Literacy at Shaftesbury School is a whole-school affair, as every member of staff is committed to improving the standard of reading and writing across departments. Strong collaborative links between subject departments and the Resources Centre ensure that Literacy is promoted through the school. In addition, a variety of initiatives designed to raise literacy levels are in place:
Students in Years 7, 8 and 9 have one Literacy lesson per week. In these lessons, we challenge students to improve and increase the range of their reading, and encourage them to:
- read a wide range of fiction including books read in their entirety, short stories and verse.
- choose and read books independently for challenge, interest and enjoyment.
- develop their ability to read aloud with confidence, taking note of sentence structure and punctuation to increase fluency and expression.
- understand increasingly challenging texts through:
- making inferences and referring to evidence in the text,
- developing the ability to empathise and predict,
- considering the effect of setting, plot, and characterisation,
- learning new vocabulary and relating it explicitly to known vocabulary and
- understanding it with the help of context and dictionaries.
We are signed up to Accelerated Reader: an innovative and exciting way to encourage reading, where students in Years 7 – 10 are challenged and rewarded for their reading time through quizzes and targets. Accelerated Reader enables students to see the progress they make in reading and also allows parents to be part of their success using Home Connect.
Designated Tutor Group Reading
Key Stage 3 tutor groups have at least 15 minutes each morning put aside for quiet reading. Students are encouraged to work towards their Accelerated Reader rewards during these times.
Students entering Key Stage 3 are screened for a variety of literacy skills, and this determines the type of support or intervention they may be offered. Such interventions may include cumulative, multi-sensory individual or small group work that focuses on the acquisition of phonological skills and reading comprehension. Other interventions may be software-based, such as Lexia. Lexia is a reading support programme that is delivered using computer technology and is individualised according to each student’s ability and responses to the activities. Lexia is delivered during tutor time and also for some smaller groups as part of their curriculum timetable. Students may also be given the opportunity to improve their touch-typing skills using a further software-driven programme during tutor time, while others may receive occupational therapy input.