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Literacy and Learning

Independent Learning Centre

The Independent Learning Centre (ILC) provides computers for students, including Sixth Formers, to use during the school day.  Sixth form students can access this facility throughout the day, whilst students in Years 7 – 11 can use the computer facilities at break and lunch.  The ILC is available for students in Years 7 and 8 to use after school via booked places.  Some lessons may also take place in the ILC during the school day. 

Our school library is also based in our ILC.  Students may borrow up to four items at a time and keep them for four weeks.  Fiction books are catalogued by the author, alphabetically; Non-fiction books are classified using the standard Dewey system.  There are local newspapers, monthly magazines and journals and there is study space for 30+ students.  Each year our library hosts a book fayre, where students can purchase popular publications. 

The ILC has a team of around twenty ILC assistants, volunteers from among every year group who can recommend books, suggest new genres and help students to find something appealing.

Reading

Reading is essential to education and evidence suggests that regular reading for pleasure has a positive impact on overall proficiency, not just in reading but also in writing and spoken language, as well as overall academic progress.  By reading we acquire knowledge and there is a strong correlation between reading and examination success. We encourage students in every Year group to engage with wider reading and this aspect is a key part of having an outstanding Attitude to Learning.

Literacy and reading are actively promoted within our school community.  In recent years, all new Year 7 students have been encouraged to read a core text The Boy at the Back of the Class by during the summer holidays before starting at Denbigh School.  During the first week at Denbigh School, all Year 7 lessons are based on this book, providing opportunities to explore what they have read and developed their knowledge across the curriculum.  Additionally, teachers share information about books that they are reading, and we have an established book club with our Sixth Form.

We complete baseline assessments of student reading abilities on entry to Year 7, to identify those who may require additional support, stretch, and challenge.  For students with a below-average standardised score for reading are invited to take part in our reading group intervention.  This highly successful intervention group is run by an HLTA and students attend sessions for up to three hours per week.

Widening our vocabulary also forms part of our reading programme and we have a Word of the Week to support this.  The word is shared in tutorial each Monday and then used throughout the week.  We have looked at words such as – discerning, inadvertently, complacent and abundance.  Students can earn a special reward for using the word in their own work.