At Woodchurch High School, our philosophy on Literacy is captured in the following quotation by George Sampson: "All teachers are teachers of English because every teacher is a teacher in English".


We know that the development of pupils' literacy is essential to whole-school improvement and to pupils' later lives. Literacy is so much more than spelling, punctuation and grammar; it is about how we systematically teach and develop reading, oracy and writing. Implicit and explicit teaching of literacy is an essential part of every teacher's professional toolkit, and a successful whole-school Literacy strategy involves everybody.

As such, effective literacy, including oracy, is one of our Essential Learning Principles and is implicit and explicit in many more. We are committed to developing literacy skills in all of our pupils, and modelling these for them. We believe that it will support their learning and raise standards across the curriculum because pupils who attain grades 9-5 in English are three times more likely to achieve grades 9-5 in five or more other subjects.

Further to this:

  • pupils need vocabulary, expression and organisational control to cope with the cognitive demands of subjects;
  • reading helps us to learn from sources beyond our immediate experience;
  • writing helps us to sustain and order thought;
  • language helps us to reflect, revise and evaluate the things we do, and on the things others have said, written or done;
  • responding to big questions encourages the development of thinking skills and enquiry;
  • improving literacy and learning can have an impact on pupils' self-esteem, on motivation and behaviour; it allows them to learn independently and this is empowering for a learner.


In pursuit of addressing these areas consistently and effectively, we have established the following

  • a reading strategy (informed by KS2 transition) and appropriate intervention programmes for pupils who require support;
  • six key whole-school literacy focuses, which represent the six key barriers to success as presented by our pupils;
  • bespoke support for Subject Areas which require pupils to produce developed responses;
  • a vocabulary and oracy strategy, which includes whole school promotion of V.C.O.P and SHAPE;
  • a personal Literacy Book, which targets the six key focuses, the format for non-fiction writing, spelling and reading strategies, a SPAG and Oracy PLC and a section dedicated to vocabulary development.