Literacy across the curriculum

‘Out of 24 OECD countries, England is the only country where 16 – 24 year olds have lower literacy skills than 55 – 65 year olds.’

In our fast-paced, competitive world, it is now more important than ever that our young people leave school equipped to face the challenges and exciting opportunities that life has to offer.

Literacy is the combination of the reading, writing, speaking and listening skills we all need to fulfil our potential. These life skills are essential to the happiness, health and wealth of our students – your children, and society. Here at Byrchall High school, we work hard to ensure these skills are integrated into all schemes of work, in all subjects, across all year groups and to all levels of ability.

There are many things you can do at home to support your child’s literacy development. The links below feature a range of hints and tips, together with national information, to help you.

 

Useful Websites

Renaissance
Byrchall High School's Accelerated Reader link.
The Reading Agency
For information about children’s reading groups, summer reading challenges, book collections and competitions
National Literacy Trust
For tips, milestones and fun activities to help you to develop your child's literacy skills from home.
Manchester Literature Festival
For information on Literary events for Children and families.
Good Reads
Provides a comprehensive lists of books to suit children of Secondary school age across a range of abilities.
Epic Reads
Provides a comprehensive lists of books to suit children of Secondary school age across a range of abilities.
Teen Reads
Provides a comprehensive lists of books to suit children of Secondary school age across a range of abilities.
Psych Central
How to Inspire your Kids to Write and why it’s so Important.
Colorín Colorado
Helping your Child Develop Strong Writing Skills

National Reading Competitions - Fiction & Non-Fiction Genres

Creative Writing Ink
Competitions run by Creative Writing Ink and third party websites.
Author of Tomorrow
The Author of Tomorrow is designed to find the adventure writers of the future. Part of the Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize, it is an annual competition open to young people, aged 21 and under, who have completed a short piece of adventure writing in English.
BBC Radio 2 500 Words Competition
Radio 2's short story-writing competition for kids, in association with Oxford University Press.
The Evesham Festival of Words
An annual writing competition open to all published and unpublished, UK and non-UK based writers.
Stabilo Young Journalist of the Year
Have you ever dreamed of becoming a journalist? Is writing your passion? Do you love digging deep for the latest scoop to create an amazing news story? If you have answered yes to any of these questions, then make sure you enter our exciting Young Journalist of the Year competition!

Reading Matters: Supporting your child’s reading at home

‘The more you read, the more things you know. The more things you learn the more places you’ll go.’ Dr Seuss

Research findings:

Institute Of Education, 2014: ‘Reading for pleasure had a powerful influence on children’s learning, especially for the development of their vocabularies, but also for their spelling and mathematics skills. We discovered that those who read books often at the age of 10 and more than once a week at the age of 16 gained higher test results at age 16 than those who read less regularly. In other words, reading for pleasure was linked to higher intellectual progress, both for vocabulary, spelling and mathematics.’

Data shows that, as a nation, we fall well below countries such as Russia, Ireland, New Zealand when it comes to the reading enjoyment of our children, (McGrane et al ‘Progress in International Reading Literacy Study’ 2017)

 

Supporting writing at home

Here are some things you can do to encourage your child to write on a regular basis:

  • Make sure that your child sees you reading and writing – for example, re-reading a letter as you write, preparing a grocery list.
  • Look for opportunities for purposeful writing at home, and encourage your child to read and write letters, lists, messages, postcards, thank-you notes and so on.
  • Encourage your child to keep a scrapbook of family holidays and to write captions or brief descriptions underneath the photographs.
  • Provide interesting stationery, pens and stickers to encourage writing.
  • Encourage your child to enter writing contests in local newspapers or to write “letters to the editor” on issues he or she feels strongly about.
  • Encourage your child to write letters to obtain free materials that are linked to his or her interests.
  • Make writing an enjoyable, positive experience for your child.
  • Suggest that your child writes a diary or blog.
  • Ask to see your child’s exercise books for all subjects – ask them about their writing – why have they chosen certain words? Are they happy with the layout?
  • Ask your child to read their work to you – can they spot any errors before they hand it in to the teacher?
  • Encourage your child to proof read their work.

 

Spelling

It can be very difficult to learn new words. Here are some tips and hints to help. Above all else though, don’t learn alone – let someone help you.

10 Tips and hints to help you to learn

  1. Use your senses:
    Look closely at the word and try to remember I what it looks like (pic of an eye)
    +
    Listen to the sound of the word (pic of an ear)
    +
    Write the word down (pic of a pen)

  2. Never use capital letters when writing out the word – your visual memory needs clues and the shape you write will help you to remember

  3. Practise, practise, practise – the more you write, the better you will get

  4. Get a friend or relative to help you to practise and to test you when you have finished

  5. Break the word down into chunks (sounds) and learn each one before blending them together

  6. Cover part of the word, learn that section, then repeat with the remaining section

  7. Make the word into an acrostic:

    People:

    Purple
    Elephants
    Often
    Put
    Logs
    Evenly

    Ocean:

    Only
    Cats
    Eyes
    Are
    Narrow

    Because:

    Big
    Elephants
    Can
    Always
    Understand
    Small
    Elephants

     

  8. Look for words within words: separate a rat; weird we;
  9. Look, cover, write, check:
    Look at the word, cover the word, write the word and finally, check the word

  10. Highlight the hard part of the word:
    Eg night, receive, weird

    Write out the word again without looking