Literacy Mission Statement - The Dormston School

Literacy Mission Statement

“Literacy is a bridge from misery to hope. It is a tool for daily life in modern society. It is a bulwark against poverty, and a building block of development, an essential complement to investments in roads, dams, clinics and factories. Literacy is a platform for democratization, and a vehicle for the promotion of cultural and national identity. Especially for girls and women, it is an agent of family health and nutrition. 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 realize his or her full potential.”

- Kofi Annan Secretary-General of the United Nations 1997 to 2006

Dormston School aims to provide the highest possible quality education for every pupil.  We recognise the vital importance of developing positive relationships between pupils, parents and ourselves.

We believe that excellent literacy results in:

  • All pupils being able to write accurately, in an articulate and knowledgeable way, to a variety of audiences.
  • All pupils being articulate speakers who are able to present appropriately to different audiences
  • All pupils having a life-long love of reading.

What your child can expect in lessons

All teacher at Dormston School are teachers of literacy and create a range of opportunities in lessons to develop skills in reading, writing, and oracy:

Develop Oracy

  • Provide explicit opportunities for pupils to develop their oracy practice
    • through class discussions,
    • paired work,
    • presentations;
    • use as a way of leading into developing their writing.
  • Develop a professional and formal approach to speaking – e.g. formal and academic language rather than slang/colloquialisms.
  • Develop use of a sophisticated and academic vocabulary.

Develop Reading

  • Provide explicit opportunities for pupils to develop their reading practice:
    • model good reading practice;
    • give pupils the opportunity to read aloud in class.
  • Promote extra-curricular reading through subject specific recommended reads.

Develop Writing

  • Provide explicit opportunities for pupils to develop their writing practice.
  • Develop pupils’ language through the use of ambitious vocabulary and subject specific terminology.
  • Mark pupils’ work for Spelling Punctuation and Grammar and ensure pupils close the loop; use literacy marking sheets for specific literacy marking errors/feedback.
  • Support weaker writers where appropriate with scaffolding, sentence starters, paragraph and writing frames, key words.
  • Challenge most able writers through extension questions and extended writing opportunities.
  • Model examples of good writing through teacher modelling and use of W.A.G.O.L.L.s.

How you can help your child's literacy at home

We encourage pupils to read independently for at least 30 minutes per day at home. As parents or carers you are your child's most influential teacher and role model with an important part to play in helping your child to learn to read. There are a number of ways in which you can help your child:

Before reading you can:

  • ask the reader to create a list of speculative phrases to use when discussing a text. You may wish to start them off with 'This makes us think that...' and 'This suggests that...'
  • ask the reader to talk about the purpose, audience and form of the text they are about to read.

During reading you can:

Ask the reader to speculate about the writer's point of view in a text. For example:

  • Is the writer for or against this topic?
  • Does the writer want us to sympathise with this character or not?
  • ask the reader to comment on some of the words and sentences used by the writer. Discuss what effect is being created by the writer and how it is being created. For example:
  • What did the writer want us to think when he chose that word?
  • That's a very short sentence. Why has he chosen to write it like that?

After reading you can:

  • talk with the reader about what they liked or disliked about the way the text was written. Try to get him or her to point out particular words or sentences and comment on them.
  • talk with the reader about why the writer might have chosen to organise a text in a particular way.

The National Strategies - Secondary English progression maps: The active reader

Dormston Literacy Events:

Every year develop opportunities for pupils to enhance their literacy through events and competitions, such as:

  • PLC Reading challenge
  • Drop Everything and Read sessions in lessons.
  • 500 Words Writing Competition
  • Celebrating National Poetry Day
  • Celebrating World Book Day
  • Host of Dudley Teen Book Awards ceremony
  • Visiting author and poets for assemblies and writing workshops
  • Trips to Sedgley Library and Birmingham Library
  • Dudley Summer Reading Challenge
  • Trips to Cheltenham Literature Festival

Literacy Key Contacts

Mrs I Bassan Literacy Co-Ordinator
Mr D Fox Literacy Co-Ordinator
Ms S Ellsmore PLC Manager

Links to useful websites

The Personal Learning Centre

The PLC offers pupils of Dormston School the following facilities:

  • 36 new computers which are all connected to the school’s network
  • a large selection of non fiction books which support the Curriculum
  • the latest fiction books to encourage reading for pleasure;
  • careers information
  • after school clubs
  • research skills lessons
  • author visits and events

The PLC is managed by Mrs Ellsmore who is a full time Librarian/PLC Manager, her role is to ensure that the PLC provides a welcoming environment in which pupils are given the space, materials and information skills to research, study and learn.

When pupils enrol at Dormston they automatically become members of the Library, this enables them to use the computers and borrow books. The PLC is designed to meet the needs of each individual child, the facility is accessible to all and books are available in a selection of formats which include audio and large print.

The PLC is well used and is open throughout the school day; this enables teachers to use the facility during lesson time. It also opens during break times and outside of school hours for pupils to work independently or research. Mrs Ellsmore is always available to assist pupils with finding and using information.

The PLC is also home to The Book Club; members meet after school every Monday to take part in activities and discuss the books they are reading. Pupils from all year groups are welcome to attend.

Information including the latest news and events in the PLC will be displayed on the VLE.

Why Dormston School

Put simply our aim is to ensure that every child has their life chances enhanced as a direct result of attending our school. We know that there are a number of key elements in making this happen.

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