Understanding written language opens a world of information, imagination and enjoyment.  Being skilled readers and writers allows students to explore new subjects and reach their potential to grow as an individual.  Students who struggle with reading are at a disadvantage in each of their GCSE exams, as well as in later life.

…lacking vital literacy skills holds a person back at every stage of their life. National Literacy Trust

Supporting your child with reading at home

Here are some of the ways in which we aim to improve and stretch our students’ literacy skills to improve their overall outcomes.

1. Years 7-9 fortnightly lessons

All students in Years 7-9 have a dedicated library lesson every other week. During these lessons they are given a variety of short tasks to help work on:

  • spelling
  • enjoying reading
  • understanding texts
  • creative writing.

2. Special events and initiatives

We also have various opportunities to enrich learning, both whole-school and within our English department.

Whole-school celebrations of notable literacy-based dates in the calendar year include National Poetry Day and World Book Day.

Within our English department, we offer a reading bingo initiative, unique across every year group to run alongside the topics studied in lessons through the year.  Additionally, extra-curricular clubs – Book clubs, Competitive writing club and Wider world English club – allow students to explore reading and writing outside of the English curriculum.

The English department also promote local and national creative writing competitions, such as the John Fielding Prize (in memory of an inspirational English teacher who taught from 1941-1977), Young writers and Rotary, encouraging students to express themselves, experiment with words and showcase their writing.

3. Star tests

Every term we assess all our Year 7-9 students’ reading progress to ensure we are stretching their capabilities without losing the enjoyment of reading. The Star tests also allow us to identify students that would benefit from extra support to improve their reading, for example our Reading Buddies scheme and phonics intervention programmes.

4. 5-point plans

To ensure our teaching staff have the right skills to deliver our literacy vision we have created specific plans to support our students to improve their reading, writing and speaking skills.

5 ways to improve reading ability
5 ways to support struggling writers
5 ways to improve speaking skills

If you would like more information about literacy at Dallam School, please contact Miss Maple, Literacy and Phonics Lead –

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