Y7 – Y9
In Y7 – Y9 students may be eligible to have a timetabled lesson of Literacy each week. Students who have this provision are selected based on their attainment in English (reading and writing) as well as their Reading and Spelling Age scores.
Our number one priority in Literacy lessons is to develop students’ reading for meaning skills to enable them to access increasingly complex material in all subjects across the curriculum. We do this by embedding the PRISE (Predict, Read, Identify, Simplify and Enquire) process of close reading skills to help our students grow in confidence and independence. At GCSE level, students must be prepared to face lengthy source material, interpret quotations (which may include unfamiliar vocabulary) and tackle subject specific terminology. Even the exam questions themselves can prove to be a barrier for some of our students at GCSE level. We hope to instil, within our students, all the reading for meaning strategies that will set them up to be competent readers, while also broadening their repertoire of vocabulary to empower them to be confident speakers and writers.
To engage our students, and keep their learning relevant to real world contexts, Literacy lessons are centred around topical themes. Using material from First News – a weekly newspaper aimed at young people, we are able to tap into students’ interests in an accessible manner. We also like to challenge students with project-based work to highlight the truly cross-curricular nature of our subject.
Y10 – Y11
Only a small number of students will continue to have Literacy provision at this stage of their school career and this will consist of personalised one to one sessions or small group tutorials. These sessions can be flexible to tackle the most-specific weaknesses of each individual student.
Literacy students can expect two pieces of homework each half term. One of these will be a ‘research’ task where students may be asked to find out about something new. The other, will be a ‘creative’ task where students will produce a piece of extended writing, and explore a class topic more deeply. This will require them to either: explain, describe or persuade – all of which are writing skills that students will need to master in a range of GCSE subjects. “Creative” tasks will be marked by the teacher, who will give students written Literacy-specific feedback including two strengths and one area to improve. For support, students will always be given a checklist and may use computers in the school library, which is open between 8am and 4pm.
Whole School Literacy
For students who do not have Literacy Intervention lessons on their timetable, there are still plenty of enrichment opportunities that they can be involved in. These are designed to enhance students’ full range of communications skills and offer unique experiences in real world contexts.
BBC School Report: this is an annual event where Rawmarsh students get the chance to become real-life news reporters for the day. Last time out, a group of twenty Y9 students got the chance to research, record and edit their material for two news bulletins in real time, which were broadcast throughout lessons across the school. They even produced a news homepage for the school website – all in a good day’s work!