St Patrick's PS Glen

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St. Patrick's Glen Primary School

161 Glen Road


BT46 5JN


Tel:  028 7964 3267


St Patrick’s PS Glen


Literacy Policy




At St Patrick’s PS Glen we strive to ensure that literacy is a high priority across the school and that all staff play a part in its promotion.




A Strategy for the Promotion of Literacy



Key Aspects


•the responsibility which every member of staff has for developing literacy,

•the ways in which literacy is promoted across all areas of the curriculum;

•how ICT will be used across the curriculum to support and develop literacy;

•procedures for monitoring and evaluating pupils’ achievements, and the teaching approaches used;

•arrangements for ensuring that all pupils make appropriate progress in literacy;

•the standards being achieved in the school;

•targets for improving performance and the action necessary to achieve them;

•the nature and purpose of homework in supporting literacy;

•the involvement of parents in supporting learning at home and in improving standards;

•the role and contribution of any additional arrangements outside normal classroom activities (for example, whole school reading sessions, School Book Fair, library visits).


A policy is a document, which provides a cohesive framework for the delivery of the curriculum.



Through our Literacy Policy we aim to:


•communicate the school’s philosophy on the teaching of literacy

•reflect classroom practice

•provide a framework for schemes of work

•define the aims of each attainment target

•outline the school’s practice in relation to Equal Opportunities, Special Needs and liaison with parents

•state how assessment, record keeping and reporting are managed

•define the role of the Co-ordinator

•outline monitoring and evaluation practices.










We aim to provide a supportive, stimulating and secure environment where children are encouraged to express themselves and where their contributions are valued.  We will provide for the language development of pupils and will develop their ability to use language to think, to explore and to recognise and communicate their ideas.





In St Patrick’s all staff consider Literacy to be: -


•a right for all pupils

•the development of which is the responsibility of all teachers

•appropriately developed across all areas of the curriculum






At St Patrick’s we aim: -


1.To raise the standard of literacy;

2.To enable pupils to express and communicate meaning in spoken language, listening to and interpreting what others say and matching style and response to audience, context and purpose;

3.To provide pupils with a range of relevant and purposeful opportunities to develop their ability to read, understand and engage with various types of text for enjoyment and learning;

4.To enable children to communicate using written language effectively, making and shaping text appropriately, according to context, purpose, reader or audience.



Role of the Teacher


In the teaching of literacy, the teacher fulfils a number of roles in all modes of language.  In St Patrick’s the teacher may be a/an: -


a)model:  as a skilled user of language, the teacher’s role is the central element in fostering positive attitudes towards literacy;

b)facilitator: providing a supportive and stimulating environment, organising purposeful activities and enabling children to develop literacy skills;

c)initiator: providing a variety of resources and opportunities for a wide range of balanced activities to encourage the development of skills in talking, listening, reading and writing;

d)monitor: observing and recording the development of skills in literacy;

e)assessor: evaluating and assessing the development of skills in literacy.



Talking and Listening


In order to promote the development of T and L teachers will create an atmosphere in their rooms where the children feel relaxed, valued and affirmed. The children will be encouraged to develop their ability to ask questions, persuade, argue, explain and present this enabling them to become confident and competent speakers.





KS I- KS 2 development of confidence, precision, eloquence in reasoning, predicting and expressing feelings development of ability to adjust talk to suit the purpose and the audience development of awareness of opinions of others and the ability to take responsibility for group opinions.





Our aims are that our children all learn to read, enjoy a wide variety of texts and will become independent, critical life long readers and learners. The staff of  St Patrick’s realize that all children have different abilities and learn in different ways. So a variety of approaches to the teaching of reading will be used. Children will be provided with a variety of texts both Fiction and non-fiction and at no time will a reading scheme be solely relied on to teach reading. Children will be given a wide variety of experiences for reading through both key Stages. Children in Primary One will engage with the guided approach to reading and read books graded at instructional level. They will be encouraged to use meaning, structure and visual cues when reading unfamiliar text. They will read from familiar text to improve confidence, fluency and expression. From Primary 3 the children will be involved in Sustained Silent Reading at specific times. Children will be encouraged to interact with a variety of material e.g. poems, novels, newspaper articles etc. Children will be gives the skills to extract information from non-fiction material.





All pupils in KSI will develop the ability to read in a meaningful way and begin to form judgments. In KS 2 children will consolidate these existing skills and extend them to incorporate skimming and scanning and the ability to distinguish between fact and opinion when gathering information.





We believe that writing should be integrated into the Literacy programme and not be taught as an isolated area. It should also be incorporated into all other areas of the curriculum. Independence will be developed from the very early stages through first modeled writing, then shared writing and finally guided writing. We will attempt to provide a positive environment and a wide variety of equipment and experiences,


Our aim is that our children will develop the ability to write effectively in various forms according to purpose and audience.  We aim to provide a stimulating classroom environment where children will be inspired to write.



Progression KSI-KS2


Pupils will develop the ability to write accurately on a chosen topic or for a chosen audience, employing the proper processes of writing in a confident way.





Pupils will be taught to conventional ways of forming letters in upper and lower cases. They will be helped to develop a connected style ie.cursive at an appropriate stage. Good letter formation will be encouraged in both key stages. Special time may be set aside for handwriting practice lessons as the need arises. The style of handwriting used will have continuity of approach thus avoiding confusion or random style by the children.





