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 library 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. Our library houses multiple copies of all of the Star Readers books.
Bedrock Vocabulary is used throughout the school with all pupils. It aims to narrow the word gap that exists between different groups of pupils and improve outcomes across the curriculum for all pupils. Bedrock’s extensive vocabulary curriculum delivers excellent progress for pupils; it enables staff to meticulously track language learning and tailor teaching to the language being learnt by pupils. Through Bedrock, pupils learn Tier 2 vocabulary in context which are interesting and relevant to them. The software adapts to each pupil’s needs and supports them to embed the new words into their vocabulary. All pupils are expected to complete two lessons on Bedrock per week at home. Additional Bedrock sessions are held for some pupils as part of intervention.
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.