St Thomas More Catholic School is committed to developing Literacy and Numeracy skills in all of our pupils, in the belief that it will support their learning and raise standards across the curriculum. In addition to our English and Mathematics curriculum lessons there are many occasions in school when these important skills are promoted. Here are a few examples:
- Accelerated Reader Programme
- Y7 Reading for Rewards Programme
- Y7 Numeracy Ninjas Programme
- Reading and Creative Writing Clubs
- Termly Reading Challenges to pupils
- UKMT Challenges
- Staff ‘Recommended Reads’ are shared with pupils on a fortnightly basis
In addition there are a range of whole school strategies that support Literacy and Numeracy
- There are whole school strategies in place for correcting student errors in spelling, punctuation and grammar.
- Reading age data and support materials are shared with all staff.
- Regular CPD and Research and Development groups focusing on Literacy and Numeracy
- All pupils carry reading books and spend dedicated time in pastoral reading for pleasure.
- Literacy and Numeracy ‘Tool Box’ shared with all staff
- Whole school writing mats
- Debating Teams
As a school our key priorities are:
- Reading: To foster a culture of reading for pleasure.
- Writing: To ensure pupils write in an appropriate style to match their audience and purpose.
- Speaking and Listening: To ensure all staff and pupils promote the use of standard English though interaction in full sentences.
- Numeracy: To support Mathematical Fluency
- Numeracy: To develop Mathematical Thinking
“There are thousands of small solutions to the damaging inequalities that we observe in our society and they can be found in the English dictionary.” – Alex Quigley ‘Closing the Vocabulary Gap’
At St Thomas more we recognise that there is a growing body of evidence that illustrates the importance of reading for pleasure for both educational purposes as well as personal development. Evidence suggests that there is a positive relationship between reading frequency, reading enjoyment and attainment. Reading enjoyment has been reported as more important for children’s educational success than their family’s socio-economic status (OECD, 2002) and so is a key strategy in supporting pupils from a range of backgrounds, supporting equity.
We have therefore designed a bespoke reading programme at St Thomas More which is based on the 4 key cornerstones of Reading for Pleasure pedagogy:
- The reading environment
- Talking about Reading
- Book Recommendations
- Independent reading
This is implemented through specific EAR lessons within the English Curriculum, but also as a key part of our Wider Curriculum across the school.
All pupils in Years 7 & 8 have dedicated EAR lessons in which they will engage with their reading through talk and book recommendations as well as time to complete some independent reading. These usually take place in our recently updated library space and our supported by ‘Reading Buddies’
Pupils are issued with a Reading Log and we appreciate parental support in engaging with their child’s reading which is an important motivator for pupils.