Literacy

KS3 Literacy Skills

Literacy is a fundamental skill that we want to embed at the heart of the curriculum at Buckler’s Mead Academy. Literacy is not just what is taught in the English Department but includes the key skills of speaking, listening, reading, and writing which underpin everything students learn.

These skills are becoming even more important as more GCSE exams are marked on the quality of their written responses. Beyond the classroom, these skills are essential for our students as they continue their academic studies after Buckler’s Mead Academy, join the work force and participate in the wider community.

We believe that literacy begins with reading. We would like every student to have a reading book with them every day. In years 7 and 8, this will probably be their Accelerated Reader book. Please note that these books, alongside a wide variety of other resources are provided by the Study Centre. Students will have an opportunity to read in Monday morning registrations and for the first 10 minutes of each English lesson.

Accelerated Reader is a programme which gives students a challenging choice of reading books, followed by online quizzes. The quiz results give an estimation of the student’s reading age, progress made and the number of minutes per day they have probably read.

We hope you support us in our acknowledgement that parents can make a powerful impact on children’s progress in reading. The key way you can help us develop your son’s/daughter’s literacy skills is to encourage them to read at home for at least 15 minutes per day.

In your child’s planner there will be pages for him/her to record their reading. It will show current and target reading level. Please sign this page every week to say that your child has read for a minimum of 15 minutes every day. Your child’s tutor will be checking this page every week to track their daily reading and progress being made. If the tutor feels that the student is not reading for long enough every day, or is not making adequate progress, the student will be required to attend support sessions once per half term after school.

What could you do to boost your child’s literacy levels?

Be a literacy role model! There is a huge amount of evidence that students who make the best progress with their literacy across all subjects are those who get support from home.

Speaking and Listening:

  • Encourage your child to talk clearly and at length about their ideas
  • Listen to your child talk about items on the news

Reading:

  • Encourage your child to read for at least 15 minutes a day (please sign the reading page in your child’s planner to let us know that they’re doing this)
  • Read magazines, newspapers, electronic readers and websites, as well as books
  • Talk to your child about books they are reading for pleasure and in English lessons
  • Let your child see you read a variety of texts

Writing:

  • Let your child talk through their ideas before writing homework
  • Encourage them to write a diary, blog or short stories
  • Talk about the elements of writing that your child needs to improve upon, such as connectives and correct punctuation
  • Let your child see you writing a variety of things from forms to emails

Helpful Websites
http://www.parentsintouch.co.uk/Help-your-child-at-home-with-punctuation
http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/websites/11_16/site/english.shtml
http://www.literacytrust.org.uk/
http://www.bookheads.org.uk
http://www.rif.org.uk