“Literacy is a platform for democratisation, and a vehicle for the promotion of cultural and national identity. For everyone, everywhere, literacy is, along with education in general, a basic human right.... Literacy is, finally, the road to human progress and the means through which every man, woman and child can realise his or her full potential.” (Kofi Annan 1997)
At Corby Technical School we aim to develop the knowledge, understanding and ability of our pupils, to reach their potential, by providing them with opportunities to develop their literacy within a broad and balanced approach to the teaching of oracy, reading and writing across the curriculum. All teachers are teachers of literacy and have a responsibility in the promoting and teaching of literacy. Language is the main medium we use for teaching, learning and developing thinking, so it is at the heart of teaching and learning.
We believe children need to read regularly in order to help them to build vocabulary, gain access to wider knowledge and to spark a curiosity to explore the world around them. Students have the opportunity once a week in tutor time to read independently from a book of their choice. Students will explore a key focus for each term to embed core literacy skills such as speaking and listening in tutor time to help students practice essential skills for their learning. Additionally, years 7 and 8 engage with the Accelerated Reader Programme. The programme encourages students to read widely and independently to inspire a positive reading culture at home and in school. This is supported in school by a weekly Accelerated Reader lesson where students have the opportunity to access computers to complete their quizzes, read aloud to a teacher and explore the library resources with support from our Librarian. This builds students understanding and comprehension of written texts and forms an integral part of our tracking of student progress in key reading skills.
Throughout school specialist academic writing is taught in every subject using writing strategies which are appropriate to each of the subjects. Students will practice their academic writing in all of their lessons to ensure specialist vocabulary and appropriate academic style is used regularly.
We regard it as essential to explicitly teach subject specialist vocabulary to build powerful knowledge since that knowledge can only be understood with mastery of the correct terminology. We feel it is important to recognise that each subject has different priorities for vocabulary for example in History it is important to understand the context or certain words whereas Science it is about establishing precise meaning of words. Therefore teaching focusses on the exploration of words in different contexts and importance of breaking words down to understand the origins of the words and how they can be applied in their own work. All of these are part of academy language we want our students to understand and acquire in their day to day vocabulary.
Oracy skills are a necessity for learning and success beyond academic achievement. Oracy can boost a range of social, emotional and interpersonal skills that are fundamental for securing success in their lives. We want all students at CTS to have the confidence and ability to be able to question and debate key ideas to form their own opinions. In lessons students are encouraged to explore and develop ideas with others through paired and group discussions. Teachers provide all students with opportunities throughout their lessons to actively engage in verbal communication to hone their communication skills.