Why Literacy Matters
“Literacy is the jump-off point from which all of life’s success take flight.” Lauri Fortino
We aim to give our students the motivation to read for pleasure, time to read, the skills required to read academic texts and opportunities to read a wide range of genres.
Literacy Lessons KS3
A significant emphasis is placed on developing literacy skills across the curriculum here at Goffs.
Students in Year 7 and 8 complete two literacy lessons a fortnight where they read a class novel and complete Bedrock Learning lessons.
Our main objectives during literacy lessons are to expose students to challenging texts, increase the time for deep explorations of a text and provide opportunities for class discussion.
Students in Year 9 students will complete Bedrock Learning lessons once a fortnight.
Bedrock Learning KS3 and KS4
Bedrock Learning is divided into nine blocks, from 3 to 11. Each block takes about one academic year to complete. At the start of their Bedrock journey, students take the Alpha Test. This uses a bespoke algorithm to ensure learners begin with the block that’s most tailored to their ability – so not frustratingly easy for more-able students, and not too hard for those who find learning more challenging.
Once placed in the correct block, students progress through a variety of topics (between 10 and 14 in each block), experiencing engaging, language-rich fiction and non-fiction texts that expand their knowledge of the world as well as their vocabulary.
Each topic consists of six 15-20 minute lessons, plus a pre- and post-test to track students’ progress. Learners make optimum progress when they complete two lessons each week.
Reading Assessments KS3 and KS4
At KS3 and KS4 students will complete a GL reading and spelling assessment once per term. Students will be required to take a short online assessment to give them a clear indication on their reading age and vocabulary scores. It is imperative that students complete this to the best of their ability and do not rush.
This data will allow us to target any students who may need additional support/ intervention as well as keeping parents informed on their child’s reading development.
Whole School Reading KS3
Each half term students will be given a book to take home and read as part of their home learning for one of their subjects. E.G. Year 7: ICT: Hacker Half Term 1, Drama: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Half Term 2. The reading that has been set for home learning will form discussions in lessons.
This is an opportunity for students to read for pleasure while being exposed to a range of genres and authors.
Each week students are required to complete two Bedrock Learning lessons a week. In addition, students should be reading for 30 minutes a night and each week logging their reading activity in their Student Toolkit (KS3) as part of their home learning.
The reading log needs to include the following:
- Book title
- Hours/Minutes spent reading that week
- Pages Read
- Parent signature
During the course of the year we run a number of extra-curricular activities.
Rise and Read
Rise and Read mornings are aimed at encouraging parents and predominately boys in their love for reading via paired reading activities and access to LRC resources.
Students are invited to join the Goffs’ public speaking team and compete against other schools in Hertfordshire at the annual Mayor’s Debate.
World Book Day
All KS3 English lessons are tailored to develop a love for reading and adapted to help develop creative writing skills - plus a range of competitions and activities take place in the LRC during lunch and break times.
World Poetry Day
As a part of our celebration KS3 classes are tailored to reading and writing poems in recognition of World Poetry Day.
Each year we have the pleasure of hosting an author who delivers assemblies and creative workshops for students in KS3 and/or KS4. As well as inspiring Goffs’ students and creating a buzz around books, author visits help students develop their writing and oracy skills.
The Whole School Spelling Bee invites students to participate in a number of spelling tests resulting in winners battling it out against finalists from their year groups in the Goffs’ Annual Spelling Bee.
Whole School Public Speaking
Students from years 7-10 take part in public speaking competitions during English lessons. The finalists are then put through to the Whole School Public Speaking Competition where an overall winner is crowned to win £100 amazon voucher.
Mrs Gemma Hawkins
Director of Litearcy and Communication
Ms Eleanor Wakling
Assistant Director of Literacy and Communication
Bedrock competition for KS3 and KS4 students click the link below:
Student guidance for Bedrock Learning:
Parent guidance for Bedrock Learning: