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Approaches to Supporting Literacy and Library resources

Whole School Literacy

Young people who leave school without good literacy skills are held back at every stage of life. Their outcomes – from academic to health and wellbeing, finance and employment – are poorer on almost every measure. At Gordano School, we place the utmost importance on improving literacy, recognising how fundamental this is to closing educational gaps.

We believe students should be exposed to and immersed in challenging texts from a range of voices that make them curious about their own and other cultures. Reading helps students gain knowledge that leads to better writing, whilst writing can deepen students’ understanding of ideas. Our aim is to empower students to value their own voice and create confident readers and writers who can craft carefully considered opinions and develop critical thinking skills through their participation in high-quality talk that is well-structured and guided by teachers.

Our vision is to create a culture of reading within our school in order to enhance students’ cultural capital, vocabulary and enjoyment of reading. Through the explicit teaching of vocabulary, we support students in gaining both pleasure and understanding.

The Gordano Literacy strategy forms an integral part of Gordano Learning and supports all teachers to understand how to teach students to read, write and communicate effectively in their subjects, supporting them to interact and engage confidently with the world around them.

Guided reading

This takes place in tutor times for Years 7-10 (and 11 until term 3) twice a week. A whole class book is read by the teacher for the class to follow, to think about and to discuss. These books are carefully selected by our librarian in consultation with the Literacy Lead, to be age appropriate and to reflect diverse perspectives.

Independent reading at home

Students in year 7, 8, 9 and 10 are required to complete independent reading at home – one hour per week as their English homework. This is supported during Library Lessons for years 7 and 8 where students are supported with their reading, choice of books and completion of reading logs.

Reading Support and Intervention (See also Gordano Strategy for Improving Reading, linked on the right-hand side of this page)

All students in Years 7 and 8 complete the NGRT (New Group Reading Tests) in reading and spelling. This allows us to identify students who require literacy intervention to support them in accessing the curriculum. The interventions available vary on the level of need, with small group phonics sessions for those who require the most supporting with reading, Lexia as the next wave (which is also used to support EAL provision) and Reading mentoring for those who require support with fluency, comprehension and inference.

Library Lessons

Students in Year 7 and 8 benefit from fortnightly reading lessons, timetabled in the Library, where individual and small group reading is supported by an English teacher, our Librarian, Library Assistant and our Reading Mentors.

The Gordano Library

Our wonderful Library is a real hub at the centre of our school, where students can take part in clubs such as the Carnegie Medal club and homework club, complete research, use the computers, get book recommendations and much more. Our Librarian and Library Assistant arrange for authors to visit, book fairs and support English staff with the planning and delivery of Library lessons.