Why is English Important?
English has a pre-eminent place in education and society. English will teach pupils to communicate their ideas and emotions to others and, through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. Reading enables pupils not only to acquire knowledge and build on what they already know but also, provides them the chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Literature, especially, plays a key role in such development. All the skills of language are essential to participating fully as a member of society.
This term we have continued to develop our whole school literacy strategies in order to develop pupils' vocabularies and embed a love for reading. We have strived to put a real emphasis on pupils' acknowledgement and understanding of the Word of the Day and encourage teachers to use the words frequently and effectively in their lessons. KS3 pupils participate in literacy focused activities, throughout the week during form time, which includes twenty minutes of silent reading and a Words of the Week spelling and definitions test. Year 7/8 pupils have also continued to enjoy the school's Drop Everything and Read sessions where they are asked to stop what they are doing in their ordinary lessons and read, for 20 minutes, once a week.
The school's library has never been so popular and this term we received a £3,000 grant which was spent on CGP revision guides and books to support pupils with English as an additional language. We are pleased to be hosting a Spelling Bee with Year 7 pupils this term, where pupils will be put into teams and tested on a number of challenging words in order to be named Spelling Bee Champions of St Thomas More. Weekly literacy interventions, which take place during lunchtimes and Saturday mornings, are now at full capacity and are proving to be a successful way of supporting pupils who need additional help with their reading and writing.