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An Introduction to Literacy in Primary Schools
Produced by the Lancashire Literacy Consultants
Introduction ……………………………………………................................ 2 The Teaching Sequence ………………………………………………………. 3-4 Speaking, Listening and Drama …………........................................ 5-6 Reading ……………………………………………........................................ 7 Shared Reading …………………………………....................................... 8
Guided Reading ………………………………………………………………….. 9 Reading-Aloud …………………………………………………………………… 10
The Reading Classroom, Book Boards and Reading Journals .... 11 Writing ……………………………………………........................................ 12 Shared Writing ………………………………………………………………….. 13
Guided Writing ………………………………………………………………….. 14 The Working Wall and Writers’ Journals ……………………………. 15 Phonics and Spelling …………………………………………………………… 16 Literacy in Reception Classes ………………………………………………. 17-18 Planning …………………………………………………………………………….. 19 Assessment for Learning …………………………………………………….. Useful Resources and Websites .………………………………………….. 20 21
Notes …………………………………………………………………………………. 22
Before becoming swamped beneath the plethora of resources and guidelines for teaching literacy, take time to stand back and consider what it is for. Literacy is the ability to read and write Children need to be able to read and write in order to communicate and access information and ideas. So reading and writing are essential life skills. But writing is also an art form. As the essential skills are being mastered they can be applied to create interesting, engaging and powerful texts that communicate information, ideas, imagery and emotions to the reader. The teaching of literacy therefore, extends beyond the teaching of reading and writing skills into the creative application of these skills in writing for a range of purposes and audiences. And in reading, it is about engaging and immersing the reader in a wide range of high quality texts to be informed, entertained, make sense of themselves and the world around them and appreciate the writer’s craft. The trick in teaching literacy is to combine the teaching of reading and writing skills within a context that is meaningful, purposeful and creative. The primary curriculum is packed with content that could provide the context for a multitude of writing outcomes. The ability to read and write is not an end in itself. Phonics, grammar and vocabulary are the building blocks of literacy and it is the art of combining these blocks effectively which is the real skill. The following pages in this booklet aim to introduce and summarise the different aspects of literacy. They are organised under the National Strategy headings for the different elements of literacy lessons: • Speaking, Listening and Drama • Reading – Shared, Guided, Read-aloud, Home • Writing – Shared, Guided, Outcomes • Phonics and Spelling • Assessment for Learning This booklet does not cover detailed pedagogy of the teaching of reading and writing but is intended to give an overview of the elements of literacy in a Primary School. Detailed guidance for each aspect of literacy can be found in the relevant DCSF documents, the National Strategy Literacy Framework site and from talking to and observing experienced practitioners.
The Teaching Sequence
Literacy skills are taught within themed units of work. The themes are based upon text-types such as Non-Chronological Reports, Traditional Tales and Persuasion. Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing skills are taught and developed in the context of the unit theme and practised and applied to the unit outcome and across the curriculum. The Text-Types taught in Primary Schools are: Narrative – Traditional; Fables; Myths; Adventure; Mystery; Science Fiction; Fantasy; Historical fiction; Contemporary fiction; Issues and Dilemmas; Fairy Tales; Playscripts and Film Narrative. Non-narrative – Recount; Instruction; Persuasion; Discussion; Explanation; Non-Chronological Reports. Poetry – Free Verse; Structured Poetry; Visual Poetry. The Literacy Skills taught in Primary Schools are organised into twelve strands: 1. Speaking 2. Listening 3. Group discussion and interaction 4. Drama 5. Phonics 6. Spelling 7. Understanding and interpreting texts 8. Engaging with and responding to texts 9. Creating and shaping texts 10. Text structure and organisation 11. Sentence structure and punctuation 12. Presentation The Teaching Sequence provides a coherent model for linking and combining the literacy skills and text-types into effective teaching and learning opportunities, leading to meaningful outcomes. Each stage of the teaching sequence is called a Phase. Each phase informs and leads to the next. Although there are some units which do not follow the teaching sequence outlined on the facing page, the usual pattern is as follows:
The Teaching Sequence
Grab the children’s interest e.g. teacherin-role, film-clips, visits, visitors Exploring ideas, information, themes, situations, issues, plots, characters, settings to provide the content for writing Presenting outcomes in various and creative formats – e.g. anthologies, leaflets, posters, booklets, topic books. ICT – film, PPT, Photo story. Performance.
