St Thomas More Catholic School English Wednesday 14th November, 2018
St Thomas More Research Project We have collaborated with St Thomas More on large-scale research project looking at links between children’s listening and language skills since 2008. More than 1,000 pupils have taken part in our research so far! This has led to: Professor Tim Griffiths Dr Faye Smith Dr Manon Grube Most importantly, we have a better understanding of how processing rhythms and melodies relates to language ability across development Posters at academic conferences Published scientific papers We are working with the school to think about how we can best use these findings to inform educational practices
What next? There is still much more to learn and understand! Information has been sent home about a small-scale project we are running this term with Yr 7’s What does it involve? • 1-on-1 session with our researcher, playing some computer games involving alien sounds and doing some reading & memory tasks. • Session will take place during one school lesson and schedule will be co-ordinated by Mrs Lennox (no Maths or English missed). It is not compulsory! It’s only if both you and your child would like for them to take part. Children tend to enjoy the sessions and it gives an insight into what it’s like to take part in cutting edge scientific research. How do I sign up? Return consent form to form tutor and we will arrange your child’s session. We (Dr Faye Smith and Caroline Adams) are here tonight in the foyer. Please come and talk to us about the project if you’d like to hear more or you have any questions.
Overview We will be discussing: what we mean by the term ‘literacy’; why we value and promote whole-school literacy at St Thomas More; how the English Department assess pupils and support their literacy; how you can help your child at home.
What do we mean by the word ‘literacy’? On the most basic level, literacy is defined as ‘the ability to read and write.’ However, literacy is fundamental in enabling us to: •Function in society; •Achieve our goals; •Develop our knowledge; •Fulfil our potential. Literacy is something that we value across the whole-school and we work very hard to ensure our learners are fully literate here at St Thomas More.
Powerful Literacy The ability to decode language across all subjects and write fluently for all aspects of writing. The ability to talk confidently about a variety of subjects, conveying viewpoints and listening to the ideas of others.
What are we doing at STM to promote literacy? We do a lot to promote literacy across the school, including: Reading in pastoral; Sixth form reading buddies; Reading challenges; The Accelerated Reader programme; A whole school literacy mark scheme. Continued professional development to embed literacy across the curriculum.
What do we do specifically in English? Deliver regular personalised literacy activities; Plan and deliver differentiated schemes of work (see handout); Stretch and challenge students through our choice of texts; Provide focused and engaging homework, including extended projects; Run and monitor the use of the AR programme; Deliver exciting extra-curricular activities; Plan focused assessments, preparing students for the new GCSEs; Deliver intervention classes, working alongside the SEN department.
Accelerated Reader • Guides students towards choosing the most appropriate book to challenge them and develop their reading skills. • Encourages reading for pleasure through reward schemes. • Essential for students to spend time reading every day. • Prizes at the end of the year for students who have made the most progress and demonstrated outstanding effort.
Our schemes of work: Over the past two years, we have adapted and improved our KS3 schemes of work to make sure they fully prepare pupils for the new GCSEs for English Language and Literature. There is a greater focus now on SPaG across all subjects, as well as more challenging texts on the English curriculum, thus we need to ensure that our students are developing the necessary skills to succeed from an early age.
How do we assess in English? Pupils are ‘assessed’ a total of 6 times across a whole term. This includes: 2 x self assessed pieces (1 for reading, 1 for writing) GREEN PEN 2 x peer assessed pieces (1 for reading, 1 for writing) GREEN PEN 2 x teacher assessed pieces (1 for reading, 1 for writing) These are formal, timed pieces of work with planned and structured opportunities to engage with feedback. There will be other types of marking in their books too - SPaG corrections, ‘thinking’ questions, praise!
What can you do to help your child? What students do outside of school is just as important as inside school. You can help your child by: Encouraging them to read for pleasure. There has been a significant amount of research which proves there is a clear correlation between reading and attainment. Students are expected to read for a minimum of 30 mins per day. Please see attached reading list for ideas; Engaging them in events which promote literacy e.g. Seven Stories events, mini-saga writing competitions etc; Encourage them to check their homework carefully for SPaG errors before handing it in; Encourage them to correct mistakes in their exercise books using green pen e.g. rewriting correct spellings out three times; Explore APPs/websites that will support your child’s learning (please see suggestions in your booklet).
Any questions? email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
The National Literacy Trust As members of this trust, we have opportunities to use resources which help us improve literacy. All of year 7 and half of year 8 completed a survey recently, examining their attitudes to reading and writing. 331 pupils surveyed - 57% girls and 43% boys. Here is a snapshot of what they said...
How often do you read? Every day 26% A few times a week 60% Rarely/never 14%
How good are you at reading, out of 10? 10/10 18 9/10 55 8/10 94 202 pupils say they read a few times a week or more… But only 167 of them think they are ‘good’ at reading.