Literacy is an extremely powerful tool which will enable students to access all aspects of the curriculum. Our aim is to improve the literacy skills of all our students at all levels. With parents/carers support, we can aim to equip students with the essential literacy skills to achieve academic success and thereby enable them to participate in the highly competitive world of employment.
You only get one opportunity to make a first impression and to engage your reader. As such, written accuracy is essential and it is essential to recognise that it is not acceptable to continue to make the same errors year after year.
How can written accuracy be improved?
• Always strive for accurate expression. Every piece of work should be checked for basic errors and also for opportunities to improve expression and develop ideas. Where possible, ask someone to read over your work to help you to identify inaccuracies and challenge you to develop your ideas.
• Check that sentences have been used properly (capital letter to start and punctuation at the end)
• Incorporate imaginative use of vocabulary
There are some common errors which lots of people seem to struggle with and these have been identified by the English Department as the ‘Top Ten’. The aim is to ensure that everyone is able to use the following list of language features accurately and reliably which will dramatically improve the accuracy of written expression. It is important to learn the rules rather than simply guess which is the appropriate choice!
• possessive apostrophe
• plural – ys and ies
Anxiety about spelling is one of the major barriers to confident writing. However, it is a barrier that with practice and patience can be broken down to produce a confident communicator. Our aim is to promote the value of accurate spellings and the impact it can have on their writing. The ‘Dirty Thirty’ identifies commonly misspelt words which many people struggle with.
If a few spellings were learnt every week, it would have a dramatic long-term effect on writing.
Many children leave primary school with fairly proficient reading skills. However, reading as a ‘life skill’ requires so much more than this. A modern day curriculum requires students to be able to access increasingly more complex texts as a means of achieving qualifications in a variety of subject areas.
How can reading ability be improved?
• Ask questions about the text: Why? How? What might happen next?
• Read regularly – 30 minutes a day!
• Read with another person and then discuss the text
• Read a variety of interesting texts e.g. fiction and non-fiction, magazines, newspapers
• Visit a library or book shop to inspire varied reading