Here at Maricourt, literacy is embedded into all aspects of school life. Covering all three aspects of reading, writing and speaking & listening, we want our students to thrive in an educational environment that encourages a cross curricular application of all subjects. For literacy, this means ensuring their understanding and knowledge surrounding key texts is always being developed, right from the beginning of Year 7 to their GCSE’s and A Level. Having regular reading sessions within both of our resource centers is also a vital aspect of their studies, allowing our students to independently select what they would like to read outside of school in their free time. A strong collaboration between our librarian and our English department has allowed Maricourt to perfect many of its literacy-based resources, only further ensuring our students are constantly challenged, both personally and academically.
At Maricourt Catholic High School, we believe that Reading for pleasure is vital to improve your child’s literacy.
Regular reading is proven to:
- Improve mental health.
- Increase confidence.
- Improve your child’s chances of getting better grades in all subjects; and improve career prospects in later life.
- Improve vocabulary, spelling, writing and speaking skills.
- Develop imagination, empathy and critical-thinking skills.
As parents, you can really support your child in establishing helpful routines around reading. For example: insist reading is completed before rewarding with screen time. Alternatively, ensure reading is completed in bed before sleep: this is much healthier than looking at a screen before going to sleep and will also improve sleep quality. Also ask your child questions on what they have been reading to encourage them and check comprehension. To help your child’s reading at KS3, you can also regularly sign of on their reading in their reading logs. It is imperative that we work together as parents and teachers to help improve your child’s literacy. Pupils will also gain rewards for meeting certain milestones.
What to Read
It is important that your child is reading a suitable book. Our Library is open before and during school. We expect all of our KS3 pupils to have a reading book in their bag at all times. To make choosing a book simpler, we have ‘Year Group’ reading lists and a ‘Super Readable Reads’ section in the Library for those students who may find reading more difficult.
Recommended Reading Lists:
Catered reading lists for Years 7 to 11 have been carefully assembled by our staff, all displaying a selection of books both appropriate to the respective ages of their readers and all available to loan through our resource centers for free:
Encourage your child to write for pleasure: a diary entry, a story, letters to family, an opinion piece – fiction or non-fiction – anything goes!
Planning: encourage your child to plan before attempting an extended piece of writing.
Proof read for SPAG: teachers encourage pupils to check their written work before they see it as ‘finished’. Encourage your child to check for full stops, capital letters and spelling mistakes as the very basics.
Read aloud to punctuate: get your child to read out their completed work and they should hopefully hear where the punctuation should go. If not, try reading it to them with the correct pauses for punctuation (rather than simply telling them where the punctuation goes).
Connectives (opens in new tab) (PDF)
Word Study Template (opens in new tab) (PDF)
We believe it is vital for every child to ‘find their voice’: for success in education and the wider world. Successful speakers understand how to be polite and respectful, actively listen and articulate themselves, as well adapt their speaking for different audiences and purposes. Being able to scrutinise and develop ideas are just as important in speech as they are in writing. In lessons, we use the ABC Discussion model and remind our students how to speak to others appropriately and effectively.
Parents may wish to follow the ‘Talk with TRUST’ model when speaking to your child:
Take turns to talk
Use lots of encouragement
Share and talk about experiences
Tune-in and be interested
Please explicitly discuss speaking with your child – explain and model successful communication to them. Help them to prepare and practice for spoken interviews and presentations.
An example of ‘Talk with TRUST’(opens in new tab) (PDF)
ABC Discussion Model(opens in new tab) (PDF)
Effective Speaking and Listening(opens in new tab) (PDF)
All pupils in KS3 will have a ‘Reading Log’ to fill out. These are checked once a fortnight in Library lessons. Please ensure your child has read and sign the log to confirm they have done so. Secondly, our Word of the Week quizzes take place at the end of every term. This is vital to improve your child’s vocabulary. Encourage your child to research the meanings of any unfamiliar words, and partake in the quizzes online.
For success at GCSE, it is essential that pupils can read and understand exam questions and communicate clearly in their writing under time pressure. It is also important to note that many GCSE exams, not just English, award marks for SPaG (Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar). Pupils will also have to attend interviews when applying for post-16 places so confident speaking skills are essential.
- Keep reading for pleasure. Please record this in your English Knowledge Organiser.
- Know how to use a range of punctuation and sentence types.
- Practice timed exam responses.
- Plan any extended responses.
- Write accurately and proof read their writing.
- Break down and highlight key words in exam questions to aid understanding.
- Know and understand a range of vocabulary, connectives, command words and the words on the ‘Academic Word List’ (see the writing section).
- Practice for interviews and spoken presentations.
Our Libraries contain a large collection of fiction, non - fiction and information books for students and staff to use. Students are generally allowed to borrow two items at a time, although further loans can be borrowed on agreement with the librarian. We also have 10 networked computers and a colour printer and photocopier for students to access throughout the school day.
For more information on our libraries, including our weekly updated ‘Book of the Week’, suggestion box for all to use and regular updates on our Book Club, please follow the link below:
Library Lessons, Clubs and Activities
Students in Key Stage 3 have timetabled library lessons once a fortnight. This gives us an opportunity to recommend new and important works of fiction. We work collaboratively with the English department to ensure these lessons are interactive and informative. Students are also able to access the Library during break times and after school most days.
Throughout the year we run various activities to promote reading for pleasure as well as celebrating several key dates on the calendar such as World Book Day, National Poetry Day and much more. We also run after school clubs including: a Book Club, Chess Club, and Film Club. At Film Club students enjoy watching the latest movies and participating in fun activities.
Monday8.35 – 4.00
Tuesday8.35 – 4.00
Wednesday8.35 – 4.00
Thursday8.35 – 4.00
Friday8.35 – 4.00
Library Manager - Mr Evans – firstname.lastname@example.org
Literacy Coordinator - Mr Harkin – email@example.com