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Copleston High School

Literacy and numeracy catch-up

Why Literacy Matters

“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 Clinton, International Literacy day, September 8th 1994

At Copleston High School we are working hard to promote our students’ literacy and ensure they all achieve to the very best of their ability. Literacy matters in every subject in which your child reads, writes and expresses ideas verbally.

Did you know?

  • More than a quarter of 8 to 16 year olds have read more than 1 book in the last month.
  • Nearly 1 in 7 students aged 8 to 16 rarely or never read outside of class.
  • Only 1 in 4 say that their parents care if they spend time reading.
  • Less than half of children and young people enjoy writing.
  • The average reading age of 14-16 year olds is 10 years 7 months, but the average reading age of a GCSE exam paper is 15 years 7 months.

We all owe it to our children to give them the very best literacy skills, in order to improve their chances in life and to enable them to succeed in whatever path they choose. We will all be working hard to support your child’s literacy development in all subjects and we would welcome any time that you can devote to this at home.

All students in Years 7-9 have the opportunity to make use of the school library during an English lesson at least once a fortnight. During this lesson, students are encouraged to develop their reading, both fiction and non-fiction.

On these pages you will find a selection of information and resources that will help you to support your child.  The link here also takes you to a fantastic collection of E-books 

What is the School’s Literacy Policy?

At Copleston we have an established Literacy Policy- please click on link below.

How is work marked for Literacy at Copleston?

A quick reference guide to the Copleston Marking Code used in English and in other subjects across the school.

Copleston Marking Code

How can we help students?

There are a number of ways in which we can all help and support students with their literacy.


Reading Aloud

Ten Top Tips - Help your child to Read

Accelerated Reader - A Guide for Parents


Ten Top Tips - Help your child to Spell


We also provide an intervention programme to students that may require more in depth reading support. This will either take the form of phonics based support or a small group reading intervention, depending on the level of need for the student. 

The curriculum is designed around the structured practice of key skills that are needed to succeed in English and all other subjects in KS3 and 4. There is a focus on reading for comprehension, beginning to analyse texts, planning and writing structured, coherent texts in different forms.

The curriculum is supported with reading time during form as part of The Base and Apex form programme. This involves several reading weeks whereby students get a chance to focus on their own indivual reading and tutors can discuss their book choices.  English lessons work closely on the 'Naughty Forty' spellings list of high frequency, commonly misspelt words. This list has been selected with input from SEN and EAL departments.

The intent is to close any reading gap to the point where students can succeed in all of their subjects on a par with their peers.

Copleston’s Waves of Intervention.

Reading and vocabulary acquisition is crucial for all students to have the skills to access the wider curriculum.

The ‘Copleston Waves of Intervention’ model provides students with opportunities to read around the subject to peak their personal interests as well as provide quality first teaching through quality interventions to support areas in a student’s schema which need developing.

There are three stages to the intervention approach: wave 1 where inclusive teaching is adopted through whole school protocol; wave 2 where additional interventions are conducted and wave 3 where highly personalised interventions address specific needs.

The intervention team facilitates this structure and ensures that suitable interventions are conducted based on GL and NGRT test data which is directed by the school. The aim is to ensure that the needs to students are met to provide them with the skills to progress academically in all curriculum areas.

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A Whole School Approach to Literacy 

All teachers are teachers of literacy and therefore share responsibility for teaching across the curriculum. Literacy skills need to be woven throughout the curriculum using standardised protocols to ensure that skills are discussed and visual throughout the day.

Throughout forms, staff model reading fluency and therefore model oracy. Copleston staff are expected to correct student oracy to maintain standards of good verbal communication. We will teach students to use- language precisely and coherently.  Within a lesson scenario, staff will correct basic levels of spelling, punctuation and grammar focusing on capital letters, full stops, and subject specific lexis (tier 3 vocabulary). The LRC is well stocked, and a subject specific reading list has been created to support reading for pleasure for our students.

numeracy intervention at copleston 

We believe all students deserve the best opportunities to help them through their journey at school and to help them access the curriculum more. Numeracy Intervention at Copleston is clear- we select students who enter Copleston with SAT scores below 95 with the aim of improving their GCSE results by year 11 and to help prepare them for later life.

Our current intervention support at Copleston is delivered during the form time registration. We believe supporting our students whilst they are fresh in the morning motivates them for the rest of the day.

Experienced teachers work with the same group from year 7 to year 10. This allows for consistency as well as pastoral support to form strong relations.

Every student has an individual workbook which they use once the teacher has delivered the learning. The resource workbook is based fundamentally on improving numeracy, focusing on consolidating numeracy skills including fractions, decimals, percentages, general number skills and properties of shapes.  It is hoped that this will also promote independent learning.

We also include elements of support in the maths scheme of work to boost further understanding and confidence. It is hoped that this will promote independent learning.

We will place the numeracy intervention resources on Satchel (our home learning area platform) so students can effectively continue their Numeracy work at home.