Create Interest Phase 1 Reading Phase 2 Gathering content Phase 3 Writing Phase 4 Presentation
Immersion and responding to texts. Analysis of key features to inform writing Planning, skills teaching and applying to unit outcome
Each Year Group has a selection of themed units providing a balance of narrative, non-narrative and poetry. The units take from two to four weeks to deliver but there is scope for flexibility in timings. The units build upon each other and are best taught in the order they appear on the strategy site. The units of work and teaching sequences are found in the National Strategy Literacy Framework at: http://nationalstrategies.standards.dcsf.gov.uk/primary/primaryfram ework/literacyframework
Speaking, Listening and Drama
Speaking and Listening are skills. They need to be explicitly taught and applied both socially and across the curriculum. Giving children opportunities to speak and listen to each other is hugely important. These opportunities need to be planned and integrated into lessons so that they make a significant contribution to learning. Children need opportunities to: • Talk to others • Talk with others • Talk within role play and drama • Talk about talk Talk within literacy lessons is fundamental to: • Book Talk - understanding and responding to what children read or have read to them; • Eliciting and extending responses and encouraging critique; • Language development – acquiring new words, ideas and knowledge of the world is directly linked to reading comprehension. (If you understand something that you hear you will also understand it when it is written down;) • Storytelling – retelling well-known and familiar stories to assimilate the rhythms and patterns of story language; • Story making - creating 'new' stories orally and/or as a preparation and rehearsal for writing; • Talk for Writing - exploring ideas and gathering the content for writing - what to write about. Creating characters and settings, exploring characters’ feelings, sequencing and role-playing the order of events – knowing your story or organising information before writing it down; • Rehearsing what is to be written – composing sentences orally and refining them until they are effective and reflect the purpose of the text.
Speaking, Listening and Drama
Using drama in the classroom is one of the most effective ways of ensuring that learning is lively and interactive. Most drama activities take just a few minutes but can have a significant impact upon the children’s learning. Drama can be used to: • explore characters and situations to develop interpretation, response and comprehension in reading; • role-play stories to develop sequencing and story language; • engage children through teacher-in-role – teacher acting as a character or special visitor who can give the children information and answer their questions; • explore issues and dilemmas; • role-play events and then write about the event in role; • re-enact events in history; • develop vocabulary. Drama techniques: • Freeze frames • Thought tracking • Conscience alley • Hot seating • Forum Theatre • Meetings • Paired improvisation • Flash backs and flash forwards Details can be found at: http://nationalstrategies.standards.dcsf.gov.uk/node/64926 and in the Speaking, Listening, Learning box delivered to school in 2003 (DfES 0623-2003 G) The children need to be taught each technique to familiarise themselves with the routines and protocols so that the organisation of the technique does not outweigh the aspect being explored.
Creating a love of reading in pupils is potentially one of the most powerful ways of improving academic standards in school. Always remember that reading should be a joy not a chore. Reading involves two main elements – word recognition and language comprehension. Beginner readers are taught to use their phonic knowledge to recognise phonemes and blend them together to read words. As this becomes automatic, readers are then able to focus more upon comprehension. Beginner readers are taught how to decode by blending phonemes together to ‘sound out’ words. A systematic and structured phonics programme is key to this skill. Letters and Sounds, The National Strategy programme, is a well structured, effective programme – and lots of fun! When reading becomes automatic, the emphasis shifts to understanding, interpreting and responding. Reading analysis, in order to inform writing, is also part of the reading curriculum, but it should not replace or dominate reading for readings sake. Reading Objectives are organised under two strands: Strand 7 – Understanding and interpreting texts; Strand 8 – Engaging with and responding to texts. There are seven Assessment Focuses (AFs) for reading which are taught and assessed in school.
AF1 –Use a range of strategies, including accurate decoding of text, to read for meaning AF2 –Understand, describe, select or retrieve information, events or ideas from texts and use quotation and reference to text AF3 – Deduce, infer or interpret information, events or ideas from texts AF7 – Relate texts to their cultural and historical contexts and literary traditions. AF4 – Identify and comment on the structure and organisation of texts, including grammatical and presentational features at text level AF5 – Explain and comment on the writers’ use of language, including grammatical and literary features at word and sentence level AF6 – Identify and comment on the writers’ purposes and viewpoints, and the overall effect
Children have to be taught how to decode, retrieve information and ideas and make inferences from clues in the text. They need to be taught how to identify and comment upon the ways in which authors organise their writing and the language that they use.
