Literacy can be described as the ability to read, write, speak and listen in a way that allows us to communicate effectively and make sense of the world around us.
Developing the knowledge and skills that support literacy is imperative to students, not just in terms of academic attainment, but in terms of their likelihood to be successful in wider life. 16.4% of adults in England can be described as having 'very poor literacy skills.' Adults with poor literacy skills may be locked out of the job market and, as a parent, may not be able to support their child’s learning and literacy.
At The Spires College we are determined to ensure that every student develops the knowledge and skills to be able to read, write and verbally communicate accurately, effectively and with confidence. We believe this is the right of every child and this belief underpins our curricular and approach to teaching and learning. Every student begins their day by engaging in our tutor reading programme. Students are read to by their tutor and follow along in their own copy of the book. In this way our students get to experience a broad range of novels from different time periods and cultures, being read to them by an enthusiastic, expert reader. More information on our reading programme can be found in the document at the bottom of this page.
We also have a Drop and Read programme that sets aside time for students in Years 7 and 8 to read texts of their own choosing and students in some year groups have even started their own book clubs! Our full-time, qualified librarian is always on hand to help students find things they will enjoy from our stock of over 15,000 books. Suggested reading lists are provided for all students (see below) and raffle tickets, linked to our termly prize draws, are awarded to those who read books from these lists. We hope to inspire our students to become lifelong readers.
Students at The Spires College can also expect to be taught, not just the basics of literacy, but how to read and write like experts in each subject, preparing them for the challenges of further and higher education, and expanding their opportunities to explore the subjects they are truly passionate about beyond the classroom.
Whilst most students join us from primary school with levels of literacy that allow them to read and write with relative ease, some do not. Identifying these students quickly and deploying a range of strategies to support them is crucial. We have an experienced and dedicated team of staff who work with these students in an encouraging and supportive environment. They work alongside families to engage students in a diverse range of literacy interventions that are designed to help them make rapid and sustained progress. These strategies have had fantastic success with some students making as much as four years progress in eight months.