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Literacy – speaking and listening, reading and writing - is the foundation of your child’s education.

As Ofsted (2013) highlighted:

‘Our world is dominated by the written word, both online and in print. This means we can only contribute and participate actively if we can read and write sufficiently well (…) Literacy is about people’s ability to function in society as private individuals, active citizens, employees or parents... Literacy is about people’s self-esteem, their interaction with others, their health and employability. Ultimately, literacy is about whether a society is fit for the future.’

At Cardinal Pole School, we take Literacy extremely seriously. In addition to English lessons, we support your child’s reading, writing and speaking skills in the following ways:

  • Our well stocked Library is staffed by a Librarian who is trained as an English teacher.
  • We employ a Graduate Achievement Coach in English to support students in class and in small groups outside the classroom.
  • Our School Poet, Christian Foley, visits school once a fortnight to inspire a passion for poetry.
  • All Year 7 students have a Library lesson every week and are expected to take Accelerated Reader tests when they finish a book.
  • Students identified as needing extra help are given support in small groups – Excellent Reader sessions in Prep time, for example. 
  • In Years 7-10 all pupils take part in Guided Reading of a novel with their form tutors during Prep once a week.
  • We hold Spoken Word and Debate Mate after school clubs.
  • Our word of the week helps students to learn and remember key pieces of vocabulary.

How to support your child’s Literacy:

  • Encourage your child to develop a daily reading habit. Young people who read for twenty minutes a day read 1.8 million words over the course of a school year. This knowledge will help them to achieve more highly in all of their school subjects.
  • Ask your child about the book they are reading.
  • Ask your child about the word of the week.
  • Encourage your child to visit the Library at least once a week, and take part in extra-curricular activities, such as Spoken Word Club. 

The Excellent Reader Programme  

At the start of every academic year we test the reading ages of all pupils and put in place high-quality help for those we identify as needing support.  

Excellent Reader is a reading intervention programme developed by Cardinal Pole, and involves a small group of pupils in Years 7-10 meeting with our Librarian once a week during Prep to work through a booklet of age-appropriate novel extracts. Homework is set and reviewed each week; parents are asked to check and sign each completed piece. Reading age progress noted in pupils who have completed the course has proven to be substantial.  

This short video explains the process:  

If you would like any further information please contact Ms Walton, the Librarian, at school.    

Word of the Week 

Each week, Cardinal Pole School highlights a key word. Learning about this word and how to use it in their written work and speech helps students to become articulate and informed.

As parents/caregivers, you can also take part by incorporating the word of the week into your language at home.

Here are some past examples:

More About Literacy