Literacy at the heart of the curriculum

Literacy is… the road to human progress and the means through which every man, woman and child can realise his or her full potential

Kofi Annan

One of the most important skills we can develop in our students is literacy. It is vital that students have the ability to read, write, speak and listen in a way that lets them communicate effectively and make sense of the world. At every stage it unlocks new horizons. Students need to be readers and writers to gain proficiency with technology, develop relationships with others, confront and solve problems collaboratively. They need to be able to manage and analyse the information they access via the internet and respond accordingly and responsibly.

Every teacher at Bournside is a teacher of literacy in their own subject area. They recognise that in order for their students to think, explore, organise, learn and communicate effectively they need high-level literacy skills.

In a world where knowledge truly is power and literacy is the skill that unlocks the gates of opportunity and success, we all have a responsibility as parents and librarians, educators and citizens, to instill in our children a love of reading so that we can give them the chance to fulfil their dreams

Barack Obama (Children’s Book Week 2017)

We want all of our students to develop a deep love of reading. Research repeatedly shows that reading for pleasure decreases with age. Research also shows that the best predictor of future education achievement and life success is reading ability. Our challenge therefore is to promote reading as a form of enjoyment and escapism while the reader is young.

To inspire a love of literature, every student in years 7, 8 and 9 are given a weekly guided reading session in tutor time. The school participates in the Bookbuzz reading programme, which aims to inspire a love of reading. All students can borrow books from our library, and they are encouraged to write reviews for others to read. To support students at home we produce reading lists for fiction and non-fiction books.

At the start of each academic year, students in years 7, 8 and 9 take the National Group Reading Test – the results of which enable us to keep track of students’ reading progress. Where we identify students falling behind, we have a range of intervention strategies to support them. Intervention is overseen by our Literacy Leader and SENCO, who are here to support all parents/carers with choosing texts that are appropriate to their child’s reading level.

From September 2018 the school will be working even harder to raise the profile of literacy and the love of reading. Numerous events are planned, and we will use Scholastic to run book fairs, as well as DEAR time – Drop Everything and Read. The school will also be taking part in several writing and speaking competitions which are open to all applicants.