At the CUC, Literacy is an integral holistic focus that we concentrate upon every single day. It is a priority across the curriculum and we utilise a range of strategies to ensure that our students progress and are able to achieve their potential.
All students, upon entering our building, are tested for their reading capabilities. Upon the results of these tests, we employ numerous interventions that are used to ensure that all students progress with their reading and are able to thrive in our innovative learning environment:
Lexia is an online reading platform that allows students to build and improve upon their vocabulary in a variety of interactive ways. This programme naturally allows students to develop and advance their language knowledge and usage. The impact of using such a platform, is that students will be able to access all of their exam papers and thrive!
In conjunction with the Lexia programme, we also conduct a personalised reading programme that will help all students with their phonics and lexical choices. This programme focuses upon the reading and understanding of passages with specific comprehension verbal tasks built in with understanding the unique sounds and pronunciations of the English language.
At the CUC, we recognise that reading isn’t initially pleasurable for all. Our approach accepts that reading requires effort and skill and recognises that we not only read in different ways, but also for different purposes. If students regard reading as a skill, it will enable them to develop it in a more meaningful and holistic way. All students must understand that reading is a skill that is integral to LIFE and not a specific academic subject!
Furthermore, the use of professional and academic language within the classroom is a necessity. Our professional environment requires specialised discussion and debate. The purpose of this focus is to allow our students to become expert orators in their chosen fields and as a result, links perfectly with the development of writing skills. The natural aspirational target, that we are preparing our students for, is the journey to further education.
Central to every Literacy programme is the profound aim of ‘Building Vocabulary.’ The aim of this strategy is to consider words in different contexts in order to be confident when using them. Pronunciation, etymology and synonyms are all signposts that we utilise in the CUC to enable students to fully understand fresh vocabulary, when it is presented to them. Our ‘word of the week’ scheme allows students to naturally build vocabulary into their day to day learning schemes and understand the contextual definition of the words and the history of how they were formed and the origin of language.
Feedback is also a predominant component to developing our students’ literacy skills in all subjects; identifying literacy errors, offering suggestions to enhance vocabulary and activities to enable students to become better orators are implemented in all curriculum areas. The ‘student voice’ feedback also allows us, as staff, to reconfigure our strategies to suit the individual needs of our students.