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We are a Reading School

Photo of Headteacher, Jackie Gent

Three years ago we were designated as a ‘Reading School’ by the local authority - the first secondary school in the County to be so. In 2016/17 we move to Phase 4 of our reading school journey. This phase has a focus on providing challenge and ensuring excellence in reading and communication across the entire school curriculum.

We are proud of our Reading School status, which reflects our continued developments in ensuring excellence in communication across the curriculum, and in particular, the way we provide opportunities for pupils to develop knowledge about language.

Language is at the heart of all learning; it is the prime form of communication that enables pupils to process information and express themselves across the curriculum. Therefore, excellence in communication and use of language are critical in ensuring successful learning occurs in all subjects. Given that the development of pupils’ communication skills results in enhancing their learning across the curriculum, everyone has a genuine stake in the cultivation of effective communication skills as a tool for learning throughout the school. Fostering and celebrating outstanding communication is central to all we do; it permeates all aspects of school life and is a crucial part of the commitment to raising standards in Bishop Barrington School. A whole school approach to developing communication helps to support the aims of the school.

Reading and Communication within the English Curriculum.

Teachers of English have a leading role in and a major responsibility for providing pupils with the knowledge, skills and understanding they need in order to read, write, speak and listen effectively. We are proud of our English curriculum. Our schemes of learning are consistently reviewed to ensure they offer breadth, depth and challenge for all pupils.  We aim to develop pupils’ skills of analysis and exploration ensuring sustained and rapid progress from day one. Above all, we want to develop a life-long love of reading in all of our pupils by introducing them to a range of challenging and thought provoking texts. Pupils explore the craft of writing in depth and utilise this knowledge in their own work.

Reading and Communication across the Curriculum.

All staff are responsible for leading communication development in Bishop Barrington School. Strategic leadership and monitoring is undertaken by the Senior Leadership team, supported by a subject expert.

Pupils experience staff as their role models in the use of language – they should receive praise for the correct use of English and are encouraged to make ambitious vocabulary choices. Pupils are involved in the development of policy and practice to support communication. The Year 11 Prefect team are trained and deliver a form tutor programme in reading, writing, speaking and listening, specifically designed to meet the needs of their learners.

The challenge for all other subject areas is to know and understand the levels of communication of individual pupils and provide appropriate opportunities to develop, apply and master these skills. All subjects make a specific contribution to developing pupils’ language through the use of subject specific vocabulary, the use of styles of writing that are appropriate to that subject, the need for pupils to access subject specific materials and the special opportunities and demands of the subject. Subjects across the curriculum use a range of bespoke resources unique to the school, designed to master a range of writing styles as well as choose texts that are challenging and offer a variety of teaching opportunities.

In developing communication across the curriculum Bishop Barrington aims to enable our pupils to:

Support through Intervention and Enrichment in reading, writing, speaking and listening.

We are immensely proud of our Renaissance Reading initiative that we deliver to Year 7 and 8. Pupils are encouraged to read for pleasure and are rewarded for their efforts.

We support in reading and communication through a range of tailored provisions, aimed at assisting our pupils in making excellent progress in reading and communication. This includes:

All of this is enhanced by a number of enrichment activities. Some of the activities and other enrichment opportunities this year include: