“LITERACY IS THE MOST BASIC CURRENCY OF THE KNOWLEDGE ECONOMY”. Barack Obama
At Woolwich Polytechnic School for Boys we are committed to developing the reading skills of our students through a clear, consistent, whole school approach. Reading is a lifelong skill vital for independent learning and is therefore given the highest priority. Moreover, we understand that literacy is critical to learning across all subjects and a strong predictor of outcomes in later life. For this reason, we have formulated a process where all staff are fully committed to developing literacy as part of every lesson. Improving literacy skills and building vocabulary is essential to the growth of every student at Woolwich Polytechnic School for Boys. Teachers of all subjects are proficient in teaching students to read, write and communicate effectively across all of their subjects and in engaging with the world around them. We support pupils in obtaining in developing a deep understanding for challenging texts. To develop curiosity for the subjects we teach, for the rich history and diversity of our community, society, and other cultures in Britain and across the world.
We recognise reading facilitates students in the acquisition of knowledge that in turn leads to improved writing, enhancing students’ aptitude for understanding of ideas. Our aim at the Poly is to support and develop our students to become knowledgeable and confident readers and writers who can use subject specific terminology in the correct context with poise, whilst developing a passion for reading for pleasure. It is our intention to create, embed and promote a culture of reading within our school community, some examples of our whole school events include author visits, literacy week and World Book Day activities.
Students of Year 7 and 8 receive 1 period of reading a week in the library during the adapted English curriculum where their reading growth is tracked and monitored by Accelerated Reader. Accelerated Reader has demonstrated marked progress for some of our most disadvantaged students when used in conjunction with weekly reading and regular testing. During this period there has been targeted class interventions for students who are below reading utilising tracked data obtained by STAR assessments 4 times over the year.
Our resolve is for all members of our school community to be able to use high quality day-to-day skills, in particular spoken and written vocabulary. Importantly, we are striving to ensure those students who have fallen behind can narrow the gap and catch up with their peers. Reading interventions are provided for pupils who fail to acquire basic reading skills at an age-appropriate rate. Students entering key stage 3 with Level 3 or below in English are offered weekly sessions during registration time, delivered by a Learning Support Assistant under the supervision of the whole-school Literacy Co-ordinator and Assistant head teacher.
Reading is a golden thread that runs through our curriculum. We have high expectations of all our students and work hard to create reading opportunities and experiences wherever possible. We recommend that students continue their learning at home, setting an expectation that students should share reading experiences on a weekly basis with an adult.
Reading Age Assessment
All students in year 7 and 8 will complete a GL Assessment reading test at the start of the academic year. This data is used by individual class teachers to target students for reading intervention and literacy support during lessons across the curriculum.
Accelerated Reader is used in English as part of the Library Reading Lesson. All students in year 7 and 8 will complete a STAR test at four points throughout the year, allowing us to track their reading progress.
Library Reading Lesson
In year 7 and 8 all students have a reading lesson as part of the English Curriculum. This lesson is based in the library. In September, January, March and June the Accelerated Reader STAR test is completed. Students will read age appropriate books within the reading lesson and will access quizzes on the computer which will help track their progress. Students also complete a reading journal weekly, summarising the chapters they have read, showing their understanding of the text.
The English Curriculum is designed to have a shared reading lesson each week based on a set text. Discussions and writing is planned, based around the selected text. Within these lessons, students have the opportunity to discuss new vocabulary and develop their skills of reading and fluency. Please see the English Curriculum Map for further details.
Read Now is an essential element of all lessons across all key stages in all subject areas, ensuring that students are actively reading and comprehending academic texts as well as the opportunity to Read Further which give students to read more challenging texts related to the subject.
For those who arrive at Woolwich Poly with a lower reading age than their chronological age a range of interventions are put in place. Additional intervention sessions in small groups will take place throughout the week, either before or after school, during the library reading period or being withdrawn lesson.
There are several enrichment sessions students can take part in throughout the year such as debating, the borough Literacy quiz, poetry competitions and during Literacy Week we have The Book Bus and a visiting author.
Literacy Resources for Parents
- 7 Tips for Raising a Reader
- A Parents' Guide to Literacy
- How to Beat the Summer Slide
- Making the Most out of your Read Alouds
- Top Tips
Literacy Resources for Students
- English Department Literacy Mat
- Grammar Posters
- Key Stage 3 Reading List
- Literacy Strategies for Students
- Recommended Plays
- Writing placement