The government has made it clear that literacy is the responsibility of all members of a secondary school community, not just teachers of English:
- Literacy enables pupils to access all other areas of the curriculum
- If literacy elements (e.g. understanding of written texts, extended writing, working with others) play a part in any subject’s final assessments, preparation for that should be embedded within courses from S1 onwards
- Literacy opens up opportunities for pupils to talk about their learning. Engaging in a metacognitive approach drives forward learning, no matter what the subject.
- Creating literacy-rush environments is one way in which the attainment gap can be narrowed
Here is a presentation given at Dunoon Grammar School in February 2017, in which the importance of literacy across all of learning is outlined: Literacy across learning
In embedding literacy across the whole school, the following things are important to remember:
The literacy component should be at a suitable level of challenge – i.e. while the content is level 3 or 4 in your subject areas, is the nature of the literacy task also at level 3 or 4?
The literacy skills pupils are demonstrating should be discussed with them prior to the task – i.e. learning is made visible to pupils
Pupils should be encouraged to set literacy targets and self evaluate against them to create next steps i.e. there is a clear picture of literacy progress across the whole school
Argyll and Bute have a key resource to help support the development of literacy across learning in secondary schools: Learning across the curriculum: literacy guidance
Additional support resources:
Developed in conjunction with Tobermory High, the contents of this box can be lamintaed, blown up to poster size, split into small sections etc and kept in each classroom. They can then be an important part of making the literacy learning visible to learners.
Any of the above resources can be included, but below are the original contents of the box: