Whole School Literacy and Numeracy

Literacy Across The Curriculum

Literary competence is a crucial and essential skill of a successful learner. The effective teaching of literacy is every teacher’s responsibility. Literacy is not a ‘bolt-on’ activity within a lesson but should be viewed as an integral part of teaching and learning. Every part of the lesson should be viewed as an opportunity to develop students’ reading, writing, speaking and listening through subject specific content.

The following three areas are addressed by staff in their planning for pupil progress:

  • Speaking and Listening
  • Reading
  • Writing

To summarise and help embed greater consistency in all classrooms, we have the mnemonic RINSE:

Read – Every day. Carry at least one reading book with you at all times.

– Your writing. Expect to proof-read your work and respond to guidance and feedback to produce your highest quality work at all times. Learn the meaning of and how to spell an increasing number of key words.

Neat – Make your writing legible and quick. Take pride in your books, they are there as a record of your learning and are there to revise from.

Sentences – Practise talking and writing in full sentences.

Extend – Ask questions in all lessons to extend and consolidate your understanding.

In addition, as part of our Year 7 Literacy and Numeracy catch up programme, a range of Year 7 pupils are involved in the following initiatives: Rapid Plus – an accelerated reading programme for students not making 3 levels of progress in English; a paired reading scheme with sixth form students; and Lexia, a web based phonics programme. Selected students are also part of our handwriting programme in school and we have developed a new school library and learning centre for students to utilise.

The Whole School Literacy Policy details school practice and procedure.

Numeracy Across The Curriculum

Numeracy is a confidence and competence with numbers and measures. To be numerate, knowledge of the number system and a range of computational techniques and algorithms are needed and particularly an ability to solve problems involving numbers in a variety of contexts.

Most people would be too embarrassed to say they were “no good at reading” however it is common for people to say “I wasn’t any good at maths”. This really enforces the unfortunate negative connotations around mathematics can be a barrier to success and developing mathematical confidence for students. Parents reinforce this negative stereotype whenever they use phrases like this, however innocently. We really ask parents, carers (and non-mathematics teachers) to not say things like this to students. Instead of saying “well I was no good at maths at school either” say something like “let’s see if we can work through this together” or “let’s see if we can find someone who can help”.

To help us be consistent in every classroom where mathematics is used (not just mathematics classrooms!!) we have developed the mnemonic WAVES:

  • Working out – Have you shown the full working that led you to your answer?
  • Approach – Can you use the common approach taught in mathematics to avoid confusion?
  • Vocabulary – Am I using the correct mathematical terminology? Does this word mean the same in my subject?
  • Estimation – Is my answer realistic? Can I estimate my solution to check this?
  • Scientific Calculator – Have I got mine? Am I using it properly?

We have developed a numeracy policy which we hope exemplifies what we want to achieve in developing this across and supporting other subject areas. Link to policy

We understand that some of the techniques we use in mathematics may not be the same as the ones parents were taught at school and this can lead to frustration for both the parent and the student when parents are trying to support their children with their mathematics homework. We also understand that not all parents either found mathematics easy or remember much of the mathematics they were taught at school. To try and help parents with this we have developed a parents numeracy handbook which outlines some of the basics we teach in mathematics and how we teach them. Link to parents handbook

We have also created a series of posters which we have made available to other departments to use to highlight the approaches we teach for a number of key topics on mathematics which are commonly used in other school subjects. These topics cover

You can download these posters for yourself if you wish.

If you have any questions about numeracy at All Saints, please contact Mr Chadburn either through the school office or by email at w.chadburn@allsaintslearning.co.uk