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Whole School Literacy Policy

Discussion in 'English' started by coolpinkbarbie, Oct 26, 2010.

  1. coolpinkbarbie

    coolpinkbarbie New commenter

    I have just been appointed Whole School Literacy Coordinator - does anyone have any guidance as to where to start??

  2. I have just been made this too! Here are a few things I have done if they are any help:

    1. I have looked at the reading ages across the board in yr7 and 8 through a standardised reading test and set up two different groups to tackle lower reading ages (including a Lexia scheme.)
    2. I have created a whole school 'Marking for Literacy' policy, talked about it at Inset and put up posters for puils as guides.
    3. I have created a list of common spelling errors in different departments by liasing with HODs and used these for yr7 and 8 spelling tests.
    4. Created a bank of literacy starters for English lessons.
    5. Had a poet visit for a poetry day and made a big event out of it... quizzes, competitions, displays etc.
    6. Initiated an afterschool reading club which will later become the Carnegie shadowing group.
    7. Entered us for the Times spelling Bee.

    These are just a few things so far. I work in a school which has a very wide range of abilities so I spose it depends on how enthusiastic your pupils are as to what you can do with them! If you have any extra ideas to share, or do something which works well let me know and we can share some good practise!!
  3. That's probably the best thing u've done.
    Blunket sent a list with nearly 700 words to all schools in 2000, broken down into:
    Common homophones and confusions | Science | Maths | History | Geography |
    RE | Music | Drama | PSHE | PE | Art | D&T | ICT | Library | English
    I have it, if anyone is interested.
    I could just paste it into a post on here.
    Why is it named after Carnegie?
    Carnegie thought the inconsistencies of English spelling were a terrible educational handicap. He financed spelling reform groups in the US and the UK to the tune of what today would be many millions.
    But I have just remembered that he founded hundreds of libraries too. So that was probably your reason?
  4. markuss

    markuss Occasional commenter


  5. mashabell - could you please post those department-specific spellings.
  6. I have also just taken on this role. So far I have:
    - set up a reading mentor scheme where yr 10 pupils read with yr 7 pupils once a week in form time.
    - Contacted the LEA Secondary Lit Advisor who is coming in to help me plan a whole-school strategy
    - Run competitions for National Poetry Day and Black History Month
    - set up small intervention groups based on Reading and Spelling tests
    I am also planning to set up a cross-curricular working party with members of key departments.
    Look on the National Literacy Trust website - they have lots of great ideas
  7. Vinsen and mashabelle please could I also ask for your resources. Thanks

