Literacy at St Wilfrids

Literacy

Literacy is not just focused on in English lessons at SWA, it is a life skill which not only enables our students to access all aspects of the curriculum but to communicate and engage with the world around them. As it is such a vital skill we focus upon it in every subject and our aim is to improve the literacy skills of all our students at all levels.

Writing

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. Students will be given opportunities to write, re-draft and correct errors to develop their ability to write accurately.

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).

•Choose vocabulary to convey precise meaning.

•Spend time re-reading and checking for errors which you know you make. You teacher will assist you with this through written feedback when marking your work.

There are some common errors which lots of people seem to struggle with and our aim is to ensure that everyone is able to use the following list reliably which will dramatically improve the accuracy of written expression. It is important to learn the rules and apply them rather than simply guessing:

•was/were

•your/you’re

•there/their/they’re

•been/being

•possessive apostrophe

•its/it’s

•sat/sitting

•stood/standing

•plural – ys and ies

•contractions

Spelling

Students often suffer with anxiety about spelling; it 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.

Reading

Many children students arrive at SWA with reading skills below their expected reading age. As reading is such a vital ‘life skill’  we aim to promote reading for pleasure as well as delivering a curriculum which 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 – for at least 20 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.