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Supporting Literacy Skills


Literacy involves teaching students to be able to read, write, and speak and listen effectively. Literacy is the responsibility of all teachers in the Academy.

Why is Literacy important?

Literacy skills equip students not only to achieve well in school, but also to play their part in a democratic society when they leave. It is vital that Shelfield Community Academy prepares all its students to be confident and effective communicators in speaking, listening, reading and writing.

This means we can only contribute and participate actively if we can read, speak and write sufficiently well.

Literacy in the home and community is equally important in ensuring sustainable literacy habits for all our young people. Young people need to be proud of their cultural heritage whilst being aware of when it is appropriate to speak in a formal situation such as in a school presentation or a job interview or a thank you speech at a celebration evening.

Examples of Literacy at home

  • Reading the newspaper to see what is on the television /cinema.
  • Reading the sports pages to discuss the latest transfer news or league position.
  • Supporting written homework by checking the final version for correctly used sentences and use of capital letters for names and places.
  • Having conversations with your children and encouraging them to listen without interrupting.
  • Watching the news, on television or reading the news on a smart phone and having a discussion about the issues.

What can parents/carers to do help their child with literacy?

One of the best ways you can help your child do well at school is by helping them to enjoy reading for pleasure – whether they like  magazines, newspapers, novels or comics. Research shows that children who enjoy reading do better at school, and that parents and carers play a key role in helping to develop this love of reading.

However, parents and carers who talk about what is read   and interact with their children while listening to their children read raise the potential value of the activity. The technique involves adult and child reading aloud together. The adult eventually withdraws leaving the child to read independently. In the event where the child has difficulty or makes an error, there are strategies for intervening. A similar approach is the 'Pause, Prompt, Praise' technique that carers can learn to encourage independent reading, particularly among children with reading difficulties. During the reading session, the parent pauses when the child makes a mistake, prompts the child if the word has not been correctly identified and offers praise for self-corrections.

Useful Links The National Literacy Trust; words for life links to authors talking about their work how to get a free library card in Walsall

Free eBooks to download are also available: guide to the basics of grammar and punctuation recommends good books for teenagers and adults