Literacy at AllSaints

Without strong literacy skills, a young person’s life chances are severely diminished; their employability, health, confidence and happiness are all compromised. (National Literacy Trust, 2017)

At All Saints Catholic School, we believe that Literacy is at the heart of education and we recognise the importance of developing, in all of our students, a strong and effective Literacy skill set in order to help them flourish, not only in education, but in life beyond school. Literacy has an impact on behaviour and attainment but also on motivation and self-esteem and so as a school community we aim to promote high expectations and standards of Literacy across all areas of our school community. In addition to this, our school offers a variety of specific Literacy focused programmes to actively support and ensure the success of our students. Please see below for more information about these.

If you have any further questions or concerns regarding Literacy, please do not hesitate to contact: Mrs A. Whiley, Lead Practitioner and Literacy Coordinator -

Cross-Curricular Reading List

All departments have created their own reading lists for each Key Stage in order to encourage students to engage with wider reading around their subject. So, if you really enjoy certain subjects take a look at the department’s reading list for some interesting reads! Don’t forget to check out the Head of Department’s Reading Recommendations for their top picks!

Subject Specific Half Term Spelling Tests

At All Saints we understand that our role as teachers is to help students to break the academic code and develop a deeper understanding of a variety of complex subjects, ideas and concepts in order to be successful learners (A. Quigley 2017). To encourage our students to develop their vocabulary knowledge and help them access a broad curriculum each subject supports students’ learning with half termly subject specific vocabulary and definitions tests. Each vocabulary list is designed to support the topic students are studying and also to develop their understanding the language of the subject so that students are more confident and effective learners.

Literacy Assessment Online

At All Saints all students undertake a reading age assessment in Term 1 and Term 3 so that we can adequately support your child in their reading development. This information helps to inform teachers how to best support your child across the curriculum and it also enables us to ensure appropriate intervention is in place to help your child make positive progress in their reading development.

All Year 7 and 8 students are involved in the ASCS Reading Quest. This programme encourages students to take an active role in their reading development and promotes creativity and wider reading. For further information regarding this please click on the following link: ASCS READING QUEST.

As a part of the ASCS Reading Quest students begin their quest by reading a whole book and undertaking Reading Challenges, each of which comes with a helpful hint and a stretch and challenge option. Students work their way through the levels (Bronze – Diamond) and are able to choose one of the twenty challenges available to them and submit their Reading Challenge to their English Teacher via Satchel:One. For each Reading Challenge submission students are rewarded with a merit and two merits if they also complete the Stretch and Challenge. Please click the link above for the full information regarding the ASCS Reading Quest.

Furthermore, the Year 7 and 8 Form with the greatest number of submitted Reading Challenges at the end of each term will win an English group pizza party!

All Year 9 students are provided with a reading challenge grid, which has been stored in the plastic wallet in the back of students’ journals, at the beginning of the school year. From the grid students need to select a termly reading challenge for themselves with the intention of broadening their reading experiences. They respond to what they have read by submitting a book review using Google Classroom via their Reading Rock Stars Group. The Year 9 & 10 form with the greatest number of successful reviews submitted at the end of each term, wins a form pizza party!

Please click on the following link for the Year 9 Reading Challenge grid, review writing tips and an example review can be found in every Year 9 & 10 student’s planner.

Reading Challenge Grid

Cross Curricular Reading List

All Year 7, 8 and 9 students have access to Literacy Planet an interactive and engaging Literacy programme that supports the development of students’ Literacy skills. The fun activities are focused on Reading, Writing, Spelling and Grammar and the English Department set weekly homework tasks on Literacy Planet for all students to complete. However, students can also work independently on the programme by accessing the Quest and choosing activities they would like to complete winning points as they go. Each half term those who have earned the most points will be announced via a Top Ten Leader Board and points will all go towards their Form Group/ English Groups’ Class total to be in with a chance to win a Pizza Party!

In order to access Literacy Planet please go to: - If you require your log in details please contact your English Teacher.

