Numeracy and Literacy

At TCS Numeracy and Literacy are taught discretely within the whole school curriculum.

Using mathematical concepts in a variety of contexts is an important life skill to develop as well as developing good literacy skills such as reading, writing, speaking and listening.

Numeracy: In Geography for example you need to be able to interpret graphs and charts, in Music you need to be able to work out rhythms within a bar and in PE you need to be able to calculate your average heart rate after exercise or your 100m sprint time. These are basic examples but it is vital to develop good numeracy within the curriculum. We have also introduced two whole-school projects designed to increase numeracy even further at TCS.

The first is the ‘numeracy in tutor time’ scheme, where once every fortnight students complete 10 quick questions and a problem solving challenge question. There are two activities, one aimed at year 7, 8 & 9 and the other aimed at year 10 & 11 with a GCSE focus.

The second scheme being run is called 'numeracy ninjas' which is run once a week, in maths lessons with year 7, 8 & most of year 9. This is where students complete five minutes of basic numeracy skills to fill in any gaps, which is done once per week, throughout the entire academic year.

Word of the week – commonly misspelt words which are on display in every classroom and written at the top of every written entry in English lessons

Guided reading – whole school reading activity, accessing a range of challenging texts, both fiction and non-fiction and ranging in date from 18th century to the present. Every student takes part in this activity during tutor time. This is of course to increase Literacy skills, but also to allow all student to access a range of challenging texts and to read more widely.

Silent reading – once a week during tutor time the students and staff take part in silent reading. This is modelled by the tutor. Every student takes part in this.

Tutor time Literacy activity - Each term we focus on a Literacy strand – Word, Sentence and Text. Students are given lessons, activities and skills tests during tutor time to reinforce spelling, sentence and textual rules.

Reading Mentoring – paired reading between year 9 and year 7 students who find reading a challenge with the year 9 students being mentors to the year 7s. All students are tested at the start of the year to ascertain their reading age. Those who take part are tested again at the end of the programme and the average increase in reading age so far in all the years we have been running it is 2 years 9 months.

Marking for Literacy – this is standardised throughout the school. Every written task is assessed for Literacy and challenging targets are set for students across the school.

Library lessons for Year 7 – one lesson a fortnight is devoted to Library lessons for Year 7. The students get to talk about books with their English teacher and the Librarian, and they get to read in the quiet and comfortable atmosphere of the library.

What I am reading now – all staff in the school have a poster to display and share what they are reading with students.