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Our approach to literacy

"So it is with children who learn to read fluently and well: They begin to take flight into whole new worlds as effortlessly as young birds take to the sky." William James

Our school is committed to raising standards of literacy in all its pupils, through a coordinated approach. Every teacher has a role to play in this process.

At Northfield we believe that the development of literacy skills is central to a young person’s life chances. It is our belief that all teachers are teachers of literacy. We are committed to developing the literacy skills of all our pupils, in the belief that it will support their learning and raise standards across the curriculum. We take a disciplinary literacy approach as we realise literacy skills are both general and subject specific, therefore each department area makes clear to students how to read, write and communicate effectively in their subject. 

We see literacy at Northfield in the three separate but interlinking strands of reading, writing and oracy; we believe that success in these three areas will allow pupils to unlock their potential. 

All pupils are supported in their journey to improving their literacy through a tiered approach, depending on their need. Each half term we have a different literacy focus throughout all lessons to ensure all staff are highlighting common errors in pupils’ work. All KS3 pupils are given a weekly literacy lesson, focusing on specific areas of literacy grounded through extracts from high quality literature. Our much loved word of the week gives pupils a chance to be rewarded with achievement points and weekly prizes. 

For pupils where literacy is a barrier to their learning they receive further support. We have an assessment procedure to identify when students need further support, such as phonics or Reciprocal Reading intervention. These highly targeted reading sessions have been found to have a huge impact on pupils’ reading confidence and we have seen cases where pupils have improved their reading age by years in a short period of time. 

Finally, at Northfield we firmly believe that developing a pupil’s literacy skills is vital to their success in life and therefore we strive to ensure every child becomes confident in reading, writing and communicating before they leave us to enter the wider world.