Literacy

Reading for Pleasure

Royal Greenwich Trust School is a reading school; we promote reading for pleasure and books are celebrated and promoted every day as we firmly believe in the power of books and reading to broaden horizons and engage the imagination.

Children who read frequently are more likely to read above the expected level for their age – yet many children do not own a book of their own or have not had the opportunity to personally select one, which impacts their reading skills, enjoyment and wellbeing. 

Every year, as part of our commitment to embed a culture of reading in our school and to get our students excited about reading, we take part in a national reading programme, Bookbuzz. Bookbuzz is a reading programme from BookTrust for our year 7 and 8 students where all students are given the opportunity to choose their own book to take home and keep from a list of 17 titles carefully selected to encourage reading for pleasure. This encourages our students to be self-reliant readers; able to select a book, sustain their concentration as well as appreciating reading as an activity which is not just focussed on their subject-specific learning. Through tutor time reading, students are kick-starting their positive reading habits alongside their peers and their tutor and in turn improving their literacy and well-being.

Students are able to attend the Learning Resource Centre (LRC) at break time, lunch time and after school to select books to read for pleasure. This improves their reading skills and their well-being.

At RGTS, students are also given opportunities to develop speaking and listening skills by taking part in activities where we celebrate books and authors linked to national events such as Black History Month, International Women’s Day and World Book Day.

Why is reading for pleasure important?

To help support your child’s mental health, to build their empathy, and to support their educational outcomes.

Literacy and Feedback

A key part of the feedback policy at RGTS is directed toward vocabulary, spelling, punctuation and grammar.  When written feedback is given to students, it is given as ‘next steps’ for students to improve and this will include feedback on literacy using literacy codes which are used across all departments.  Students will be expected to respond to all written feedback in their exercise books.  Teachers will use literacy codes to help students own their learning and make corrections in red pen.  Teachers will also give low-stakes tests on common spelling errors and key word vocabulary quizzes across all subject areas.

The codes are as follows:

Code & Meaning

Student Response

//

New paragraph needed

 

SP

Spelling Error

Write the correct spelling in your margin

C

Capital Letter Error

Correct the letter above the word

P

Punctuation Error

Add, remove or replace the punctuation mark with the correct one

GR

Grammar Error

Correct the mistake (ask the teacher if unsure) and use Standard English

V

Vocabulary too simple

Use a synonym or more technical subject language

?

Meaning/handwriting is unclear

Rewrite the sentence so that it is legible and clear

Reading Testing

Literacy has a huge impact on a student’s ability to successfully engage with the curriculum.  An understanding of students’ language knowledge, literacy skills and reading ability is vital in every subject so teachers are aware of the types of texts students can access, the subject-specific vocabulary they may need and where significant support will be necessary to ensure students can access the curriculum and make rapid progress.

Of course, some students do find reading or writing more challenging, but this is not always easy to identify; many students put on a mask, appearing more confident than they are, so if they have problems in literacy it is often not raised by the student themselves.

At RGTS we aim to identify any potential literacy barriers a student may be facing swiftly; all Year 7 students at RGTS take the NGRT reading test at the beginning of the academic year to determine their reading age and to identify students who are below their expected reading level for their age. This means that school can diagnose whether a student needs any extra support to help them make the best possible progress.  Knowing a student’s reading age also helps the student become more independent in choosing the right books for them from the library in order to make sustained progress in their reading.

Royal Borough of Greenwich Library Membership

Reading is important to succeed in life; therefore, we support all our learners to become a Greenwich library member. Members have access to a wide range of books, audio-visual materials, computers, printing, Wi-Fi and other services like the Summer reading challenges and Reading Ahead free of charge, seven days a week.

35 Wellington Street, London, SE18 6HQ

Enquiries 020 8921 5750 or Children’s Library 020 8921 5748.

We believe reading great literature opens students to ideas, experiences, and places they might never otherwise experience in real life.