Literacy & Oracy
“Literacy is…the road to human progress and the means through
which every man, woman and child can realise his or her full potential.”
The Importance of Literacy at Kings Langley School
If a student has weak literacy skills, they can be held back in all subjects, not just English. Strong literacy skills, including oracy and reading, will enable youngsters to find their voice and use it in a controlled and effective manner achieving success academically and personally.
Every teacher is a teacher of literacy. It is of utmost importance for students to see and understand how literacy is effectively applied for a scientist or a mathematician as well as traditionally literacy-based subjects such as English and humanities.
Prioritising subject-specific literacy skills across the curriculum is integral to students understanding how the role of strong literacy fits into the subject they are studying. This is re-enforced by the teachers in the classroom through a number of different ways. Vocabulary is explicitly taught to support students’ development of academic language from year 7 right through to year 13. Students’ ability to read and access sophisticated texts has been prioritised as part of each department’s curriculum. The Learning Resource Centre is also a crucial part of this by developing reading lists for each subject and holding numerous events throughout the year.
A number of literacy-based initiatives are used regularly at Kings Langley School, such as;
- Literacy tasks in tutor time
- Minimum standards posters reminding students to check their own work
- Core literacy details of each subject taught explicitly
- Tier two and Tier three vocabulary
- Word of the Week
- Teacher modelling
“Reading and writing float on a sea of talk.”
The Importance of Oracy at Kings Langley School
Oracy develops students' confidence, articulacy and capacity to learn. That is why teachers at Kings Langley School empower students, regardless of their background, to find their voice for success in school and in life.
Oracy is the ability to articulate ideas, develop understanding and engage with others through spoken language. In school, oracy is a powerful tool for learning; by teaching students to become more effective speakers and listeners we empower them to better understand themselves, each other and the world around them. Through this focus on spoken language, our young people gain the confidence, self-belief and courage to speak in public and share their thoughts, intellect and creativity with the world in ways in which people will listen. The benefits of oracy are felt not only every day in the learning that happens in our classrooms but also the consequences for student’s employability, economic success and well-being endure long after school ends.
Although oracy and the power of the spoken work is taught explicitly in English lessons, it transcends the world of Literature into all other subjects and allows our students to gain confidence in formulating a response that is articulate and thoughtful. High-quality classroom talk is essential to pupils’ thinking and learning. It is also linked to improvements in reading and writing, and overall attainment. Through structured discussions, questions to clarify, building on the contributions of others and evaluating different viewpoints, our students are supported to learn skills for effective speaking and listening.
Oracy, as powerful as it is, can cause anxiety to some students therefore teachers use many strategies in order to help support students in this journey. Teachers can start by providing sentence starters, help the students write it first, use Me, You, Us, think about body language and model good oracy skills.
The school works closely with Voice 21, Voice 21, a national charity that exists to enable teachers and schools to provide a high quality oracy education so that all young people can find their voice for success in school and life.
Voice 21 achieve this by delivering teacher development and school improvement programmes, promoting the impact of oracy on student outcomes and building a movement for change.
“A child who reads will be an adult who thinks.”
The Importance of Reading at Kings Langley School
As adults, we read without even thinking about it and even take great pleasure from it. Whether it’s reading the news, a book in the garden or online articles and blogs, we are reading all the time. There is a growing body of evidence which illustrates the importance of reading for both educational purposes as well as personal development. Evidence suggests that there is a positive relationship between reading frequency, reading enjoyment and attainment. At Kings Langley School reading is not only a focus, it is part of the fabric of the School, it is embedded into the culture and promoted through everything we do.
Register and Read (Drop Everything and Read)
Every Monday all students participate in the R&R programme- register and read. The School has invested thousands of pounds in ensuring every young person has their own book to read. Each title has been carefully chosen by the Learning Resource Manager, Miss Hill, the English Department and students, to not only encourage challenge in the language and density of the book but also to make sure that students are introduced to books of varying themes and important topics such as disability, war, racism and bullying. Students are then encouraged to build and develop their opinions and use their voice to discuss with other members of the form, thereby improving their oracy skills whilst increasing their awareness of key issues around the world and their place in it.
The importance and impact of reading is also seen around school through the many displays recognising literature which enhances knowledge of all the subject areas from the arts to humanities, sports to science.
In class reading
Reading in class is a common feature of lessons in Kings Langley School whether that be whole class, paired, small groups or the teacher reading aloud. Throughout all subject areas, reading fluently is key to strengthening students’ understanding of subject content. Our students are taught important approaches and techniques to improve word recognition and language comprehension. Students are taught how to build vocabulary across the curriculum through wider reading and conscious instruction.
Every two weeks all key stage 3 students have a dedicated reading lesson as part of their English lessons where the whole class enjoy a book together. These titles have been carefully chosen for their challenging yet enjoyable material but also for their links to the curriculum.
Wider reading programme
The wider reading programme runs alongside the English curriculum and develops the students’ reading and access to more challenging literature based on the topics that they have been studying. These texts are available in the library for students to access.
Learning Resource Area
At Kings Langley School, we are incredibly lucky that in a time of dwindling resources and budgets for what many see as a luxury, we have access to a wonderfully resourced and well-stocked Learning Resource Area. Not only that, Miss Hill, the Learning Resource Manager is a fountain of literary knowledge and uses her knowledge and passion to instil a love of reading in all students.
Every year our talented 6th form English literature students take on the mantel of running the KLS Book Club with the younger students. Here the younger students can read, discuss and develop their thoughts and opinions in a safe, open space without the presence of a teacher, which can sometimes be too much pressure for the less confident.
Quiet Reading Room
Every Friday lunchtime students can go to the quiet reading room to read whatever text they enjoy.
Every week, parents and carers can also enjoy the reading corner of the newsletter. Here you can find book recommendations and reviews written by our talented students.
Every year our new year 7 students are gifted a new book to read over the summer. This helps them to understand the expectations of our school but also helps them to open up with friends and their tutors in September.
Every year we hold numerous events and programmes for students to enjoy and appreciate the importance of reading such as the Big Read, book sales, reading assemblies, free books at Christmas, free books for new year 7 students and talks from visiting authors.
Useful website links:
To help keep our young people reading all year round whether they are in the classroom or at home.