Head of Faculty
Literacy is key to learning across all subjects in secondary school and a strong predictor of outcomes in later life. Disciplinary literacy is an approach to improving literacy across the curriculum that emphasises the importance of subject specific support.
What is DEAR?
Drop Everything and Read is a whole-school approach to reading. It is directed time to encourage a reading for pleasure culture. It occurs on Monday, Wednesday and Friday; the whole school literally “drop everything” to read the same text. This term we are reading Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck.
It is said that everything you read fills your head with new bits of information, and you never know when it might come in handy. Students during DEAR time often reported learning something new each time they had DEAR time.
This goes with the above benefit: the more students read, the more words they gained exposure to, and these words will inevitably make their way into their everyday vocabulary. Being articulate and well-spoken is a great result of a reading programme that any teacher would be proud of. It could even aid in their future career, as those who are well-read, well-spoken and knowledgeable on a variety of topics tend to do better, career wise.
Reading books is also vital for second language learners, as non-native speakers gain exposure to words used in context, which will ameliorate their own speaking and writing fluency.
Better writing skills
This goes hand-in-hand with the expansion of vocabulary: exposure to published, well-written work has a noted effect on student’s own writing, as observing the fluidity, and writing styles of other authors will invariably influence their own writing.
DEAR time is going to occur three times each week. It provides us some “escapism” from lessons – to escape into the World of reading.
Teachers in every subject provide students with explicit vocabulary instruction to help students access and use academic language. Effective approaches, including those related to etymology and morphology, will help students remember new words and make connections between words. Teachers at Our Lady and St John Catholic College prioritise teaching Tier 2 and 3 vocabulary, which students are unlikely to encounter in everyday speech.