A SOUTHAMPTON school has opened a specialist literacy department to help meet the demands of the new curriculum.

Pupils attending Cantell School can take advantage of the new department that is aimed at improving reading, spelling, speaking and listening, vocabulary and written communication.

The new curriculum for 2014/15 puts a heavier emphasis on spelling, punctuation and grammar across all subject areas.

The new literacy department at the Violet Road school will work to ensure that these skills are taught and embedded across the whole campus.

Cutting the ribbon on the new department, head teacher Ruth Evans said when she first started teaching she heard a head teacher say that two skills needed to be learnt at school; how to read and how to get on with each other.

She added: “I agree that if these two skills can be learnt, they lead to success in education and life more generally.”

Karen Chapman, lead of the literacy department, said: “Whoever we are, wherever we live, every child has the right to be fully literate and this can only begin through reading.

“Language and literacy are central to our ability to communicate, and reading is a fundamental skill which all students must master in order to access every part of society.”