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!
Sora Our Digital Library
As part of our continued drive towards creating a reading for pleasure culture at Ursuline College, we have invested in an e-book/audiobook app called SORA. SORA works like a digital library where your child can borrow up to 6 books at a time, put themselves on a waitlist for popular books and quite simply, immerse themselves in the world of books! Reading for 20 minutes a day can have a transformative impact on your child’s academic ability alongside boosting their well-being.
How does Sora Work?
Through Sora, your child now has free access to over 2,500 books and can be seen as an extension to our physical library. The app can be downloaded on as many different devices as they like or accessed through a web browser. Your child will be able to check out titles, anytime anyplace and have the opportunity to listen to e-books to and from school.
There are a number of accessibility options available including a dyslexia friendly font, ‘dark contrast’ and text to speech functionality that means all children can have an enjoyable reading experience.
Your child will be shown how to login at school, but in the event they are absent that day or you would like to support at home, you will find a quick login guide below.
Download ‘Sora’ the app/play store or visit soraapp.com
Select ‘I have a set up code’ and type in: UKSECONDARY
Scroll down to find the school’s name
Login using the normal school email and password
Connecting with the local Library
In addition, if your child is a member of a Kent Library, they can easily connect their SORA account to Kent County Council and have an even greater access to a number of books.
The Day is a news website dedicated to providing the news to students and young people.
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