All Year 10 and 11 students have access to ReadTheory, an interactive Literacy programme with passages that are all hand-crafted originals written, refined, and tested by the ReadTheory team. Each passage is accompanied by a set of comprehension questions and/or a short activity to assess students’ understanding and then the programme adjusts the complexity of the passage according to students’ performance in order to support them and enable students to make positive progress. The English Department set weekly homework tasks via Read Theory for all Year 10 & 11 students to complete. However, students can also work independently on the programme. Each half term those who have earned the most points will be announced via a Top Ten Leader Board and points will all go towards their Form Group/ English Groups’ Class total to be in with a chance to win a Pizza Party!

In order to access ReadTheory please go to: - If you require your log in details please contact your English Teacher.

All students in Year 7 and 8 participate in one library lesson per fortnight, as part of their English lessons. This provides an opportunity for the pursuit and development of reading for pleasure and for the English teacher to work with students on a 1:1 or small group basis to either encourage the selection of appropriate reading material, to hear readers or lead guided reading groups.

Weekly Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation Lesson Starter or Take 10 in English Lessons

On the first English lesson of every week students participate in a short spelling, grammar and/or punctuation Take 10 Recall activity and Lesson Starter to ensure students achieve the KS3 English National Curriculum Objective: ‘Students consolidate and build on their knowledge of grammar and vocabulary through extending and applying the grammatical knowledge set out in English Appendix 2 to the Key Stage 1 and 2 programmes of study’Activities allow for regular revisiting of the objectives set out in the KS2 National Curriculum, to ensure coverage and consolidation.

Whole School DEAR – Drop Everything and Read 

After lunch every day students spend the first fifteen minutes of their Period 3 lesson (across the curriculum) reading for pleasure. This time is dedicated to reading in order to foster a positive reading culture of reading. All students are expected to attend the session with their current reading book, and they spend the session reading, alongside their teacher. Please note that a reading book is a part of students’ school equipment and so they are expected to have this with them at all times. If students do not have this with them you will be notified.

Whole School Write Now & Inspirational Children – Form Time Activity

On Week One all students complete a free writing task using a visual stimulus and a sentence starter with the aim of writing continuously for seven minutes in order to break to barriers of self-criticism and concern with getting it ‘wrong’. The task alternates between fiction and non-fiction to stimulate students’ creative thinking skills and increase their self-esteem. All students who write for the full seven minutes are rewarded and it is important to note that free writing isn’t marked or judged. The aim is to increase confidence and practice their writing skills to help them when it comes to ‘getting started’ in exams.

On Week Two all students participate in speaking and listening activity focused on inspirational children from around the world. Students will have the opportunity to read a short biography about one of the inspirational children along with some quotes, images and discussion questions. Students who are actively listening and responding to one another’s ideas in a positive manner should be rewarded with merits.

Reading Record English Homework– Daily Reading

All students in Years 7-11 are expected to complete 20 minutes of reading as their homework on each school day. This is recorded on a reading record chart included in each student’s journal. It is expected that parents or guardians will sign the reading record chart each week as evidence that the reading has been completed and this will be checked weekly by English Teachers.

The Reading Partnership

Year 11 Prefects along with Year 12 volunteers (recruited through the Sixth Form Enrichment Programme) hear Year 7 and 8 students read on a weekly basis during a form time period. The Year 7 and 8 students are selected based on having been identified via Literacy Assessment Online as requiring a little help and intervention to keep them on track with their reading development. Ongoing analysis of data provided by Literacy Assessment Online will determine a student’s need to continue with the Reading Partnership.

Literacy Development at KS4 - Provision of Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar Revision Guides for all Year 10 students

All students in Year 9 & 10 are offered the opportunity to purchase a study guide and workbook to support their revision of spelling, grammar and punctuation skills. This is designed to support achievement in all GCSE subjects where 5% of marks are available for accuracy. These guides cost £2.25 each and are available via Parent Pay.

Literacy enables people to read their own world and to write their own history. Literacy provides access to written knowledge and knowledge is power. In a nutshell, literacy empowers. (Kassam, 1994)