Strong literacy is the foundation for success in all subjects. Reading accurately is important but understanding the meaning of text with all its subtle inferences is vital for moving swiftly through examination answering. Being able to do this quickly and within a given timeframe is a skill that students often need support with.
We work with the English Department in building these skills through the Bedrock online literacy programme. Years 7-9 use the programme twice weekly to build examination-level vocabulary, practise reading skills and become more proficient with reading comprehension. Some students in Years 10 and 11 also use the programme.
What is Bedrock?
Bedrock Vocabulary is an online vocabulary and reading curriculum that teaches students tricky tier 2 vocabulary within the context of aspirational fiction and non-fiction texts. It is an innovative approach to improving literacy skills. Using research-based strategies and an interactive multi-modal approach, Bedrock Vocabulary enables students to expand their academic vocabulary.
The system automatically generates and assigns learning content to students, marks the work produced and delivers new content based on results. Progress data is fed right back to the teacher’s inbox and allows staff to track language acquisition. In every Bedrock lesson, students read a piece of prose and answer comprehension questions on what they have read. In this process, they are encouraged to source the relevant information and record it as an answer to the question. This process mirrors the requirements of external tests. Students are asked to source information from a range of different texts, both fictional and non-fictional.
Parents can also access progress data for their child via the Parent Account, to support at home.
Additional Literacy Support for English as an Additional Language Student
In addition to Bedrock, we offer face to face group sessions with some of our students in order to build the high level of vocabulary required at grammar school. We currently run one group for Year 7 students as they transition to us and one for Year 9 as they get ready for GCSE level vocabulary. These 30 minute sessions take place once a week during afternoon registration.
The sessions aim to develop academic vocabulary and help students build a literacy ‘toolkit’ to further independent reading, writing, speaking, and listening. We use a variety of texts including both fiction and non-fiction, as well as games and group tasks.