Literacy

Literacy is the ability to read, write and communicate. 

‘Literacy is important because it enables pupils to gain access to the subjects studied in school: to read for information and pleasure; and to communicate effectively. Poor levels of literacy impact negatively on what pupils can do and how they see themselves.’

Source: HMI 1997

Why is literacy important?

  • The new GCSE specifications place higher demands on pupils’ literacy skills.
  • Vocabulary at the age of 5 is a powerful predictor of GCSE achievement.
  • The median hourly wage of workers with the highest levels of literacy is 94% higher than for workers with low levels of literacy.
  • Reading for pleasure is more important for a child’s cognitive development than their parent’s level of education or socio-economic background.

What can you do to support your child?

Reading skills

  • Parents are the most important reading role models for their children and young people. 71% of young people say that their mothers are their most important role model for reading and 62% say their fathers.
  • One in five parents easily find the opportunity to read to their children, with the rest struggling to read to their children due to fatigue and busy lifestyles. Of the parents that read to the children, 67% are mothers compared to just 17% of fathers.
  • Monitor your child’s reading – how long do they spend reading? Are they enjoying the text? Check the Reading Log in their School Planner.
  • Visit your local library – it is free to join and members can take up to 25 items out at a time!
  • Encourage your child to read to younger siblings or cousins.
  • Read as a family – could you read and discuss a book together?
  • Encourage your child to join the KS3 Book Club.
  • Encourage your child to select a book from the list of Recommended Reads.
  • Encourage your child to visit Ms Masset, the school librarian.
  • Download the opening chapter of books at http://ww.lovereading.co.uk/ for free.

Writing skills

  • Be a positive role model – ensure your text messages to your child and family are as grammatically correct as possible.
  • Look through your child’s school books – can they correct any lazy errors?
  • Encourage your child to use the Punctuation and Grammar page in their school planner.
  • Encourage your child to get involved in writing competitions in the school and wider community.
  • Encourage your child to write and send emails to family members and friends living far away.
  • Encourage your child to join the KS3 Writing Club.
Oral Communication skills
  • Discuss films, tv shows, current affairs and school with your child – try to get your child to explain and justify their opinions and ideas.
  • Ensure your child answers you in full clear sentences.
  • Ensure your child tries to speak clearly and audibly all the time – don’t let them mumble!
  • Encourage your child to join the school’s debating club.
  • Play games like Articulate, Taboo or Cranium with your family and friends.

How can I develop my child’s literacy skills if English is not their first language?

  • Encourage your child to read and write in their first language at home – it is important for pupils to maintain their first language and transfer their literacy skills to English and other languages.
  • Find short stories in English to read together.
  • Read texts in their first language and then read the English translation.
  • Watch films and tv series together that use subtitles.
  • Help support your child with their reading and writing homework.
  • Ensure you have a bilingual dictionary at home.

St Bonaventure’s Recommended Reading List: 

St Bonaventure’s Recommended Reading List Year 7: 

Punctuation and Grammar Checker: