At CFGS, we pride ourselves on ensuring literacy plays a pivotal role in our students’ experiences as we know that it is the foundation of effective and successful learning and teaching.
Literacy enables students to thrive academically but it also supports students’ emotional wellbeing. We therefore create opportunities and initiatives to not only accelerate students’ progress, but to also empower students to engage in workshops which allow them to use their voices on issues of importance to them and truly nurture a love of reading.
We know from research that reading for pleasure underpins educational attainment and we support our students in fostering a love of reading through various opportunities.
Our incredibly welcoming and well-resourced libraries are open to students from 8am until 5pm (Harley Grove) or 5:30pm (Aspire). Students are able to use this space before school, at break times, at lunch times, and after school.
Key Stage 3 students (Years 7, 8 and 9) enjoy a dedicated fortnightly library lesson in which they are encouraged to read, Year 10 Forms have a rota which sees them have sole use of the library during Form time once a term and we have reading challenges to encourage wider reading for all students.
Our whole school DEAR Day programme sees students and form tutors Drop Everything And Read once a week. At sixth form, our DEAR and Discuss programme sees students vote to read a set text, with Form classes reading a short section each week, before discussing a key question based on what they have read.
To provide further reading opportunities, we have a weekly book club which sees students from all year groups attend to discuss the book of the half term. We have been able to use part of this time every week to invite authors and leading experts within publishing to do Q&As with our students.
World Book Day
We mark World Book Day by distributing World Book Day tokens and holding lunchtime book stalls to allow students to exchange their tokens for the books of their choice. Staff from across the school also get involved by dressing up as characters from books, with students completing a quiz to identify all the characters. Every year, our students’ excitement and enthusiasm on the day is infectious and staff help bring books and characters to life, further inspiring and motivating students to read for pleasure.
Workshops and guest speakers
We regularly host workshops with authors and spoken word artists which result in our students, year after year, having their short stories and short poems published in anthologies as well as performing their spoken word pieces on stage at Soho Theatre.
Disciplinary Literacy and Vocabulary
To support students in their acquisition of language, students are taught specialist vocabulary in their subject areas and have online vocabulary quizzes of tier 2 vocabulary to help them learn and use vocabulary with greater precision.
How can you help at home?
Encourage twenty minutes of independent reading every day. Better yet, read together!
Students are also encouraged to be active in reflecting on their work. Encourage them to ‘green pen’ their work to improve and strengthen their writing.
Our students excel when they participate in the opportunities offered to them, so please do encourage them to get involved. If they have any questions at all, they are always welcome to see our Literacy Lead, Ms Yasmin, in the English Office who will provide them with the support they need.