St Antony’s Catholic College is a school that fully promotes reading and writing in all subjects and settings. We are dedicated in striving to ensure that children are reading to and above their chronological reading age.
All of our pupils are reading age tested on the Accelerated Reading Programme. This determines their reading age and Level. To begin, pupils are given STAR Reading tests; they help to determine the levels that the pupils are currently reading at. The pupils can then access thousands of books from our school library or from any external libraries and take quizzes to ensure their knowledge and comprehension of the books they are reading. The pupils are given instant feedback on their results and the system shares tips on how they can improve. This is then shared with all teaching staff and parents so that an understanding of how we can aid their development is clear. The scheme has been put in place to not only ensure maximum reading development for these pupils but to develop a lifelong love of reading and literature. It also allows us to see which pupils need intervention and which pupils need to pushed further to achieve exceptional reading ages. Progress is maximised by the implementation of Literacy lessons for both Year 7 and 8 Pupils.
Our Literacy Marking policy ensures that the potential of all students is recognised and that their progress is tracked throughout the key stages. Teachers use the policy in order to show pupils what they must focus on in order to achieve higher levels of attainment (punctuation and paragraphs). Teachers then mark the pupils work setting Literacy targets where there is an area of weakness. Pupils will therefore be given Literacy advice in all subjects.
Each classroom is well stocked with a set of Literacy mats. The mats provide advice on all key areas of development and importance in terms of Literacy development: punctuation, writing features, homophones etc… Pupils use these on a daily basis in all classes. There is also a copy of the Literacy Mat in each student planner for the pupils to refer to when they are completing home learning tasks.
Within their English Lessons an additional two mats are available for children to access to help improve their Literacy. A description chart and a specifically designed Key Stage 4 mat that allows students to peer and self-assess their writing against a SPaG checklist.
During each day, all Key Stage 3 pupils drop everything and read for fifteen minutes. As we know, reading is the key to success and our pupils take the time to read for these vital fifteen minutes of their day. Pupils can check books out of our well stocked library at any time and they are encouraged to share books and read the books that are distributed in Book Club.
Author Visits and Prizes:
Author visits are a key method by which pupils are encouraged to read more. Paula Rawsthorne’s visit (The Truth About Celia Frost and Blood Tracks) was highly successful with many of the pupils queuing to buy her books and competing to read them in record time! As part of the English Department’s Aspire Book Club (please consult their page for more information) Joseph Delaney author of The Spook’s Apprentice will also visited us in the Autumn term; over 40 students and staff read his book in preparation!
There are many intervention programmes that have been put in place to aid our pupils in their understanding and development of literacy. Pupils that struggle with Literacy are given extra interventions session throughout the year in order to boost their skills in both reading and writing. We also have some very kind volunteers from the local Parish come in to read with our children each day. This reading time is not only vital in terms of allowing children to read aloud and practice and hone their skills but it is lovely for our children to get to know people from the local community. Our HAPs also receive intervention. Many of them are part of our incredibly successful book club and pupils are asked to complete holiday reading challenges and higher ability writing work and competitions.
We have also recently set up and IDL program for our pupils who need more intensive help with their Literacy skills and we look forward to seeing this project grow and observing how the pupils can see real improvements in their work.
WORLD BOOK DAY!
Each year World Book Day is celebrated in our school in a variety of ways. All of our Year 7 pupils and staff dress up as their favourite character and quizzes take place throughout the day.
Year 6-7 intervention
During the final half term in Primary school we visit our new students and give them a copy of the incredible novel ‘Wonder’. We ask them to read it during the holidays and to complete Literacy based activities on the book. When the pupils start in September we then complete some extended writing work on the story. It is wonderful to meet our students before they join in September and for us to start important Literacy work before the academic year begins.
There are many interesting and engaging things on offer for all our students. These things include G&T days, college and university visits, workshops, revision and study guidance, extended work projects and much more.