‘Literacy is not a luxury, it is a right and a responsibility. If our world is to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century we must harness the energy and creativity of all our citizens’.

President Bill Clinton, International Literacy Day, September 8th 1994

Welcome to our literacy homepage

Maiden Erlegh is committed to promoting whole school literacy across all year groups in order to support their learning and raise standards. Literacy underpins the school curriculum by developing students’ ability to: speak, listen, read and write for a wide range of purposes, using language to learn and communicate, to think, explore and organise. Helping students to express themselves clearly orally and in writing enhances and enriches teaching and learning in all subjects.

We believe that literacy allows people to use language to enhance their capacity to think, create and question, enabling them to become more aware of the world and empowering them to participate more effectively in society.

We are committed to developing literacy skills in all our pupils, in the belief that it will support their learning and raise standards in all subject areas. Language is the prime medium through which students learn and express themselves across the curriculum, and all teachers have a stake in effective literacy.

Here are some practical strategies for how you can help your child succeed with their literacy skills. Some of these you may do already, others are suggestions that have worked for parents.

Reading strategies:

  • Encourage your child to speculate about what might happen in the rest of the book and why.
  • Take them to local libraries or bookshops and encourage them to select books they are interested in.
  • Encourage your child to read to you - little and often is most effective.
  • Look for TV and cinema releases that are linked to children’s books to raise their interest.
  • Ensure your child’s book is appropriate for their ability- too challenging will put them off and too easy may not be rewarding.
  • Read yourself. It is helpful if children see their parents reading.
  • Audio books could be used to help create interest in an author and improve creativity and imagination.
  • Predict what might happen later in the novel in light of what they already know.
  • Use appropriate vocabulary to express views on the text e.g. plot, setting, mood and character.
  • Identify language devices a writer uses e.g. adjectives, similes and metaphors.
  • Research the context of the novel e.g. World War 2, Victorian times or a particular culture or country.

Writing strategies:

  • Ask to see their books regularly and ask them about what they are doing.
  • Maybe you could aid them in correcting spelling errors.
  • Encourage your child to improve their vocabulary by selecting different words to enhance their range. Do this little and often.
  • Admit any spelling difficulties of your own but encourage use of a thesaurus and dictionary at home to help improve them. They are also available online.
  • Encourage your child to learn challenging spellings- focus on a maximum of 5 per week.
  • They could write a poem.
  • Create a newspaper article about their favourite subject at school.
  • Write a persuasive speech or letter.
  • Creative writing based on a personal experience.
  • Create a story board based on an extract, scene or non-fiction text.

Speaking and listening strategies:

  • When your child comes home try talking to them about their day and the things they have done. Try to use “open questions” that require more than a “yes” or “no” answer. Instead of “Did you have a good day?” try asking “What was the best part of your day today?” This will encourage your child to share more information about their school day.
  • Talking with others is a great way to develop vocabulary; the more we talk, the more we pick up on different words that other people may use.
  • Encourage your child to talk and share their opinions in the appropriate way, the more their confidence will grow.
  • Encourage your child to talk to people of all ages, they could read out loud to younger siblings, explaining the story as they go or sit with grandparents and older relatives and talk about their own experiences in life.
  • If your child is preparing for a speaking and listening activity, allow them space at home to practise what they want to say. This will also help to boost confidence as it will help them to feel secure in what they are going to do.
  • You can also try these websites. They include activities for your child and information and advice for parents.