Literacy at UTCN

In England, 16.4% of adults are classified as functionally illiterate, meaning they face several barriers when it comes to communicating with others. At UTCN we recognise that, as educators, we have a duty to ensure our students possess strong levels of literacy, as it is one of the keys to success in life. 

On a daily basis, staff embed evidence informed practices into their teaching, so as to nurture the literacy of all of our students. In 2023, we focused on standardising the marking codes that teachers use to identify and address areas of weakness that students have, and we have heavily invested time in embedding Explicit Vocabulary Teaching into our curriculum. 

In E3 sessions, students engage with a piece of written material at least twice a half term - usually a split of fiction and non-fiction texts. The focused reading sessions are multi-faceted, not only do students get to connect with ‘good’ writing, their E3 tutors model reading fluency, and then students share their ideas about what they have just read. 

Throughout the duration of a student’s time with us here, we monitor progress through a New Group Reading Test which produces a reading age. The data collected is analysed to help create interventions for students who we feel need more support in developing their literacy skills. Currently, students in need of assistance take time throughout their week to complete paired reading with Mrs. Wootton, our school librarian.