Literacy at Gosden House School
Literacy is embedded in all areas of the curriculum. It encompasses speaking and listening, reading and writing which are all closely intertwined.
Speaking and Listening
Speaking and listening skills are fundamental to progress in other areas of the curriculum and to the general emotional and intellectual development of the child. Relationships are established inside and outside the school through the ability to communicate thoughts, ideas and feelings. All teachers are responsible for the development of speaking and listening skills across the curriculum, in collaboration with Speech and Language Therapists. Pupils with specific speech, language and auditory problems have their needs identified and supported through their statements. Individual Education Plans (IEPs) are written to meet individual needs as our students progress through the school. Specialist help is sought and Information Communication Technology (ICT) will be used: iPads, computers and communication devices – to enrich their communication skills and soft Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) systems such as Pragmatic Organisation Dynamic Display (PODD).
In addition Makaton, Shape Coding and visual symbols are used within the classroom and school to support understanding and expression. The school has an on-going training programme to train both teachers and support staff in “Elklan” which enables them to understand and use a range of strategies in the classroom that can further support student’s communication.
The school uses a variety of approaches when teaching reading. One of our first goals is to encourage the “love” of books through sharing stories both individually and as a class. Children are encouraged to take library books home to share with an adult.
Throughout the school we use a synthetic phonic approach to develop reading. From Key Stage 2 onwards the children are set into phonic groups so that learning can be more systematic and target the children’s needs. The following commercial schemes are used:
- Foundation and Key Stage 1 uses Jolly Phonics (Jolly Phonics Learning)
- Key Stage 2 uses Bug Club (Person Publisher)
- Key Stages 3 and 4 uses Read Write Inc and Read Write Inc Language and Literacy (Oxford University Press)
However, it is also recognised that synthetic phonics is only one method of teaching reading therefore a multi-pronged approach is taken. The core reading scheme used for the Primary School is Oxford Reading Tree.
In Key Stage 2 this is supplemented from a wide range of complementary schemes which are levelled according to difficulty (book banding) from the Reading Zone. These books are used to give the pupils the opportunity to continue developing their reading skills with text which have appropriate vocabulary and sentence structure. The school is currently developing a “Reading Zone” for Key Stages 3 and 4.
Writing occurs in all areas of the curriculum.
We provide a creative curriculum enabling all students to engage in writing. The child’s writing is highly valued and celebrated. Children are supported to understand the need to develop skills in spelling, punctuation and grammar whilst finding writing tasks relevant and stimulating. They have opportunities to produce writing for a range of purposes. Students are encouraged to develop a wide vocabulary in order to express their feelings and ideas.
The hard work of all the students through the secondary school culminates in an opportunity to complete accredited exam units through the Welsh Joint Education Committee (WJEC).