At Ashfield Girls’, we believe in promoting high standards of literacy across all areas of school life. Literacy skills empower our students with the ability to use language in all of its forms – reading, writing, speaking and listening – to communicate effectively, critically and purposefully. It is an essential tool for personal growth and active participation in society. This is why we at Ashfield Girls’ value literacy and aim to grow it; so that we can, in turn, grow the females of the future.

Mr C Moore
Teacher of English
Literacy Co-Ordinator

Meet the Literacy and Library Team

Mr Moore – Literacy Co-Ordinator

Mrs McKenna – Library Co-Ordinator

Mrs Craig – School Librarian

Upcoming Events in 2018

• Spelling Bee

• Year 8 Story Telling

Reading Gang

Our Year 9 Reading Gang is starting meeting again this January! This is a small group of dedicated Year 9 pupils who come together to raise their levels of literacy and to explore literature. This involves reading at home as well as together, debating questions and themes raised within the novel and discussing anything new that we might learn. The overall aim is to give support to pupils who feel they would like to become more confident with their reading and communicating.

Last year, the Reading Gang explored Zana Fraillon’s The Bone Sparrow together. This told the story of Subhi, a refugee boy, and a new friend that he makes across the fence of his refugee camp. Our Year 9 pupils loved reading The Bone Sparrow and one of our attendees had this to say:

“I enjoyed this book because it shows us different ways of looking at refugees and that they are similar to us.”

Our next book is going to be Pax by Sara Pennypacker, a book that explores the aftermath of a boy having to abandon his pet fox by the side of the road. What will happen next? The Reading Gang is about to find out!

CS Lewis Poetry Competition

As part of the East Belfast C.S. Lewis Festival this year, the EastSide Arts Centre ran a poetry competition. The theme was “Surprised by Joy” and the challenge was to write a poem in less than 140 characters that detailed why we might be surprised by the joy of East Belfast.

Our pupils love a challenge and many girls across both junior and senior school entered the competition. Two of our Year 10 pupils made it to the top ten entries for their age bracket and were treated to a day of celebration and poetry at W5. To top all of that, one of our pupils was crowned the overall winner for her age group!

Some massive congratulations to both of our pupils on their creative pursuits. Maybe we will be seeing more published work from this pair in the future.


The Ashfield Girls’ Library has its very own Twitter account!

Follow us at @AGHSLibrary2 for literacy and library updates, inspiring quotations and the odd competition or two!

Accelerated Reading

“At its heart, Accelerated Reader is simple: a student reads a book, takes an online quiz and gets immediate feedback.” – A.R. Website (renlearn.co.uk)

This is the core of the Accelerated Reading programme. At the start of Year 8, pupils will take a baseline test to determine their current level of reading. Once assigned their level, pupils can borrow a library book according to their given level. Upon finishing, pupils take an online quiz about the book and get immediate feedback on their performance. If they score 90% or above, pupils move up a level automatically. Alternatively, if pupils score 80% two times in a row, then they also move up a level.

All pupils in junior school are involved in the Accelerated Reading programme and all pupils should be reading independently for at least 15 minutes a day. This is stipulated in all homework diaries and pupils sign a contract to commit to this at the beginning of the academic year.

The Accelerated Reader programme allows all pupils to work at their own level and to grow independently and we at Ashfield Girls’ are beginning to see pupils develop this important, independent skill.

You can find more information on the Accelerated Reading programme here:

Accelerated Reader

Accelerated Reader: Top Readers

At various stages of the year, we love to reward the pupils who are thriving with their reading. This Christmas, we treated the top readers in Years 8, 9 and 10 to some extra books for their Christmas holiday reading! These were presented at the Christmas carol service as a surprise for those brilliant readers.

Since September, the top reader in Year 8 had read 201,778 words across five books, in Year 9 had read 531,747 words across fourteen books and in Year 10 had read a whopping 572,014 words across six books! A fantastic achievement for all of the girls and we can’t wait to see many others achieve the same!

Happy holiday reading!

Chris Riddell

It was a joy to meet Chris Riddell in East Belfast this term. Chris Riddell is the UK children’s laureate and is the author of many children’s and young adult’s books. We were lucky enough to get some signed copies of some of his Goth Girl series for the school library and a copy of his “Doodle-A-Day” book for the creative amongst us!


Mrs. Craig and Mrs. McKenna did a fantastic job at transforming our library into Narnia last year and, this year, things are going down a very deep rabbit hole into Wonderland!

The library was transformed into Wonderland for the annual tea-party. This involved pupils nominating a special someone who they think deserved an afternoon treat and a good book. We loved welcoming the honoured nominees into Wonderland and treating them to an afternoon of treats. The Year 11 patisserie class gallantly baked for all in attendance! The library has never looked more mad and the Mad Hatter would be very proud!

As part of these celebrations, Macmillan very graciously sent us a batch of Alice in Wonderland books! We can’t wait to read these.

Get it Right

In order to help our pupils “get it right”, we have initiated our Get It Right programme with all junior and Year 11 classes. This is a weekly booklet that has a task for every day of the week that we use in class time in English. This is a way to encourage confidence in ability and nurture the habits of sophisticated SPG, self-correction, creativity and critical thought.

The outline of each daily task is below:

Monday Mistakes: Correcting a short extract for any spelling, punctuation or grammatical errors.

Tuesday Terms: Reading in context to deduce the meanings of two new words.

Wednesday Wise Words: Reading someone from history’s ‘wise words’ and discussing to figure out what it means, whether we agree and how it might relate to our world today.

Thursday Thoughts: Responding to a stimulus video clip on a thought-provoking question.

Friday Figurative Language: Reading short sentences to learn new language devices.