Literacy

Literacy is at the heart of the curriculum here at Bonus Pastor. We are committed to ensuring that all our students are not only strong and competent readers but also effective and persuasive communicators. This is why we aim to foster a love of reading and in doing so, allow all our students to become effective learners through the written word. In turn, this enables them to access all areas of the curriculum in whatever subject they are engaging with. The love of reading should not simply be consigned to the classroom but we believe that fostering the idea of reading for enjoyment will lead our students to explore for themselves the richness of the English Language, through Literature which extends far beyond the boundaries of the UK. Young adults who are well read have a clear advantage when it comes to establishing a foothold within the workplace and helps to produce a higher degree of self-confidence.

 

Individuals

Our underlying aim is to raise all levels of reading for all students across the whole school. Each student is assessed for Reading, Spelling and Phonics when they enter the school and any students falling below a standardised reading level are supported through a variety of strategies within the school. These include a Catch Up Programme – an initiative in which staff provide ‘one to one’ weekly reading sessions with individual students. A log book is used to highlight complex words or vocabulary and to keep a record of progress. Students whose first language is not necessarily English (EAL) will also be offered extra reading support as they progress through the school. There are ongoing opportunities throughout the year to mark progress. Pupil premium students (PP) are also monitored closely for support and for progress in all areas of literacy across the academic year.

For our More Able cohort of students we identify then early on in their school journey so we can provide bespoke pathways into higher learning. We actively encourage them to engage in Public Speaking debates (Jack Petchey Award), Creative Writing Competitions (BBC 500 Word) and to keep their own writing journal of stories and poetry. 

 

Whole School

As a school, we are justifiably proud of our library which we believe to be one of the best- stocked school libraries in the borough. It is seen as the ‘heart of the school’ and all students are time-tabled for regular sessions in the Library – not only for reading but also for exploring and for seeking out books for themselves. Our professional Library Staff are always on hand to provide recommendations and students are allowed to have two books at any time to take home and read.

All our staff are committed to creating a learning climate where Literacy is at the fore. In the classroom, each subject department focuses on subject specific terms and vocabulary which helps to underpin the language which our students will need to access when they come to sit their GCSE’s. Added to this, we operate a reading initiative known as DEAR (Drop Everything and Read). This is a means by which each week, during a specially timetabled lesson, teachers prepare reading materials for whole class reading and discussion from established newspapers or news websites such as the BBC. A class debate is this then encouraged to tackle the issues within the articles – which is another means to promote confident Oracy by listening to the opinions of others and making your own point through reasoned Public Debate. This enables students to discover for themselves their own gifts in Rhetorical and Persuasive Language.

 

Community

We have developed professional links across the borough and engage with UK based Literacy Trusts, Charities and events. We also have a scheme whereby some of our students visit their old primary schools to read with the younger children – a scheme which is highly appreciated by all participants. Working closely with our KS2 colleagues and e sharing of ‘good practice’ also enables us to build on the excellent reading work done within our feeder primary schools.

We are understandably proud of the role of literacy in our school but are not complacent. We know how Social Media can distract young adults from actively engaging with Literature but we will always endeavour to ensure that no student misses out when it comes to the joy, pleasure and exhilaration of reading a book. This we believe will foster their own passion for Creative Writing and enables them to make substantial progress in all subjects whilst here at Bonus Pastor.

 

CMA

5 Sep 2019