This is the opportunity to share texts with children that they would not normally access or be able to interpret on their own. The reading skills taught in the shared reading session are usually appropriate to the age of the children rather than their reading ability. However, a skilled teacher will ensure that children of all reading abilities will be able to engage with the text. Reading activities during the shared session: Immersion: ‘Book Talk’ • reading for enjoyment; • understanding the text; • questioning characters, facts, the author; • retrieving information and ideas; • interpreting what the author is saying; • responding – personal responses, art, drama, journal work; writing in role. The teacher’s role in the immersion stage is to elicit response, extend the children’s responses and encourage critique. Comprehension is developed through lots of talk and the exchange of ideas – not through text book comprehension exercises! Analysis: identifying and commenting on: • the author’s style; • the author’s use of language; • the author’s view point; • the structure and organisation of the text; • the purpose and audience of the text; • links to other texts, times and cultures; • how the author’s techniques can inform the children’s writing. The teacher’s role in the analysis stage is to teach children how to identify authors’ techniques and the intended effect upon the text and the reader. This knowledge is used to inform the children’s own writing. Basic principles: • all children must be able to see the text; • the teacher models and then the class or groups read aloud, together; • the text is explored with a particular focus informed by the objective; • all children are included through good, differentiated questioning. • children are supported in learning how to articulate their responses, interpretation and analysis of what they read.
Whereas Shared Reading focuses upon teaching children how to read and respond at a level appropriate to their age, Guided Reading focuses upon teaching children how to progress from their current reading level to the next, whether this be below, at, or above a level appropriate to their age. • A group of about six children, who are reading at about the same level, are grouped together. • The teacher chooses a book or text that the children are able to read without too much difficulty, (95% accuracy). • There is a clear teaching focus for the session based upon the AFs and the children’s next steps. • This focus is shared with the children so that they know what they are learning. • The children read independently and individually – not in turn. • Beginner readers may read in a quiet voice and the teacher tunes in to listen for reading behaviours and areas for development. • Confident readers may read in silence with a focus set by the teacher. They might read in advance of the session which is then devoted to a focused discussion about aspects of the text. • There is a balance of teacher and child talk – with the teacher prompting rather than dominating. The guided reading sequence: • Book introduction, recap or overview of text; • Phonics and reading strategies if appropriate; • Independent reading with a focus; • Returning to the text as a group for further exploration; • Response – personal; journals; drama; art; writing in role to inform assessment of understanding. The greatest challenge during a guided reading session is ensuring that all of the other children in the class are occupied in meaningful and engaging tasks so that interruptions are kept to a minimum. If guided reading takes place within the literacy lesson, the other children will be engaged in independent activities linked to the lesson objective. If the guided reading session is outside of the literacy lesson, a reading workshop model could be adopted. One example is that there are five reading focuses over the week, e.g.: Group A: Preparing for Guided Reading Group B: Guided Reading Group C: Responding to Guided Reading Group D: Free Choice Reading Group E: Library; story tapes; reading circle; journals; writing in role . . . .
Reading aloud to children is one of the most painless, powerful and pleasurable ways to develop a love of reading. It enriches their language, develops their comprehension and provides a model for their own writing. Why should you read to your children every day? Because, listening to stories will: • create enthusiastic readers; • increase your children’s vocabulary; • enhance and accelerate language development and comprehension; • give the children virtual experiences of situations and events that they have not experienced for themselves; • introduce them to many different characters and settings; • familiarise them with the flow, rhythm and patterns of the English language; • develop their sense of the world and their place within it; • help them to populate and structure their own stories. Did you know that the skills we use to understand what we hear are the same as those we use to understand what we read? The more stories that children hear, the better their comprehension will become. Do: • time-table a 15 minute read-aloud session every day and stick to it! • choose a book that both you and the children will enjoy. Look at the book lists in ‘Guiding Reading’ and on websites such as www.clpe.co.uk, www.writeaway.org.uk and www.lovereading4schools.co.uk and for recommended titles for each year group. Also, the termly Lancashire Literacy newsletter Have you Read? articles • wear a hat or a shawl to become . . . . . . . The Storyteller! • use dramatic techniques and voices to engage your audience; • sow a light sprinkling of question seeds to make the children think and to listen for clues. • create a reading board on which the children can respond to the story in pictures; thoughts; feelings; questions; character relationship webs; likes; dislikes; puzzles; predictions; surprises; links to life and other stories; notes about the author . . . . . . • have lots of Book Talk! • have Fun!