In early stages spellings will focus on high frequency and high utility words. They will he encouraged to use the look, cover, write, check method of learning spellings.



Progression KSI-KS2


The spelling programme in the later stages will be an extension of the children’s previous knowledge. They will be encouraged to be independent spellers through the use of dictionaries, word banks and spell check facilities on the computer.





We recognize that Drama is an active medium and is central in developing all aspects of the Curriculum. Drama will stem from reading writing or talking and listening, may be used as an entry point into any one of these. We intend to place appropriate drama activities at the centre of the English Curriculum to include opportunities for:


•Dramatic Play

•Role Play

•Story telling and making through Drama

•Acting Out

•Exploring themes in Literature

•Understanding characters

•Spontaneous and prepared improvisation

•Scripted Texts



Cross Curricular Themes


In our delivery of the English Curriculum we will provide opportunities when appropriate for the children to use the three attainment targets to engage in discussion and undertake activities to fulfil the objectives of the Cross Curricular Themes.



Teaching styles/Classroom Management


To enable access to the whole Curriculum for every pupil, to cater for the variety of learning styles within each class and to ensure a progression and reinforcement of skills and concepts throughout the year groups, we employ a variety of teaching styles.


•We plan activities which will allow pupils to discover for themselves, work in teacher-led groups, learn from one another and work as class lessons

•We satisfy the present requirements of the Programmes of study and will meet any future changes by keeping our planning under regular review.

•We incorporate differentiation into our short term planning so that pupil’s interest is maintained, individual needs are met and all pupils achieve success.

•We use a wide variety of materials to enable every pupil to access the planned activities and achieve the planned leaning objectives.

•We give pupils opportunities to work in a variety of ways, as individuals, in pairs, in groups (of different sizes and composition), and as a class-depending, on their needs, the nature of the activity and the leaning objectives.

•We build pupil’s confidence and self esteem as language users by sharing learning objectives with them and through positive and constructive oral or written feedback.

•We enable pupils to develop written and spoken English though the model we set as teachers, and through sharing and providing good quality children’s reading materials.





English will be integrated into the general homework framework of the school. Assignments in Talking and Listening, reading and writing will reflect the classroom practice and be used as a method of reinforcement or preparatory work.





•People-teachers and Visitors



•Listening Centre


•Computers and various discs and programmes

•Library- Permanent and loan

•School Book Fair

•Interactive whiteboards





Formative Assessments in the three areas of English are ongoing in both Key Stages. In talking and Listening assessment is based on the teacher’s professional judgment, keeping in mind the Programmes of Study and the descriptors. The Programmes of study and the descriptors are also the basis for assessing the various types and levels of children’s writing. Similar procedures are employed to assess children’s reading. In Key Stage 1 children are being continuously assessed on knowledge of upper and Lower Case letters and sounds, by vocabulary checks and running records. At Key Stage 2 children are assessed by their response to reading materials, e.g. book reviews, character studies, cloze procedures and comprehension activities. Summative assessment will include standardized reading tests, which are carried out on all children from Primary 3-7.



Responding to Children’s Work


We recognize that when possible, children should receive feedback about pieces of work. Oral discussion is as important after one writing process as it is before. The feedback should be positive, supportive and encouraging. Comments will be made to the pupil as soon as possible after completion of the assignment. Marking will include suggestions for improvement. Pupils may be asked to mark their own work so as to alert them to recurring and common errors. Reasons will be given as to why a piece of work has been successful.



Special Needs


With the introduction of Reading Recovery and the early detection/intervention for those with problems it is or aim that the number of pupils in need of withdrawal for additional help in reading will be significantly reduced.



Equal opportunities /Gender Issues


The SIP Strategy for the Promotion of literacy and numeracy (page 18 point 2.35) states that there is a need to raise standards of literacy among boys.


We are aware of the research that suggests boys under-achieve in literacy.  We will give equal access to materials, teacher time and attention.  We aim to raise standards among all children equally. Every opportunity will he taken to ensure that all activities provided should be stimulating and enjoyable for both boys and girls.


It is, of course, important that girls do not suffer as a result.





In Literacy teachers use ICT to promote talking, listening, reading, writing, collaborative work, editing and cross-curricular work across both key stages. The hardware and software recently provided by C2K has greatly enhanced the work we can now do in this area.



Target Setting


Each year targets are set for all pupils in the school. Targets set for pupils doing end of Key Stage Assessment each year are included in the School Development Plan and reported to the school Board of Governors. These are reported annually to the parent body via the Governors Report to parents. Information for our school will be in the form of tables of end of Key Stage assessments from CCEA. These tables will supply percentages of boys and girls at particular levels in both Key Stages.  This information gives us a starting point from which to assess how the levels may change and how we compare to other like schools.




Role Of Literacy Co-Ordinator


The Literacy Co-ordinator should:


•have a good knowledge of issues related to literacy and keep up to date with developments

•draw up guidelines for staff based on the POS for English and the Northern Ireland Literacy Strategy

•monitor and evaluate the teaching of literacy across the curriculum

•be responsible for organising, maintaining and up-dating resources  

•attend literacy in-service and disseminate to staff

•keep the whole area under review and have an action plan