  8. I'll paste them in and see how they come out.

    In Sept 2000 Blunket sent the 600 words below, divided by subject, to all schools. He believed
    children should be able to spell them by year 7.
    They are divided into: Common homophones and confusions | Science | Maths | History | Geography |
    RE | Music | Drama | PSHE | PE | Art | D&T | ICT | Library | English
    General spelling list
    accommodation actually alcohol although analyse/analysis argument assessment
    atmosphere audible audience autumn beautiful beginning believe beneath
    buried business caught chocolate climb column concentration conclusion
    conscience conscious consequence continuous creation daughter
    decide/decision definite design development diamond diary disappear
    disappoint embarrass energy engagement enquire environment evaluation
    evidence explanation February fierce forty fulfil furthermore guard happened
    health height imaginary improvise industrial interesting interrupt issue
    jealous knowledge listening lonely lovely marriage material meanwhile
    miscellaneous mischief modern moreover murmur necessary nervous original
    outrageous parallel participation pattern peaceful people performance
    permanent persuade/persuasion physical possession potential preparation
    prioritise process proportion proposition questionnaire queue reaction
    receive reference relief remember research resources safety Saturday
    secondary separate sequence shoulder sincerely skilful soldier stomach
    straight strategy strength success surely surprise survey technique
    technology texture tomorrow unfortunately Wednesday weight weird women
    Common homophones and confusions
    advise/advice a lot of affect/effect allowed/aloud braking/breaking
    bought/brought choose/chose cloth/clothe conscience/conscious course/coarse
    our/are practise/practice quiet/quite sites/sights source/sauce thank you
    threw/through to/too/two
    absorb acid alkaline amphibian apparatus chemical circulate/circulation
    combustion condensation cycle digest/digestion disperse/dispersal dissolve
    distil/distillation element evaporation exchange freeze frequency friction
    function growth hazard insect laboratory liquid mammal method nutrient
    organism oxygen particles predator reproduce respire/respiration solution
    temperature thermometer vertebrate vessel
    addition angle amount approximately average axis calculate centimetre
    circumference co-ordinate decimal degree diameter digit divide/division
    enough equilateral estimate fraction graph guess horizontal isosceles
    kilogram litre measure metre minus multiply/multiplication
    parallel/parallelogram negative perimeter perpendicular positive
    quadrilateral radius regular rhombus rotate/rotation square subtraction
    symmetry/symmetrical triangle/triangular vertical volume weight
    agriculture/agricultural bias castle cathedral Catholic
    chronology/chronological citizen civilisation colony/colonisation conflict
    constitution/constitutional contradict/contradiction current defence disease
    document dynasty economy/economic/al emigration government immigrant
    imperial/imperialism independence invasion motive parliament
    politics/political priest propaganda Protestant rebel/rebellion reign
    religious republic revolt/revolution siege source trade traitor
    abroad amenity atlas authority climate contour country county desert
    employment erosion estuary function globe habitat infrastructure
    international landscape latitude location longitude nation/national physical
    pollution poverty provision region/regional rural settlement situation
    tourist/tourism transport/transportation urban wealth weather
    baptism Bible/biblical Buddhist/Buddhism burial celebrate/celebration
    ceremony Christian commandment commitment creation disciple faith festival
    funeral Hindu/Hinduism hymn immoral/immorality Islam Israel Judaism/Jewish
    marriage miracle moral/morality Muslim parable pilgrim/pilgrimage
    pray/prayer prejudice prophet religious/religion shrine sign Sikh/Sikhism
    special spirit/spiritual symbol synagogue temple wedding worship
    choir chord chromatic composition/conductor crotchet dynamics harmony
    instrument/instrumental interval lyric major melody minim minor musician
    octave orchestra/orchestral ostinato percussion pitch quaver rhythm scale
    score semibreve synchronise syncopation tempo ternary timbre triad vocal
    applause character/characteristics costume curtain director dramatise
    entrance exit freeze improvise inspire lighting movement perform/performance
    playwright position rehearse/rehearsal role scene/scenario script share
    spotlight stage theatre/theatrical
    able/ability achieve/achievement addict/addiction approve/approval
    communication control dependant/dependency discipline discussion effort
    emotion/emotional encourage/encouragement gender generous/generosity
    involve/involvement prefer/preference pressure racism/racist reality
    relationship represent/representative reward sanction sexism/sexist
    active/activity agile/agility athletic/athlete bicep exercise field
    gym/gymnastic hamstring injury league medicine mobile/mobility muscle
    personal pitch quadriceps qualify relay squad tactic tournament triceps
    abstract acrylic charcoal collage collection colour crosshatch dimension
    display easel exhibition foreground frieze gallery highlight illusion
    impasto kiln landscape palette pastel perspective portrait sketch spectrum
    aesthetic brief carbohydrate component design diet disassemble evaluation
    fabric fibre flour flowchart hygiene ingredient innovation knife/knives
    linen machine manufacture mineral natural nutrition polyester portfolio
    presentation production protein recipe sew specification technology tension
    textile vitamin
    binary byte cable cartridge CD-Rom computer connect/connection cursor
    data/database delete disk document electronic graphic hardware icon input
    interactive interface Internet justify keyboard megabyte memory modem module
    monitor multimedia network output password preview processor program scanner
    sensor server software spreadsheet virus
    Alphabet/alphabetical anthology article author catalogue classification
    content copyright dictionary editor encyclopaedia extract fantasy genre
    glossary index irrelevant/irrelevance librarian magazine non-fiction novel
    photocopy publisher relevant/relevance romance section series system
    advertise/advertisement alliteration apostrophe atmosphere chorus clause
    cliche comma comparison conjunction consonant dialogue exclamation
    expression figurative genre grammar imagery metaphor myth narrative/narrator
    onomatopoeia pamphlet paragraph personification playwright plural prefix
    preposition resolution rhyme scene simile soliloquy subordinate suffix
    synonym tabloid vocabulary vowel

