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Literacy and Numeracy

At Ousedale, we believe it is essential that all students are accurate in their written and spoken communication. This is essential for both success at school and in later life. In a document published in 2018 by The National Literacy Trust, they stated that ‘Only 2% of UK children have the critical literacy skills they need and 16.4% of adults in England, or 7.1 million people, can be described as having very poor literacy skills.’ Literacy simply means ‘The ability to read and write.’ (Oxford English Dictionary) Our aim is that all students are able to:

  • spell accurately
  • punctuate their work accurately and consistently
  • structure their work correctly
  • use a dictionary and thesaurus to improve the quality of their writing
  • talk with confidence in a range of situations, using Standard English

Across the school, we are developing a common approach to ensure students are supported to develop their literacy skills and assess their own written accuracy. All subject areas use the ‘Literacy Checklist’ which encourages students to identify their own strengths and weaknesses. Subject specific literacy information is also available in all classrooms. We want students to understand that these are not just skills required for success in the English classroom, but in all areas of life.

At home, parents can help develop skills in the following ways:

  • Establishing a regular reading pattern with your child and encourage them to talk about the books they have read.
  • Completing punctuation exercises with your child. Use the literacy checklist in their English books to help focus on areas for development.
  • Encouraging your child to write at any opportunity, for example lists, invitations, letters etc. Writing for real situations is much more rewarding.
  • Encouraging your child to share their school work and talk about the vocabulary and punctuation they have used and other choices they could have made.
  • Encouraging your child to understand that they need to adapt their formality of tone when writing and speaking and that they always need to consider their genre, their audience and their purpose.

You can help a child understand more about a text by:

Predicting: You can make informed guesses about a text by predicting: What the text is going to be about? What will happen next?

Skimming: You can read quickly through a text in order to get a general understanding of what the text is about.

Scanning: You can search a text for a specific word, phrase or number.

Close reading: When you pay close attention to the words, phrases and sentences you can build up your understanding of the meaning of a text.

Questioning: You can ask questions about a text to clarify your ideas.

Empathising: By putting yourself in someone else’s shoes you can begin to empathise and feel what they feel.

Visualising: Building a picture in your mind can help you to gain a better understanding of the text. Inferring: By reading ‘between the lines’ you can find meanings that are not initially obvious.

The following websites have more activities and ideas to support literacy at home:


Numeracy at Ousedale School

At Ousedale, we aim to equip students with the ability to cope confidently with the mathematical demands of further education, employment and adult life.

The skills that they need to achieve this are:

  • Representing – selecting the mathematics and information required to solve a problem
  • Analysing – processing and using mathematics
  • Interpreting and communicating the results of the analysis

Across the curriculum, students should be able to:

  • apply their knowledge of number to both familiar and new circumstances and to use it in the solution of problems.
  • carry out basic calculations efficiently and accurately, either mentally or with pencil and paper as appropriate.
  • understand and use units of measurement of length, mass, capacity and time.
  • understand and use information presented in mathematical forms, including graphs, tables and charts.

In school we are developing common approaches for teaching these skills across the curriculum.

All staff should be aware of opportunities for incorporating numeracy into their lessons and to build and consolidate the skills used in Maths lessons.

Weekly numeracy challenges will be used by form tutors in registration to develop problem solving and to allow students to apply their numeracy knowledge to different contexts.

At home, parents can help develop skills in the following areas:

Time: Use analogue and digital watches or clocks to tell the time, work out how long something will take or when it will finish, read timetables and calculate the number of days until an event.

Measure: Use scales in preparing meals, adjust recipes for different numbers of people, measuring lengths of rooms, furniture.

Money: Work out best buys when shopping, calculate reductions in sales, calculate and check change in shops, budget and record income and expenditure.

Estimating: Plan for activities such as calculating the number of rolls of paper or amount of paint required to decorate a room.

Calculating: Practise multiplication tables, complete the brain gym puzzles in newspapers, play countdown numbers games.

The following websites have more activities and ideas to support numeracy at home: son/daughter will be given the username and password for this website in their maths lessons)


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