“Literacy is a fundamental human right and the foundation for lifelong learning. It is fully essential to social and human development in its ability to transform lives. For individuals, families, and societies alike, it is an instrument of empowerment to improve one’s health, one’s income, and one’s relationship with the world.” - UNESCO
At The Henry Beaufort School, we are keen to promote the importance of excellent literacy skills and increasing our students’ confidence in developing these vital skills. Being literate is the ability to read, write, speak and listen in a way that allows us to communicate effectively and make sense of the world. Lacking vital literacy skills holds a person back at every stage of their life, therefore it is crucial that out students learn and value the importance of possessing good literacy skills.
As a result, literacy is not only a key focus of our English lessons, but it is woven into all aspects in our school curriculum. We ensure that our students leave The Henry Beaufort School having developed their literacy skills through real-world material. All teachers are teachers of literacy and every staff member at The Henry Beaufort School takes pride in advocating strong literacy, in order to model the skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening to all students.
We pride ourselves in promoting literacy across the school. We do this by:
- A cross-curricular approach – Teachers in all subjects work together to promote literacy skills using a common language. In all subjects, students’ work is SPAG marked (Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar) and there are opportunities across the curriculum for reading, writing and speaking and listening activities, all with the aim of boosting students’ confidence in these fields.
- Designated tutor time activities – Once a fortnight during tutor time on a Thursday (Week B), students have the opportunity to learn about and practice key literary skills. These topics range from: Common Literary Mistakes, where we explore common misspellings and punctuation mistakes; Professional Communication, such as email communication and CVs to aid with future careers; and public speaking, in particular debating, to allow students to build their confidence in speaking and listening.
- Competitions – At The Henry Beaufort School we encourage pupils in all year groups to participate in numerous competitions. Already in 2020 we have seen pupils take part in The Nutshell’s poetry competition in honour of National Poetry Day, as well as taking part in the Young Writer’s SOS Sagas: Trapped creative writing competition.
How can you support your child with their literacy beyond the classroom?
- Encourage your child to read. All reading is worthwhile, be it newspapers, football magazines, leaflets, websites or novels. Encourage them to be curious and find texts that interest them and ask questions about what they are reading.
- Demonstrate that you value effective writing and show you child that everyone writes to communicate – emails, letters, articles etc. You could share examples of writing you have done for communication purposes to emphasise the importance of strong literacy skills in everyday life.
- Encourage your child to practice their spelling, punctuation and grammar. Check your child’s home-learning for every subject and encourage them to proof-read their work and edit for any mistakes.
Useful resources to support with developing your child’s literacy skills:
- https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/topics/z7vdy9q (KS3 Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar)
- https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/topics/zpyg6fr (GCSE Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar)
- https://henrybeaufort-hantssls.wheelers.co (E-Book and Audiobook Access)
If you have any further questions about literacy in school or further supporting your child, please do not hesitate to contact our Literacy Lead – Miss Knight.