The Reading Classroom
Is where: • reading for pleasure is the main driving force; • there is a rich reading environment; • the teachers are committed to extending their knowledge of children’s literature; • the teachers are excited about books, authors and reading; • the children are involved in a range of reading activities; • the children are involved in decision making about the selection of texts; • the library and information gathering skills are central to planning, teaching and learning activities; • the reading corner is inviting and motivating; • the classroom book collection contains a wide range of genres and formats which are updated as often as possible; • the children feel good about themselves as readers. Book Boards and Reading Journals A book board or a reading journal is a space where children can respond to the books that they read and the class novel. These responses can be initiated by the teacher or can be spontaneous contributions by the children. What kind of things could go into a Reading Journal or onto a Reading Board? • initial responses to a book; • Question Hand responses – Who? Where? When? What? • about the author; • relating events to own experiences; • predictions; • character profiles or annotated portraits of characters; • character relationship webs – who is linked to whom and why; • pictures of settings annotated with figurative and descriptive language; • likes, dislikes, patterns and puzzles; • story mountain of the story’s structure; • writing in role as a character from the text; • response stems – speech bubbles with prompts for responding to text questions – see website. • why you didn’t finish/like a particular book; • notes from characters to the reader: • new blurbs and cover designs; • alternative endings.
In writing, children are taught how to apply grammar, punctuation and spelling skills in ways which are interesting and to create different effects for the different purposes and audiences identified during the analysis part of the reading phase. The two main aspects of writing taught are: WHAT to write – the content; HOW to write – the grammar, language, structure and the intended effect. The WHAT to write can arise from any area of the curriculum, school life or issues concerning the children. The HOW to write is determined by: • the objectives listed for the year group; • the ability of the children; • the genre of the text; • the purpose of the text; • the audience for the text. The HOW to write skills are best taught in the context of the WHAT to write rather than as unconnected formal exercises. In this way the application and intended effects of grammar and vocabulary choices can be seen in a purposeful outcome. Writing Objectives are organised under the headings: Strand 9 – Creating and shaping texts; Strand 10 – Text Structure and Organisation; Strand 11 – Sentence Structure and Punctuation; Strand 12 – Presentation. There are eight assessment focuses (AFs) for writing which are taught and assessed in school.
AF1 – write imaginative, interesting and thoughtful texts AF4 – construct paragraphs and use cohesion within and between paragraphs AF6 – write with technical accuracy of syntax and punctuation in AF2 – produce texts which are appropriate to task, reader and purpose AF3 – organise and present whole texts effectively, sequencing and structuring information, ideas and events AF5 – vary sentences for clarity, purpose and effect
AF8 – use correct spelling AF7 – select appropriate and effective vocabulary 12 Also, handwriting and presentation
This is the most powerful and influential aspect of the teaching of writing. It is an opportunity to show the children exactly what grammar, punctuation, structural or vocabulary skills they are to learn and then apply to their own writing. Like any other situation in which a skill is being learned, the learner observes an expert and then attempts to imitate and apply the skills being demonstrated. The teacher is saying, ‘Watch me, then you have a go’. The teacher guides and intervenes as the skills are being practised and applied. Assessment is made of how well the skills have been acquired and applied and then next steps identified and taught. • In Shared Writing, the teacher decides on the age-related skill to be taught. • The skill is demonstrated by the teacher who writes example sentences, usually in the context of the theme of the current literacy unit. • The demonstration writing is accompanied by a commentary explaining the grammar, punctuation and vocabulary techniques being applied and the intended effect of the choices made. • The demonstration writing exemplifies an age-related objective or an aspect of the objective. There are three stages of demonstration writing: • Teacher demonstration – the teacher demonstrates a skill without input from the children: • Teacher Scribing – the teacher involves the children in word choices and composition: • Supported composition – the children ‘have a go’ at composing their own sentences on white boards, applying the skills demonstrated by the teacher. The skills taught in the Shared Writing session are applied to the independent writing tasks, the main unit outcome, across the curriculum and in incidental writing opportunities arising throughout a unit of work. A really useful resource to support the teaching of writing is available on the National Strategy Literacy Framework site. It is called Support for Writing There are three aspects to this resource: • Text-types – generic structures, language features and writer’s knowledge for all of the narrative, non-narrative and poetry units taught in Literacy; • Steps in Learning – objectives broken into three steps which can be taught in different units over the year; • Pupil Writing Targets – the incremental steps within each sub-level leading to the next.
