Literacy


At Woodroffe, we strongly believe that reading for pleasure fundamentally fosters a love of learning. Evidence suggests that those who regularly read for enjoyment develop a wide vocabulary, increased general knowledge and a greater sense of empathy and understanding of other cultures than those who do not. Furthermore, increases in reading ability allow students to better access all areas of the curriculum.

Literacy in the Wider School

All teachers at Woodroffe are teachers of literacy and reading, regardless of their subject areas. We are a school that very much promotes a reading culture and ethos – and are rightly proud of the ways in which a high standard of reading, writing, speaking and listening are promoted across the curriculum.

Each tutor group has a tutor library, containing a large selection of books for use during the reading slot each week during tutor time. These texts are updated each year as students move up through the school (and we are always happy to receive donations of books!). In addition, Year 7 and 8 tutor groups have class reader sets of books for whole class reading with their tutor and co-tutor once a fortnight.

Across the school, teachers use classroom displays to make literacy visible: knowledge organisers and key word lists are evident, new vocabulary is modelled in context, study skills and learning habits are shown and explained. Teachers consistently make learners aware of the literacy skills used in each specific subject, and students see these skills as transferable across the curriculum.

All teachers – and peers – mark writing according to the Woodroffe School Literacy marking code. This consistent approach allows students to see patterns in the errors they make across the curriculum and enables literacy to be seen as something not restricted to English lessons.

Whilst for some, progress in literacy looks like understanding basic sentence structure, or increasingly fluently decoding words, for others progress looks like mastering the use of the semi-colon and evaluating challenging texts independently. Regardless, our aim is to primarily foster a love of reading and writing in all Woodroffe students, enabling them to become accurate and creative users of language in a range of different contexts.

Assessments and Homework

There are no assessments in Literacy lessons, though there are standardised reading comprehension and spelling age tests at the beginning and end of Year 7. Low-stakes Accelerated Reader and IDL quizzes are used throughout KS3 lessons.

Woodroffe students are expected to read for enjoyment for 20 minutes a day. Often, this is facilitated in tutor time, or Literacy lessons, but is also the consistent Literacy homework.

Facilities

Literacy lessons take place in English classrooms, where there is always plenty of choice of individual reading material to accompany whole class readers.

Students also spend some of their Literacy lessons in the well-equipped and inviting library. Here, pupils primarily spend the time reading independently for pleasure, or choosing a new text to read; they also might meet with their Sixth Form reading mentor, or may complete an Accelerated Reader quiz on a text they have studied to win points for their tutor group.

Mr Waters, the main school librarian, is always on hand to suggest a wide array of fiction and non-fiction texts, to order new books and to arrange fun reading related events (such as spin the poetry wheel, Carnegie book shadowing, streamed author talks…).

Students can borrow a huge range of books. They are also able to use the library at break time, lunch time and after school every Tuesday and Thursday until 5pm.
For more information about out two school libraries, follow the links below.

For more information about out two school libraries, follow the links below.


The Key Stage 3 reading list is by no means exhaustive!

Year 7

Students have three timetabled Literacy lessons a fortnight: two classroom based, and one in the main school library. Classroom based lessons will see students consolidating speaking and listening, reading and writing skills needed across the curriculum. Library lessons will see students reading independently, having chosen their own material for enjoyment, in pairs, with a Sixth Form buddy, in small groups, or in a whole class setting. Teachers will foster a love of reading and explicitly stress the significant and positive impact that reading has on emotional literacy. Students are taught in mixed ability groups for Literacy; these groups are different and smaller than students’ English classes.

Depending on their literacy level, students will be offered access to Accelerated Reader, to motivate and inspire independent reading for pleasure, or IDL, a multi-sensory system which offers specific support for students with dyslexia and other learning difficulties.

Year 8

Students in Year 8 have a weekly timetabled Literacy lesson. As well as continuing with interventions such as Accelerated Reader and IDL from Year 7, students will continue to practise key literacy skills which will benefit them in all subjects. A non-fiction focus ensures that students develop a resilience and interest in reading a wide range of texts from a variety of periods across their Literacy study in Years 7 and 8.

Year 9

Students with lower levels of literacy have Literacy as a timetabled subject, often in place of a Modern Foreign Language. Students have a fortnightly library lesson, involving independent and whole group reading, and weekly classroom lessons, whereby key literacy skills will be reiterated: reading and writing accuracy, reading for inference, reading and writing stamina and generic study skills.

Keen readers in Year 9 are invited to join the Carnegie Shadowing group. Students meet fortnightly during tutor time to discuss past and present nominated books, considering novels’ craft, interpretations and implications.

Main School Library


The Key Stage 4 reading list is by no means exhaustive!

Main School Library


The Key Stage 5 reading list is by no means exhaustive!

Woodroffe is also incredibly lucky to have a dedicated Sixth Form library, run by Mrs Cropp. She is always on hand to offer reading suggestions, advice on study skills, editing personal statements, honing essays… the list goes on!

Sixth Form Library


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We are lucky to have two school libraries:

Mrs Hopton

Mrs Hopton

Head of Literacy
Mrs Aldridge

Mrs Aldridge

Geography
Mrs Cropp

Mrs Cropp

Learning Resources
Mr Middleton

Mr Middleton

English
Mrs Millman-Jones

Mrs Millman-Jones

English
Mr Rowe

Mr Rowe

Senior Deputy Head
Mrs Rowe

Mrs Rowe

Psychology
Miss Trunks

Miss Trunks

English
Mr Waters

Mr Waters

Librarian