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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