Guided Writing provides an opportunity for intervention. It is a focused teaching session, with a clear learning objective and outcome. Whereas Shared Writing focuses upon the teaching of age-related skills, Guided Writing focuses upon teaching children how to make progress from their current level, whether this is below, at, or above age-related expectations. It is also an opportunity to ‘trouble-shoot’ individual difficulties. As part of day to day assessment, the teacher identifies strengths and areas for development in a child’s writing. Groups of children with similar needs are grouped together and given the support needed to move them on. As children’s areas for development in writing tend to be more varied than their needs in reading, the groupings may be more fluid and respond to need rather than be a fixed group. The session involves explicit teaching of the skills needed to move the children on or address their specific problems. The Guided Writing focus can be on any stage of the writing process: • at the planning stage; • at the writing stage; • at the editing stage; • writing conferences. Some Guided Writing sessions may not involve any writing at all! Guided Writing can be used for: • moving able children on; • addressing the needs of children with similar needs; • reinforcing the shared objective; • teaching children how to plan and draft; • teaching children how to improve structure and style; • teaching children to make their writing appropriate to purpose and audience; • varying sentence types; • improving punctuation; • making effective vocabulary choices; • introducing more sophisticated connectives; • editing and improving.
The Working Wall and Writers’ Journals
The purpose of the working wall and/or the writer’s journal is to support children’s independent writing. They evolve as a unit of work unfolds, and are not intended to be a polished display of finished work. They should exemplify the writing process from the ‘reading as a writer’ stage to the ‘nearly finished’ stage. Final, ‘best’ presentations can be displayed in public areas of the school or in anthologies, portfolios or folders. The wall and journal represent a workshop approach to writing – where the ‘tools of the trade’ are accessible, and added to, as the process develops. It is a good idea to allow children to make contributions to the wall; post-it notes are an ideal resource for this. Not all classrooms have a large, spare wall on which to create a working wall. However, the writing process, and appropriate prompts, should be evident or accessible within the classroom. Aspects of the writing process for inclusion on a working wall or in a writer’s journal: • the key features of the text type – language and structure; • gathering content – information, notes, ideas about the subject of the writing; • examples of skills practice in the context of the unit – great sentences, punctuation reminders, paragraph prompts; • vocabulary – descriptive, figurative and technical; • connectives – text-type appropriate; • planning – different techniques – story-maps, bullet points, spidergrams, story mountain, non-fiction skeletons; • drafting – step by step, following the teacher’s model; • editing and revising – proofreading symbols, examples of edited writing • WAGOLLS – What A Good One Looks Like!
Phonics and Spelling
Phonics is the term used to describe the letters of the alphabet and the sounds each letter, and combinations of letters make. Children are taught to: • blend these sounds together to say and read words • segment the sounds to spell words for writing There have been many ways of teaching children to read in the past but extensive research has shown that a structured and systematic phonics programme is the most effective. It is also clear that young children are able to learn their sounds quickly and are at their most receptive in Reception and Key Stage One. It is therefore recommended that these children take part in daily phonics sessions which are structured, lively and great fun. The National Strategy’s Letters and Sounds is a well-organised and effective programme and freely available to all schools. (See reference on back page). It is organised into six phases, each building upon the previous phase by introducing new sounds and alternative spellings of sounds until Phase 6 where knowledge is consolidated and children start to learn independent spelling strategies. A good spelling programme gradually builds pupils’ spelling vocabulary by introducing patterns or conventions and continually practising those already introduced. Experience has confirmed that frequent, short, lively, focused sessions are more enjoyable and effective than occasional whole spelling lessons. Learning spellings by rote is rarely effective and often results in great spelling test results but poor application in writing. The best spelling sessions are investigative. If children have explored the patterns, ‘trickybits’ and history of words, they are far more likely to make informed decisions about how to spell a word. Children are taught the rules and conventions of the spelling system and also spelling strategies to support independent writing. Spelling strategies need to be taught explicitly and applied to high frequency words, cross-curricular words and individual pupil’s words. Proofreading should be taught during shared and guided writing session and links should be made to the teaching of handwriting. The National Strategy’s Support for Spelling follows on from Letters and Sounds and is also freely available to schools. (See reference on back page).
