Whole School Literacy Policy

Literacy: A Definition

Literacy refers to the ability to read for knowledge, write coherently in at least one method, and think critically about the written word.

In schools, teachers of all subjects have a vital role to play in enabling all pupils to ‘apply their reading and writing skills successfully and to speak articulately in a range of contexts and for different purposes.’

(OFSTED – Reading, Writing and Communication: Literacy).

Literacy is the set of skills which allows an individual to engage fully in society and in learning through the different forms of language and the range of texts which society values and finds useful. Improving literacy skills is fundamental to providing all children with the best possible opportunities to become successful and self-fulfilled at school, at work and in the community.

(National Statement for Improving Attainment in Literacy in Schools.)

Students who begin with high verbal aptitudes find themselves in verbally enriched social environments and have a double advantage.

(Daniel Rigney)


As a formal requirement, literacy is essential to improving learning and raising standards across the curriculum. It is explicitly stated in the Teaching Standards that all teaching staff must demonstrate an understanding of, and take responsibility for, promoting high standards of literacy, articulacy and the correct use of Standard English, whatever the teacher’s specialist subject. Although the teaching of literacy skills is largely the role of the English department, all subjects have a responsibility to contribute to this.

International School Pune Commits To:

  • improving outcomes and raising attainment for all students by developing the teaching of literacy and embedding best practice across the curriculum
  • ensuring that all students have the opportunity to become effective readers, writers and communicators
  • recognising that all teachers are facilitators of literacy through their subject
  • encouraging every teacher to take responsibility for the development of literacy in their subject
  • developing a shared vision and common approach for improving literacy and language for learning across the curriculum
  • ensuring that students have access to the literacy support they need to make progress across the curriculum and in later life.

Achievement Of Objectives:


Achieving the aims stated above will be demonstrated by students who will be able to:

  • Communicate clearly, purposefully, astutely, and appropriately for to context
  • Speak with confidence, clarity and fluency in appropriate forms of speech
  • Read widely and fluently with independence and understanding, for a variety of purposes including study, research and pleasure
  • Read using varied reading skills as appropriate to a task
  • Write for a range of purposes, organising the content and style to suit the purpose
  • Control spelling, punctuation, grammar and syntax appropriately and with confidence
  • Develop a legible handwriting style where appropriate and be able to use word-processing skills effectively.


Promoting Literacy


In order to optimise student literacy skills and to demonstrate best practice in promoting these in the all classroom, teachers must:


  • Use and provide key terms and vocabulary and ensure that pupils recognise and understand them, identifying and explaining any particular features of key terms (eg capitalisation)
  • Remind students of important core skills, for example, how to skim a text to extract the main elements of its content
  • Make expectations clear before students begin a task, for example, the conventions of a text
  • Reinforce and model the importance of accuracy in spoken and written language, correcting this in written work
  • Identify when it is important to use Standard English and when other registers or dialects may be used
  • Help students with key elements of literacy in lessons, for example, pointing out spelling, punctuation or grammar issues as they work
  • Assess work with the literacy objectives in mind, for example, the spelling of key subject terms
  • Ask open-ended questions, giving thinking time and making space for collaborative talk and considered verbal answers in standard English.



Across the whole curriculum all teachers will provide activities for students to develop and use their skills. Students will:


  • Read and follow written instructions
  • Read aloud in order to develop and enhance their fluency and confidence as readers.
  • Read to explore and to develop understanding
  • Learn how to access textbooks as well as online data, including format and index
  • Learn how to extract and interpret information from a text using skimming and scanning
  • Develop dictionary skills
  • Learn how to select, scrutinise, evaluate and compare information from different written material including but not limited to textbooks, non-fiction resources, and media such as newspapers (resources may be physical and/or online)
  • All teachers will provide reading material of high quality which is engaging, relevant and balanced in its presentation of ethnicity, culture, sexuality and gender and appropriate for age and ability of the students
  • Students, particularly in younger years, will be encouraged to read progressively more challenging texts to stretch their reading skills. This will be achieved through dedicated independent reading schemes embedded within the English curriculum.




Across the curriculum all teachers will provide activities for students to:


  • Use writing to develop their vocabulary and knowledge of correct spelling and grammar
  • Plan, draft, discuss and reflect on their writing, using ICT, where appropriate
  • Write for a range of purposes and audiences
  • Make notes in a variety of formats, e.g. diagrams, tables, mind maps, key words
  • Use a range of writing styles
  • Use models and examples of good practice to support and improve their writing
  • All teachers will set writing tasks that have clear and immediate purposes that are objective driven and which are differentiated appropriately for the age and ability of the students concerned
  • All teachers will teach students how to structure their writing using a variety of sentence structures, paragraphs and a wide range of punctuation, including higher order punctuation e.g. semi-colons, colons and brackets
  • Where students are asked to write in a particular genre, e.g. a newspaper report, all teachers will ensure that students are familiar with the appropriate style and conventions that they have studied/been introduced to in their English lessons
  • All teachers will correct errors in grammar, punctuation and spelling in line with the school’s assessment/marking policy.


Speaking and Listening

Across the whole curriculum all teachers will provide opportunities for students:


  • Speak for and to a range of purposes and audiences
  • Explore and evaluate
  • Ask and answer questions
  • Plan, discuss and evaluate their speaking and listening and that of their peers
  • Solve problems collaboratively.
  • Teachers will develop strategies to enable students to participate actively in their learning using talk appropriately and purposefully.
  • Teachers will encourage learners to use language appropriately, precisely and coherently, pointing out incorrect vocabulary and grammar.
  • Teachers will use class discussion and group work to encourage students to listen to each other, respond to each other constructively and politely.
  • Teachers will use speaking opportunities to develop the confidence of pupils.


Self Support


  • It is the responsibility of each Head of Department to ensure that the policy is implemented within each subject area.
  • It is the responsibility of the Head of Academic to ensure that high quality CPD is offered to all staff to enable them to achieve the objectives set out above.