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At The Whitstable School, we think it is really important to develop pupils' speaking and listening (oracy) skills alongside reading and writing. In practice, this means teachers carefully plan activities which allow pupils to develop their confidence communicating. This includes paired work, group activities and chances to address the whole class.
As well as work in lessons, we are proud of our termly exhibitions for pupils in Years 7 - 9. These exhibitions are 'pupil led' and have 'developing pupil oracy' as their key objective. Each term, different subject areas have an opportunity to showcase the work being done. We invite parents, governors and colleagues from other schools to attend and see some of the amazing work our pupils create. Each exhibition is hosted by pupils and they introduce the event before escorting visitors around the exhibition areas.
Having strong communication skills helps pupils to make a wider contribution to the school through leadership opportunities and 'pupil voice'. Our pupils are increasingly confident speaking to adults and their peers and this has benefits across all aspects of school life.
Reading for pleasure and purpose are cornerstones of the department’s drive to improve literacy. As avid readers, we believe that reading for pleasure is a way to improve vocabulary and expand your ability to write for a specific audience, genre and purpose. You are expected to have a reading book with you at all times and English teachers encourage you to read challenging as well as familiar texts. Regular reading during tutor sessions also enables you to have a consistent habit of reading.
There are opportunities to join other pupils to read in one of our mini ‘Book Clubs’ with questions designed to support your discussion of the book once you are finished. Regular library lessons with Mrs Davies, in our well-stocked library, will support your choosing of suitable books. There’s plenty to read in lessons too. In every year in English, the reading curriculum includes; a book, a series of short stories, a Shakespeare play as well as poems and non-fiction texts.