Literacy and ICT
Reading at Sheiling School
At Sheiling School we recognise that our pupils are individual learners who require a personalised approach. Given the extreme diversity in terms of levels of academic attainment, engagement and experience, it’s obvious that no single approach to the teaching of reading is going to be effective for all. We also recognise that effective, fluent reading is the product of a reader applying a range of strategies – as such, a range of strategies is what we offer and encourage.
Our approach is assessment led: we draw on a range of indicators to identify gaps or misconceptions in reading ability, to identify a predominant reading strategy, and to outline a pupils’ next steps towards meaningful reading. We use ‘Phonicsbooks’ reading schemes that are targeted at both emergent younger readers and older ‘catch up’ readers (8-14+). For pupils working at a proficient or fluent reading level, we have a large range of fiction and non-fiction texts that cover a variety of topics including topics from the wider curriculum. For more information, see our Reading Progression Policy.
Crucial to the development of reading skills is the level of interest the pupil experiences with regards to the text. Our pupil library is a calm and comfortable space that aims to promote reading for pleasure and foster a healthy interest and joy in reading. We aim to provide our pupils with engaging reading materials that are age appropriate and match their personal interests.
At Sheiling School we recognise the central role that technology plays in the modern world and the necessity of ICT skills for life beyond school. However, we believe that the overuse or misuse of ICT can potentially lead to a range of behavioural and educational issues. As such, the key question is how to use ICT meaningfully within an educational setting.
The meaningful aspect of ICT varies according to the development age of the pupil. For pupils in the Primary Faculty, ICT usage is very limited, as our general approach with pupils in that age group has a strong emphasis on hands-on learning, tactile experiences and sensory integration – none of which are enabled by ICT.
Within the Secondary and 6th form faculty pupils should access ICT across their curriculum for at least an hour each week. The aim is to provide pupils with functional computer skills that will benefit them in life and work beyond Sheiling School, but also, crucially, provide them with the tools and knowledge to stay safe online.