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Ursuline College

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Principles - An introduction about Literacy being one of our key priorities and how it can help students


We believe Literacy is the core of our teaching and learning strategies. At Ursuline College, we are supporting the development of our students’ love of reading, writing and discussion. If our students are confident, competent readers they will have the tools they need to succeed across all subjects, providing them with the skills they need to thrive in later life. We believe that a secure basis in literacy skills is crucial to a high quality education, to empowering students, improving their self-esteem, impacting positively on mental well-being and behaviour and promoting higher levels of attainment.


Our priority focus for this year is to develop a culture of reading for pleasure through our Tutor Time Reading Programme. Through our carefully curated collection of texts, students will be exposed to a wide range of genres, ideas and concepts both in tutor time and across the curriculum. Alongside our efforts to provide meaningful reading opportunities in the school day, we also ensure that literacy is an integral part of every lesson with teachers recognising their role in developing reading, writing, speaking and listening in their subject discipline.


Disciplinary literacy – Developing reading in all subjects

Disciplinary literacy is the unique way of reading, writing, speaking and listening in every subject. In order to be able to confidently ‘read like a Geographer’ or ‘speak like a Historian’, students need to be inducted into the nuanced ways of subject specialists. Moving forward, students will be exposed to challenging, academic texts within each subject discipline that not only develop their subject knowledge but help them to become more able readers in that subject area.


Targeted vocabulary instruction in every subject

At the start of lessons, students will be exposed to ‘VV Words’ - Valuable Vocabulary which are a combination of Tier 3 (subject specific words) and Tier 2 words (ambitious everyday words) that are needed for students to access the curriculum. Students are invited to learn and use these words in their work and home learning. In some lessons, students may be tested on newly learned vocabulary to ensure these words are embedded into their long-term memory.


Form time reading

Three times a week, students will read a copy of a selected text with their form tutor. The form tutor reads aloud to model the pace, intonation, emotion and punctuation so that all students, regardless of their current reading ability, can enjoy the story. Students are encouraged to follow along with rulers in order to view the spelling, punctuation and grammar. Our books expose students to writing which is challenging and descriptive enabling them to develop a wider range of vocabulary. 


Recommended reading list

As a parent/carer, we know that you will want to support our efforts to develop your child’s reading for pleasure at home. As such, we’ve created a recommended reading list that you are invited to look through. Perhaps you’d like to buy two copies of a text and read along with your child!

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Our Mission and Values

We value each individual as a person made, known and loved by God

We value the whole person, spiritual, physical and intellectual

We value forgiveness and reconciliation

We value justice, equal opportunities and fairness

We value faith development as individuals and as part of communities

We value learning, growth and achievement

We value serving others and caring for those in need

Read Our Values & Ethos Statement

Trust Information

Ursuline College is an academy, and part of the Kent Catholic Schools’ Partnership. The Kent Catholic Schools’ Partnership is an exempt charity and a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales under company registration number 08176019 at registered address: Barham Court, Teston, Maidstone, Kent, ME18 5BZ. St Edmund's Catholic School is a business name of Kent Catholic Schools’ Partnership.