‘High Levels of Literacy’ forms a key part of our Dormers 9 vision for driving progress and our staff and students understand its relationship to effective teaching and learning.  English is both a subject in its own right and the medium for teaching; for students, understanding of the English language provides access to the whole curriculum so fluency in English is an essential foundation for success in all subjects (National Literacy Trust, 2018). Literacy has a high status at Dormers Wells High School and is treated as an increasing priority each year.

Literacy is developed in all subjects by all teachers. There are also a number of literacy intervention programmes tailored to suit students’ particular need.  These programmes are delivered in a clear and transparent way under the guidance and support of the Leadership Team, Curriculum Support and the pastoral teams.

“Literacy is defined as the set of skills, which allow 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.”

(Curriculum for Excellence: literacy across learning - principles and practice)


‘Say it like a Scholar’

We define having academic literacy as being able to use a range of high-level vocabulary in context and to construct clear, effective statements to form mature arguments. We want our students to be ready for their futures, equipped with the language needed for formal adult life and further education. For this reason, Tier 2 vocabulary (words used in more formal contexts) and Tier 3 vocabulary (subject specific words) are embedded into the curriculum and taught across all subjects. As part of our ‘Say it like a Scholar’ initiative, students are also expected to use formal language and speak in full sentences at all times.


My Key Skills

As part of our pastoral programme, all students have a weekly ‘My Key Skills’ lesson during form time, taught by their form tutor, which forms part of a literacy curriculum that runs from Years 7-13. Students work through booklets with a range of activities focused on reading and writing; these increase in challenge each year and aim to increase students’ cultural awareness of different fiction and non-fiction texts as well as developing skills in spelling, punctuation, grammar and academic writing.


DWHS Literacy Marking Codes

Teachers use the literacy marking codes to address errors of literacy in students’ writing. Students are expected to correct these errors using green pen during DIRT (Directed, Improvement & Reflection Time) activities.


The Library

The library provides extensive reading lists and is open from 8am until 5pm (including break and lunch) to advise and guide students on reading.

Click here to go to the library page.