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What is Literacy?​

Literacy is the use of language, images and media to share information, discuss and think critically about ideas.  The language curriculum provides instruction in the areas of oral language, reading, writing, and media literacy. (adapted from Language curriculum, 2006). It is our purpose to support meaningful literacy instruction that is based on a balanced, integrated, and student-centred curriculum.  The four strands in the language curriculum should be given equal importance, and integrated across all curriculum areas. Literacy experiences should be culturally responsive and grounded in students’ lived experiences. 

These ideas are adapted from the monograph Paying Attention to Literacy K-12, which encapsulates six foundational principles for improvement in Literacy.  “These principles draw upon research based on habits of mind or competencies such as creativity, imagination, critical thinking, metacognition, collaboration and innovation” (Paying Attention to Literacy 2). Please see the graphic on the right.


TCDSB is committed to improving literacy outcomes for all students. As we consider and seek ways to engage students and develop literacy in the 21st century, it is important to recommit and emphasize the importance of nurturing:

  • Capable and competent readers and writers 

  • A life-long love of reading and writing

  • Confident communicators who are able to express their thinking and ideas in a variety of ways

  • Readers who are able to make meaning and think critically about increasingly complex texts

  • Informed and active global citizens who engage with real world problems and collaborate with others

  • Community members who share their unique gifts, talents and God given potential 


TCDSB educators strive to create authentic and relevant connections between curriculum expectations, literacy instruction and students' lived experiences. Evidence based literacy strategies support the development of foundational literacy skills, as well as deep thinking and learning, while improving student achievement and literacy outcomes for all students.


TCDSB classrooms are vibrant learning communities where teachers see themselves as co-learners, researchers, and meaning makers alongside their students and colleagues. Students are active participants in authentic and inclusive learning communities. Learning is centred on the Catholic Graduate Expectations and the Ontario Curriculum expectations.  Ministry and board resources support this work, alongside Growing Success and TCDSB equity and inclusive education policies. 




Grs. 9&10

Grs. 11&12



The Catholic Graduate Expectations​​