To enhance pupils’ vocabulary (spoken and written) staff have been trained on strategies to secure development of subject specific terminology and techniques to use these to extend pupils’ answers. Staff are also being trained in Kagan cooperative learning structures and in flipped learning.
Our brand new library, which opened in September 2017, is integral to developing pupils’ reading skills. The library leadership team have been involved in designing, furnishing and stocking the library. They continue to promote pupil as well as staff engagement with reading.
Accelerated Reader is an Education Software Program which monitors pupil progress in reading. All our pupils are enrolled on the program and progress is closely monitored by learning coordinators and our Lead Practitioner. Pupils take a test to establish their reading level and they are then guided to the bookshelves. All stock is organised and colour coded by level of difficulty. Pupils must read a book before taking the next step which is to quiz. The result is generated immediately and if any potential problems are identified, the appropriate support / advice is shared with the pupil and learning coordinator. On completion of a quiz, a score is generated and pupils are rewarded throughout the year for outstanding effort and achievement.
Pupils’ writing skills are developed using a common approach to extended writing, which involves Establishing clear aims, providing example(s), explore the features of the text, defining the conventions, demonstrating how it is written, composing together, scaffolding the first attempts, develop independent writing, drawing out the key learning and reviewing. Common literacy codes are applied in marking and feedback to develop pupils’ technical accuracy in their writing.
To support pupils with additional literacy requirements, targeted intervention in provided in class as well as additional literacy sessions provided. These focus on pupils’ individual areas of need. For pupils who come to us with KS2 results below National expectations see our catch up plan.