‘Acquiring literacy is an empowering process, enabling millions to enjoy access to knowledge and information that broadens horizons, increases opportunities and creates alternatives for building a better life.’
Kofi Annan (Seventh Secretary General of the United Nations)
We believe that developing literacy skills is vital if our students are to achieve their full academic and personal potential. Improving literacy can have an impact on students’ self- esteem, motivation, behaviour and attainment. Acquiring developed literacy skills allows students to become independent learners who can access all educational opportunities. Literate students become empowered adults; the link between literacy and life chances has never been as widely researched and recognised as it is now. According to the OECD, ‘adults with good literacy skills (the equivalent of a good English GCSCE or better) are much more likely to be in work than those with lower standards of literacy: 83% compared to 55%’ ( DFE, 2015, page 7) Without strong literacy skills, a young person’s life chances are severely diminished; their employability , health, confidence and happiness are all compromised ( National Literacy Trust, 2016)
All teachers are teachers of literacy, regardless of their subject specialism, and our school must do everything possible to ensure that pupils can read. National teaching standards state that all teachers should ‘demonstrate an understanding of and take responsibility for promoting high standards of literacy, articulacy and the correct use of standard English, whatever their subject specialism’ ( DFE, updated June 2013))
As such, the staff at our school are committed to developing literacy skills in all of our students, in the belief that it will support their learning and raise standards across the curriculum. A student’s attainment in literacy has been identified as a key factor in their capacity to learn in other subjects. Literacy is present in all subjects and so all Faculties have a role to play in supporting students’ language development. It is important that we work together to ensure we equip students with basic life skills in literacy and identify opportunities for cross-curricular and literacy development.