Literacy is a major focus for us here at Ellesmere Port Catholic High School.  In this section, you will find resources which are provided each term to emphasise a particular literacy challenge.  These resources are used across the school for literacy based starter activities to ensure that students’ basic skills are continually embedded.  In addition, you can find out about the Accelerated Readerprogramme,Additional Literacy and advice for reading at home  we use to make reading our priority.

We firmly believe that literacy is life: Communicating and understanding each other are the foundations of progress.  We strive to equip all students with strong literacy skills to allow them to reach their full potential.

These are some of the grammar areas we cover:


KS3 Apostrophes

KS3 Commas

KS4 Apostrophes



Revisiting Apostrophes

Capital Letters


Sentence Structure

Full Stops

Spelling Strategies

Accelerated Reader

There Their They’re


At Ellesmere Port Catholic High School, we have been running the Accelerated Reader programme since 2012.  The programme has been hugely successful and is now available to all pupils in years 7 and 8

How does it work?

Pupils take a test on the computer and from their results are given a ZPD (Zone of Proximal Development).  This is a range of book levels from which the pupil should select books to read – their personalised reading range.

When they have read their book they complete an on-line quiz to test their understanding of the book.  Each quiz is worth a certain amount of points.  They must achieve more than 85% in the test to score full points, score less than 60% and they don’t score any points.  Between 60% and 85% they score a percentage of the value of the quiz.

This is a highly motivational programme and encourages our pupils to read a variety of different authors and genres which enables them to learn and use different reading skills.  These skills will enhance their ability to understand different levels of text in other subject areas.

There are many titles to choose from in the school library, all labelled with the book level, quiz number and points.

Top Quizzers

The top quizzers are decided in the last half term of the school year. This year, the top quizzing boy and girl will receive their very own Kindle Fire- so keep reading!



Additional Literacy

In the group, students work on their individual areas of challenge and gain confidence in the processes of reading and understanding texts as well as creating their own.  The extra support gives students time to consolidate and enhance their literacy skills to access the curriculum across all subject areas.


is a web-based learning hub with several programs.  It is phonics-based, beginning at initial letter level, and spans across all areas of reading to comprehension exercises.   Pupils work through a program independently and at their own pace.  The computer keeps track of their progress (records can be printed off) and provides extra practice on aspects which pupils find difficult.  Teachers need to give initial guidance on using the program, teach and reinforce some units, and mainly oversee and monitor how their pupils are getting on.  Web-based home sessions are self-monitored.

Literacy advice for parents: Reading at Home

Research proves that children who enjoy reading do better at school in all subjects.

Reading together increases literacy skills and it’s never too early to start reading with your child.


Raising the profile of reading


  • Ensure that your children see you reading.  It doesn’t matter if it’s the newspaper, a cookery book, romantic novel, detective mystery, short stories, computer manual, magazine – anything!


  • Encourage children to join in – ask a child to read out a recipe for you as you cook, the receipt from the big weekly shop or the TV listings when you are watching TV


Reading Together


  • Set aside some time

Find somewhere quiet without any distractions – turn off the TV/radio/computer.


  • Use illustrations/cover

If there are illustrations, relate them to something your child knows.  Ask them to describe the characters or situation or what will happen next.  Encourage them to tell you the story by looking at the pictures.

  • Encourage your child to talk about the book

Talking about the characters and their dilemmas helps children understand relationships and is an excellent way for you to get to know each other or discuss difficult issues. Give your child plenty of time to respond. Ask them what will happen next, how a character might be feeling, or how the book makes them feel.

Keep reading together.  As well as your child’s library book, there are lots of books that both adults and young people can enjoy.  Try The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon, the Harry Potter series, or The Life of Pi by Yann Martel.  Read books you can all talk about but make the talk light-hearted, not testing or over-questioning.  You can search for books that interest your child here:

Alternatively, you can keep up to date with current affairs with your child here:

  • And lastly, above all – make it fun!

It doesn’t matter how you read with a child, as long as you both enjoy the time together.  Don’t be afraid to use funny voices: children love this!