What is Literacy?
The power of literacy lies not only in the ability to read and write, but rather in an individual’s capacity to put those skills to work in shaping the course of his or her own life. With the insight that genuine literacy involves “reading the word and the world.”
The inclusion of Standard English, along with the full sense of ‘communicate’, suggests that the definition of literacy should be taken to include the ability to speak and listen effectively alongside the skills of reading and writing (Ofsted).
At Salford City Academy, Literacy includes the study of: reading, writing, spelling, grammar, punctuation and oracy.
The Importance of Literacy
Longitudinal research shows that people with good literacy skills are more likely to have higher self-esteem, better health, better jobs and higher wages than those with poor literacy skills. They are more able to take advantage of the opportunities that life may offer them.
Literacy provides our pupils with integral functional skills that will benefit them in whatever their future brings.
“Literacy isn't just about reading, writing, and comprehension. It's about culture, professionalism, and social outlook.”
Taylor Ellwood, Pop Culture Magick
“To be literate is to gain a voice and to participate meaningfully and assertively in decisions that affect one’s life. To be literate is to gain self-confidence. To be literate is to become self-assertive…Literacy enables people to read their own world and to write their own history... Literacy provides access to written knowledge – and knowledge is power. In a nutshell, literacy empowers.”
Y Kassam, ‘Who benefits from illiteracy? Literacy and empowerment’ in The Challenge of Illiteracy, Garland Publishing, New York, 1994
Literacy at Salford City Academy
All staff at Salford City Academy are expected to demonstrate an understanding of and take responsibility for promoting high standards of literacy and the correct use of Standard English, whatever the specialist area (teacher standards). Literacy at the Academy includes the development and promotion of oracy, reading, writing, extended writing, comprehension, standard English and active listening.
At the Academy literacy is seen as a whole school responsibility and literacy teaching and the application of literacy skills is seen as a whole school focus. Research has shown that literacy supports learning:
To support the development of literacy at Salford City Academy, a number of strategies are utilised.
Years 7, 8 and 9 have dedicated Literacy lessons on their timetables where literacy and reading schemes of learning are followed. Reading holds a key focus and all students in Years 7, 8 and 9 will have a reading book and a Reading Log to complete. These are to be taken home and brought to school each day. Parents are asked to complete the Reading Logs each evening after listening to their child read. All KS3 students will use the Accelerated Reading system. Reading age information will then be used to support pupils learning. Literacy based activities will be carried out during KS3 mentor times. As well as compulsory literacy lessons, pupils in year 9 may opt to have additional literacy lessons.
Mrs Rowan takes the lead on individual and personalised interventions required by pupils. During the timetabled Intervention lessons pupils will follow a personalised Lexia programme or will follow a comprehension skills lesson delivered by a member of the Literacy team.