Skills for Life
Literacy is an extremely powerful tool which will enable students to access all aspects of the curriculum. Our aim is to improve the literacy skills of all our students at all levels. With parents’/carers’ support, we aim to equip students with the essential literacy skills to achieve academic success, which, coupled with our ‘Skills For Life program, enable them to participate in the highly competitive world of employment
You only get one opportunity to make a first impression and to engage your reader. As such, written accuracy is essential, if the meaning of what you write is going to be clear and the writing is going to be easy to follow. It is essential to recognise that it is not acceptable to continue to make the same errors and mistakes over and over again.
Top Ten Literacy Errors identified by the English Department:
- Changes of tense- is/was
- Possessive apostrophe
- Missing words
- Jumbled syntax
- Plural – ys and ies
Make sure you’re looking out for these in your writing!
Our aim is to promote the value of accurate spellings and the impact it can have on writing clarity. All of our KS3 students undertake a spelling test of the 100 most commonly misspelled words. This list is available from the link below. Regular practice spelling these words is invaluable.
All students in KS3 have access to the Spell Zone website where they can learn to spell new vocabulary and play games to enhance their spellings of key words. Click here to visit the Spellzone website (opens an external site).
We have recently been holding a Greenacre Spelling Bee competition for the best spellers in Year 7. The teams of two have to compete over a number of rounds that really put their spelling ability to the test. Previous competitors from Year 8 judge the contest so the whole competition is focused on the students. It is expected that this completion will be expanded later this year to include competitors from other schools.
Many children leave primary school with fairly proficient reading skills. However, reading as a ‘life skill’ requires so much more than this. A modern day curriculum requires students to be able to access increasingly more complex texts as a means of achieving qualifications in a variety of subject areas.
How can reading ability be improved?
- Ask questions about the text: Why? How? What might happen next?
- Read regularly – 30 minutes a day! This might be the Accelerated Reader book or a book of your own.
- Read with another person and then discuss the text
- Read a variety of interesting texts e.g. fiction and non-fiction, magazines, newspapers
- Visit a library or book shop to inspire varied reading
Below is a number of key resources which can be worked through, by your son/ward, to help them progress with their literacy.
- Recommended reading lists per key stage
- Literacy revision booklets
If you are stuck for ideas for the latest books to get for children there are some excellent ideas here:
Accelerated Reader is a computerised reading programme that tests reading comprehension, and encourages reading for pleasure and enjoyment.
How does Accelerated Reader work?
– Each students is star tested which assigns them a reading age and range.
– Students then choose a book within their range that they would like to read.
– Students have 20 minutes DEAR (drop everything and read) time a day at school to complete their book.
– Once students have read their book, they take a quiz. Students will then choose a new book to read.
– Students are then re-star tested each term.
The programme has not only been specifically designed to improve pupils’ reading ability, but also adopts our Skills For Life principles: motivation, perseverance and employability.
Oracy, or spoken language, is becoming increasingly important in all spheres of life. Clear spoken communication is looked upon by many employers as a desirable “soft” skill and being able to use the spoken word effectively can be a real advantage.
The Spoken Language Exam component of the English Language GCSE is designed to encourage the students to use spoken communication both in extended talk and in conversation. More information is available on this in the English section of this website.
Debating can be a fun way to increase confidence and facility with speech. There is a Debate Club at the school that trains students in taking part in debates both within school and also in the nationwide debating competition called Up For Debate. This can be a very effective way of building self-confidence.
At Greenacre, we are supportive of improving our students’ vocabulary, therefore even student, in KS3, 4 and 5, have access to the PIXL Unlock Vocabulary app.
All you have to do is download the app and use the log in details provided to you by the Academy. Here, you can improve your vocabulary in all aspects of the curriculum and build your knowledge of word meanings and patterns.
We also encourage the use of Spell Zone which is available to all students. It is recommend that students spend 20 minutes on this website, 3 times a week, to enhance their spelling ability and erase any spelling misconceptions.
If you have any concerns regarding literacy, please contact:
Miss Epsly (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Mr Batchelor (email@example.com)
Miss Leicester-Smith – English KS3 Mentor Lead (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Please click here for a list of recommended reading