Key Stage 4/5 Literacy: Parents Guide

What is Literacy? Why is it important?

Literacy covers the key aspects of reading, writing, speaking and listening. Mastering these skills is not only essential for life, but will also ensure the full secondary curriculum can be accessed and that success can be achieved in all subjects. At The Ripley Academy, we take a cross-curricular approach to literacy. All staff have received and continue to receive training in relation to literacy strategies and we have lots of whole school initiatives in relation to reading, writing, speaking and listening.

How can parents support their child’s literacy?

Talk to your child about their literacy and encourage them to:

  • Read for pleasure for a minimum of 15 minutes daily (this can be from an array of sources, not just fiction books).
  • Know how to use a range of punctuation and sentence types.
  • Practice timed exam responses.
  • Plan any extended writing responses.
  • Write accurately and proofread their work.
  • Break down and highlight key words in exam questions to aid understanding.
  • Know and understand a range of vocabulary, connectives and command words.
  • Prepare and practice for any spoken presentations or interviews.

For further guidance related to appropriate reading materials, please visit the school website to see recommended reads from each subject area:

Recommended Reading List

Reading for pleasure

As stated above, your child needs to read for a minimum of 15 minutes every day. Regular reading is proven to:

  • Improve vocabulary, spelling, writing and speaking skills.
  • Develop imagination, empathy and critical-thinking skills.
  • Improve mental health and increase confidence.
  • Improve your child’s chances of getting better grades in all subjects and improve career prospects in later life.
  • Improve brain connectivity.
  • Be a relaxing way to spend time, particularly before going to sleep.
  • Be fun and enjoyable!

Lots of Ripley students say that they can often get distracted when trying to read, and this is where support from home can be beneficial in establishing helpful routines around reading. For example: insist reading is completed before screen time. Alternatively, ensure reading is completed in bed before sleep; this is much healthier than looking at a screen before going to sleep and will also improve sleep quality. Also, ask your child questions on what they have been reading to encourage them to continue and to check their comprehension.

Our library is open before, during and after school hours. Fortnightly library lessons provide a fantastic way for students to explore and develop their reading. Within these lessons, students can take part in our ‘Rewarding Reading’ scheme, where certificates and prizes are awarded each time a book is completed.

Access It has lots of available books from all genres. Support your child in choosing something that may pique their interest:

Access It