At Sandbach High School we are committed to promoting whole school literacy across all year groups in order to support their learning and raise standards.
Literacy underpins the school curriculum by developing students’ ability to: speak, listen, read and write for a wide range of purposes, using language to learn and communicate, to think, explore and organise. We know helping students to express themselves clearly orally and in writing enhances and enriches teaching and learning in all subjects.
We are committed to developing literacy skills in all our students, in the belief that it will support their learning and raise standards in all subject areas. Language is the prime medium through which students learn and express themselves across the curriculum, and all teachers have a stake in effective literacy.
We support students with their reading by:
- Ensuring students have opportunities to read in English lessons as part of our mastery curriculum
- Using our tutors as role models to express enthusiasm and passion for reading
- Using data from reading assessments at key transition points to identify students who need additional reading support – this could be buddy reading for example.
How to help your child with reading
You can support your child with reading by:
- Encouraging your child to read a selection of fiction and non-fiction texts.
- Encouraging your child to make predictions about the book they are reading.
- Take them to local libraries or bookshops and encourage them to select books they are interested in.
- Ensure your child’s book is appropriate for their ability - too challenging will put them off and too easy may not be rewarding.
- Read yourself. It is helpful if children see their parents reading.
- Audio books could be used to help create interest in an author and improve creativity and imagination.
- Use appropriate vocabulary to express views on the text e.g. plot, setting, mood and character.
- Identify language devices a writer uses e.g. adjectives, similes and metaphors.
- Research the context of the novel e.g. World War Two, the Victorian era or a particular culture or country.
We support students with their writing by:
- Identifying the technical vocabulary for every scheme of learning/topic.
- Supporting students with the use of accurate SPAG (spelling, punctuation and grammar).
- Rewarding high standards of presentation in exercise books.
- Promoting strategies in every subject to encourage and support students who struggle to write.
- Providing literacy support for struggling writers through Writing Ambassador programme (as for reading).
You can support your child with writing by:
- Ask to see their exercise books regularly and ask them about what they are doing.
- Aid them in correcting spelling errors.
- Encourage your child to improve their vocabulary by selecting different words to enhance their range. Admit any spelling difficulties of your own but encourage an inquisitive approach by looking words up online.
- Encourage your child to learn challenging spellings especially technical academic language.
You can support your child with numeracy by:
- Speaking positively about Maths and its usefulness
- Encourage your child to practise their numeracy skills by engaging with the suggested online resources from the school (see below)
- Encouraging your child to utilise their numeracy skills outside of school and in different settings. Examples could include:
- Working out how many minutes until a train arrives
- Increasing a recipe to serve extra guests
- Checking we've received the right change
- Working out how much to tip in a restaurant
- Setting and keeping to a budget
- Managing our diet and nutrition
- Measuring medicine doses
- Making sense of statistics and graphs in the news
- When problem solving in Maths (including the above), encourage your child to ‘think aloud’ their steps. If they are stuck on a problem and you are assisting them, talk through the steps to your thinking and encourage them to do the same.
At Sandbach High School our aim is for all our students to have a sound understanding of numeracy, such that they are able to work with numbers and measures in a competent and confident fashion in a variety of contexts. They should also have a practical understanding of the ways in which information is gathered by counting and measuring, and is presented in graphs, diagrams, charts and tables.
We support students with their numeracy by:
- Ensuring students have opportunities to practise their numeracy in Maths lessons as part of our mastery curriculum
- Having common approaches to teaching numeracy across the curriculum
- Having fortnightly Times Table rock stars sessions during registration in Years 7 and 8
- Running sessions for extra support; Numeracy club at KS3 and drop-ins at KS4 and KS5
- Whole school numeracy competitions
- Celebrating Pi day and National Numeracy Day
Suggested online numeracy resources:
- Hegarty Maths (login provided by school)
- Mathspad (login provided by school)
- Corbett Maths
- Numeracy Ninjas
- The National Numeracy Website
We support students with their speaking by:
- Always using full sentences.
- Promoting the use of formal standard English.
- Actively listening to the teacher and peers.
- Supporting students by using sentence starters.
- Using and promoting technical vocabulary to support students in accessing academic text and to speak in the manner their subject requires.
- We are developing a culture of debating across the school.
You can support your child with speaking:
- When your child comes home try talking to them about their day and the things they have been doing. You can also try the websites listed below for guidance. The websites include activities for your child and information and advice for parents. Try to use “open questions” that require more than a “yes” or “no” answer. Instead of “Did you have a good day?” try asking “What was the best part of your day today?” This will encourage your child to share more information about their school day.
- Talking with others is a great way to develop vocabulary; the more we talk, the more we pick up on different words that other people may use.
- Encourage your child to talk and share their opinions.
- Encourage your child to talk to people of all ages, they could read aloud to younger siblings, explaining the story as they go or sit with grandparents and older relatives and talk about their own experiences in life.
Free Reading Resources Online
The Day - a free daily topical newsletter for parents. It provides a brief guide to one of the day’s most stimulating debates, with a summary of the news story and the different sides that people are taking. They select links to the best of the highest quality journalism available in the world so that, if you’re interested in current affairs, you will always have something to enrich your day. Especially useful to help students prepare for GCSE English Language.
Planet ebook - this site provides free pdf copies of classic texts. With 82 titles available including H.G Wells, Dickens and Tolstoy plus many more.
Audible audiobooks - This website provides a number of freely accessible audiobooks. It is suitable for many ages but the linked section is for teens.
Virtual School Library - in partnership with the National Literacy Trust. Every week a popular children's author or illustrator will provide you with free books, exclusive videos and their top three recommended reads.