The Purbeck School Literacy Strategy 2017-18

Context for The Purbeck School literacy strategy 2017/18

The development of literacy skills across all curriculum areas is vital. Effective Literacy across the Curriculum will not only develop pupils’ ability to:

  • Write for a variety of purposes and audiences, collect information, organise ideas and write accurately to show “what they know” across subject areas
  • Access information and read with understanding and comprehension, showing their understanding in examination situations as well as on a daily basis
  • Speak and listen effectively across a range of contexts, developing their ability to negotiate, hypothesise, present information and extend and clarify their ideas and thinking

It will also have an impact on their self- esteem, motivation and ability to work independently.  We are aware that some students start their education at The Purbeck School with literacy levels that are below the national average and we therefore believe that in order to equip our pupils with the necessary transferable skills to be fully literate in the 21st century and ensure they are at least as literate as students from other areas; literacy must be at the heart of the school’s core values.

The whole school development plan outlines the following focus on literacy:

Literacy Apply whole school literacy strategy

Monitor effectiveness in lessons (tracking speaker; answering in full sentences)

2017-18 Increased attainment in literacy.Consistency in marking for literacy. HOD All teachers

Use questioning to answer in full sentences/ follow and be consistent with the literacy strategy


Strategy Overview:

Knowledge organisers: In year 7 and 8, student spelling and understanding of subject specific terminology is supported through the use of knowledge organisers in home learning. Where students are identified through school tracking systems as having difficulty in passing knowledge organiser quizzes, there are staffed after school support sessions available for these students.
Home learning: In year 7 and 8, students are expected to read for pleasure for 20 minutes or more each evening. This is signed by parents and checked by form tutors.
Literacy passports: All students in year 7 receive a literacy passport which outlines and supports the key literacy expectations at The Purbeck School. Students use these literacy passports through year 7 library lessons in the autumn term with their English teacher providing a solid foundation in punctuation and grammar at the start of their time at the school.
Library lessons: All students in year 7 are given a full library induction at the start of the academic year. There is a library lesson once a cycle for all year seven students in the autumn term.
Reading ages: The reading ages of students are measured each academic year and are shared with students and parents. The reading ages between sub groups is analysed and information about the reading ages of children is on SIMS for all subject teachers to access.
Reading in tutor times: All students in years 7, 8 and 9 will read between one or two books in tutor time with their tutor. This is written into the tutor programme and there will be shared reading of these books between the tutor and the class with other students tracking the book.
Supported study: Coordinated by the SENco, where students are identified as underachieving in tracking points, or requiring catch up to their peers, supported study is offered to students for between 3-5 hours per cycle. Students will be supported with their English in small groups with HLTAs and are pre-taught skills and knowledge that marries with the English curriculum at the school. The supported study cohort is reviewed each term to ensure that students requiring support are getting it at the correct time.
English Core Offers Students who have identified literacy needs are invited to participate in core offer for English. This is currently running in year 9 and year 11.
DSEN support: Students on DSEN register, will be getting the required literacy support packages such as SOUND, LEXIA and phonics where identified as necessary for the progress of the child.
Assessment policies: Each department will identify what they are doing to promote effective literacy of students as part of subject assessment policies which will be checked through department work scrutiny.
Promotion of oracy: A lead teacher of English has part of job description to develop oracy of students across the school focusing on students tracking speakers at all times in lessons and students responding to questions fully.
Promotion of reading: Through world book day and other high profile events, reading is promoted throughout the school with initiatives ‘drop everything and read’ and cross departmental work to create children’s literature.
Visiting writers and authors: Each year, the school will link with a published writer to undertake workshops with students talking about reading and promoting literacy of students.
Addressing staff literacy: Where issues with staff literacy are identified, such as use of the apostrophe, whole staff training and workshops are used to support staff with their own literacy needs.


Stuck for your next book? See useful websites at the bottom of this page!

In the Spring Term students and parents will notice a number of initiatives designed to support reading –not only for students, but also staff and parents.

But why? Here are just eight reasons why reading regularly will benefit an individual:

  1. Mental stimulation
    Just like any other muscle in the body, the brain requires exercise to keep it strong and healthy, so the phrase “use it or lose it” is particularly apt when it comes to your mind.
  2. Stress reduction
    A well-written novel can transport you to other realms, while an engaging article will distract you and keep you in the present moment, letting tensions drain away and allowing you to relax.
  3. Knowledge
    Everything you read fills your head with new bits of information, and you never know when it might come in handy. The more knowledge you have, the better-equipped you are to tackle any challenge you’ll ever face.
  4. Vocabulary expansion
    This goes with the above topic: the more you read, the more words you gain exposure to, and they’ll inevitably make their way into your everyday vocabulary.
  5. Memory improvement
    Amazingly enough, every new memory you create forges new synapses (brain pathways) and strengthens existing ones, which assists in short-term memory recall as well as stabilising moods.
  6. Stronger analytical thinking skills
    Have you ever read an amazing mystery novel, and solved the mystery yourself before finishing the book? If so, you were able to put critical and analytical thinking to work!
  7. Improved focus and concentration
    In our internet-crazed world, attention is drawn in a million different directions at once as we multi-task through every day.
  8. Better writing skills
    This goes hand-in-hand with the expansion of vocabulary: exposure to published, well-written work has a noted effect on one’s own writing.

There is no need to be stuck for a book!

The following websites give great tips for different ages. Many of the titles are available in the school library, your local library, or may be available cheaply on websites such as Amazon books.


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