At St Matthias Academy, students’ progress in literacy is a very high priority. Literacy underpins the whole school curriculum by developing students’ ability to speak, listen, read and write for a wide range of purposes as well as to use language to learn and to communicate, to think, explore and organise their ideas.
All teachers are teachers of literacy and as such, the staff at St Matthias Academy are committed to developing the literacy skills of all our students. We aim to support them to develop the literacy skills to access their learning and the wider world.
In addition to a varied English curriculum at St Matthias Academy, our students have extensive opportunities to improve their literacy skills in regular, targeted literacy sessions throughout the week. These focus on revising and extending specific skills. Each student follows a weekly literacy timetable which includes studying news and current affairs, as well as personalised, targeted worksheets and work books. Students are also given the opportunity to complete reading of their choice, either independently or as a class, each week. This is to promote a love of reading for pleasure. We believe this is essential in helping all students to make rapid progress in literacy.
We identify each pupil’s areas of development and provide an individualised programme of interventions to address any skills gaps for those students working below their chronological age. These students will receive 1:1 intervention sessions where they will focus on reading, comprehension, phonics and writing skills to ensure that any gaps in learning are rapidly addressed.
As part of the initial induction stage students either complete a reading age test. This allows us to assess for gaps in learning and decide which tier of intervention will be appropriate. All students receive small group literacy intervention sessions weekly, but some students will receive 1:1 intervention session as well, depending on their level of need. Impact is measured regularly through re-assessment and this cycle of reflection drives a fluid and reflexive approach to teaching and planning.