Overview

Aberdare Community School is excited to be part of the global initiative, ‘Literacy for Life’, which seeks to equip young people with the skills needed to thrive as confident, outward-looking, articulate and literate citizens. We believe literacy is the foundation of all learning and the basic literacies must include oracy, reading, writing and digital literacy to ensure that all our children have equal opportunities in the 21st century; the development of literacy skills remains central to a young person’s life chances.

Once you learn to read, you shall be forever free

Frederick Douglas

At Aberdare Community School, our vision of ‘Literacy for Life’ features the 3 Es – Enable, Engage and Enrich. First, we need to Enable our pupils: it is vital that our young people are able to speak, read and write at a functional level. This means they can access all learning experiences with self-confidence and have fun as they make progress. Beyond the functional level our children will quickly acquire the high-order skills in the literacy components, enabling them to communicate in more diverse and sophisticated ways.

Second, the development of literacy skills will allow learners to Engage with others in school, local and global communities. They will learn to express themselves to others through language as they work in partnerships; here, learning becomes highly interactive, reciprocal and productive. Ultimately, we will send our young people out into the world of work or higher education, as young adults able to Engage confidently with colleagues, tasks and responsibilities.

Finally, we feel strongly that literacy should Enrich the lives of all. In all our classrooms and in literacy support sessions, adults are instilling a love of reading in our young people. The school could hardly present a young person with a greater gift than the love of reading. Our partnerships with parents and families are an essential part of this vision as we all work to Enrich our pupils with Literacy Skills for Life.

Aims

We aim to:

  • produce generations of confident, expressive, thoughtful citizens.
  • imbue young learners with a love of reading for life.
  • equip young people with the literacy skills to engage with ever more complex communities and digital work environments.
  • improve the life chances of our young people by improving their literacy skills.
  • enrich the lives of our young people by equipping them with high order literacy skills.

Objectives

  • ensure that all learners are at least functionally literate as they enter the world of work.
  • ensure that all learners are equipped with high-order literacy skills as they enter the world of higher education and work.
  • ensure that all schemes of work across the curriculum are designed to improve standards in literacy.
  • ensure that all teachers across the curriculum are equipped to improve the literacy skills of their learners.
  • plan and deliver literacy-rich lessons across the key stages and in all subject-areas.
  • equip our learners with the ability to monitor their progress in literacy, setting meaningful targets.
  • monitor the progress of our learners in literacy, using subject-based assessments, coursework and tests.
  • use precise intervention strategies to target areas for improvement in literacy skills.
  • work with parents and families to improve literacy skills.
  • enable our learners to improve literacy skills using digital technology.

Strategies/Support

  • Aberdare Community School has a team of highly trained literacy specialists which is dedicated to helping those young people who need to boost their literacy skills. These youngsters may work in smaller groups or receive one to one support.
  • All our teachers are teachers of literacy and plan literacy rich lessons for pupils.
  • The Welsh Government’s Literacy Framework which has been introduced to improve literacy skills has been carefully embedded in all our schemes of work.
  • We have introduced ‘Literacy learning ladders’ so that teachers and pupils can monitor progress, identify strengths and weaknesses and set improvement targets.
  • Progress in literacy is monitored carefully using digital mark sheets and teachers are able to pinpoint areas for improvement.
  • Our pupils enjoy literacy challenges, tasks and quizzes during their pastoral time in the morning.
  • The pupils have dedicated literacy lessons in KS3 to supplement their work in subject areas.