  9. Wow! The pasting worked beautifully this time.
    PS As literacy coordinators u may like to know that the oo and o-e pages are the most visited ones on my website www.EnglishSpellingProblems.co.uk This suggests to me that students and teachers find those spellings especially troublesome.
  10. Any thoughts of Blunket's word lists?
    I thought pupils would do pretty well if they could spell them all by the end of Y7.

  11. millicent_bystander

    millicent_bystander New commenter

    Thanks for this mashabel, really useful. And thanks for all ideas posted here, I'm meeting with other subject teachers to set up a literacy working party and I now have plenty of avenues to pursue.
  12. Literacy co-ordinators may find the listing of all English spelling patterns and common words with variant spellings which I have just posted on my blog helpful too:
    The words are the same as on my website (with a few minor additions and deletions) but the new version will hopefully make it easier to find what u are looking for.
    Masha Bell
  13. To achieve 100% accuracy would be pretty rare. But the average child should be able to use and spell most of these words by the time he reaches secondary school.
    That's the problem with this sort of micromanagement. Every initiative is alright as far as it goes, but the cumulative effect is to weigh down teachers with directives. Why should an art or PE teacher set written work, for example? Part of the point of these subjects is that they are breaks from the more academic subjects.

  14. 'That's the problem with this sort of micromanagement. Every initiative is alright as far as it goes, but the cumulative effect is to weigh down teachers with directives. Why should an art or PE teacher set written work, for example? Part of the point of these subjects is that they are breaks from the more academic subjects.'
    Literacy isn't just about reading and writing - although even for Art and PE for example, being able to express one's ideas well in writing is, in fact, an advantage. But speaking and listening skills are very important in both the subjects you mention.
    Re the Lit policy - there is loads of useful stuff in all of the Literacy across the curriculum materials from the Secondary National Strategy - sure to be lying around somewhere in school. Or check out the website
  15. The first thing I did was a literacy audit, asking all depts what literacy they taught in Reading Writing and S&L. I kept this simple, they just had to tick from a list of bullet points and say if they wanted any advice on hings they coudn't tick off.
    I also set a literacy target for each term e.g. the semi colon or apostrophe use. Then, created a pupil focus group using s few pupils from each years group to meet at the end of the term to see if they had learnt the target correctly and which lessons they had come across it in.
    My only advice really is that you need to keep pushing it with SLT, T&L groups, Head of Dept meetings, School Council... everywhere all the time. It is so easy for it to be lost within the great barrage of innitiatives that schools face.

    Good luck!
  16. coolpinkbarbie

    coolpinkbarbie New commenter

    Thanks for all of the responses!
    I have used the SEF and English results to identify the whole school focus as writing. I have consulted with LEA and with SLT and have decided that we are going to use this as our main focus for a year while the policy is being drawn up.
    We are usin PAFL - writing for different purposes as our focus and I have produced resources that each department can use. I am also doing a training session on modelling the writing sequence.

    Thanks for all the ideas.
  17. Hi Peter,
    I've just been asked to do a whole school literacy audit before Christmas! I don't suppose you'd be willing to share yours so I have some idea where to start?
    If you would please could you e-mail it to karenhobbs58@hotmail.com

  18. Hello peter, I have been asked to revise/ revive whole school literacy and was interested by your post. Do you have any materials that you would forward to help me make a start?
  19. I was wondering if you could email me a copy of the literacy audit you circulated to the departments: budgie06@yahoo.co.uk
    Many Thanks
  20. I'm about to carry out a similar task at my school and looking for some ideas on how to structure the audit. I would be grateful if you could email me a copy too? emer.t.bracken@nuim.ie.
    Thanks :)

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