Literacy in Reception Classes
Communication, Language and Literacy Development (CLLD) Communication, Language and Literacy Development (CLLD) in the Foundation Stage and in KS1 is now receiving a much higher profile in schools nationally. The recommendations of Sir Jim Rose's independent review of the teaching of early reading (the Rose Review) has raised greater awareness of the importance of working systematically with our young children to develop speaking and listening, phonics and early reading and writing. In Reception Classes the reading and writing curriculum should include: • • • • • • daily discrete phonics session; daily shared reading and/or writing; daily opportunities to hear stories, poems, rhymes and non-fiction read aloud; guided reading 2 x 10 minute session per week at Book Band Level 1 and 2; guided reading 1 x 20 minute session per week at Book Bands 3 +; guided writing at least once a week.
Developing learning across a week Every day Provide children with: • opportunities, inside and out, to engage independently in speaking, listening, reading and writing activities across the curriculum that allow them to explore and practise their growing phonics knowledge and blending and segmenting skills; • an interactive multi-sensory phonics session; • shared reading and or shared writing so that reading and writing strategies, including the use of phonics, can be demonstrated in a purposeful context; • opportunities to hear a variety of stories, poems, rhymes and non-fiction as part of a regular read-aloud programme. Twice a week Children should take part in: • guided reading in small groups to promote the development of reading strategies. Once a week minimum Children should take part in: • guided writing where, as part of a group, they have the opportunity to develop their writing skills (including oral rehearsal) with support. The context of the writing could be derived from any area of the curriculum.
Literacy in Reception Classes
Planning for a week: Discrete teaching of phonics and further application across the curriculum. Discrete teaching (daily) • • Based on your assessments, decide which phase of phonic progression you will need to be working at, and which letter groups you will be using. Plan each day’s discrete teaching session, ensuring from Phase 2 onwards that you are teaching a balance of blending and segmenting.
Application in shared reading and writing (daily) • Plan your shared sessions to include demonstrating to children how to apply their new and existing phonics skills and knowledge so they can see how to blend phonemes when reading and segment phonemes when writing. Application across the curriculum (daily) • When planning your learning environment and continuous provision, ensure that children have opportunities throughout the day, both inside and out, to engage independently in speaking, listening, reading and writing activities that allow them to explore and practise their growing skills. Application in guided reading (twice a week) • When planning your guided reading sessions, ensure that children are prompted to use the phonics skills and knowledge you have been working on. • Children at the very early stages of independent reading may need focused small group sessions to develop their experience, vocabulary and skills. Application in guided writing (once a week) • Plan for all children to participate as frequently as possible in guided writing sessions, where they can develop their independent writing skills. The context can arise from any area of the curriculum. Remember to provide lots of opportunities to develop childrens’ vocabulary, and to develop fun and creative ways of incorporating the application of phonics skills into your continuous provision. A booklet you may find useful… Teaching effective vocabulary DCSF Orderline - Tel: 0845 60 222 60 / Fax: 0845 60 555 60 Reference: 00376-2008BKT-EN ISBN: 978-1-84775-105-8 Order or download on line at www.teachernet.gov.uk./publications 18
A literacy plan should reflect the learning journey through a unit of work. Like all journeys, the plan should have a specific destination and journey time. There may be detours, hold-ups or opportunities for acceleration which arise from Assessment for Learning, but the acquisition and application of skills provide the driving force. Different schools have different planning formats and expectations for teachers’ plans. Whatever format you are expected or prefer to use there are basic principles for effective planning. The Teaching Sequence outlined on page 3 provides the structure for a Literacy plan. Each day leads on from, and builds upon, the previous day’s learning. The plan is usually based upon the sequence of Creating Interest – Immersion in text – Analysis of text – Gathering content – Writing. Opportunities are also planned for incidental writing* and the teaching of phonics and spelling. An effective plan is skills driven not activity or resources driven. It shows: • the unit outcome/s; • the teaching sequence; • focused speaking and listening opportunities; • the skills to be taught and applied in each lesson, translated from the learning objective; • the success criteria for those skills; • differentiated independent activities – (start at more able ability and differentiate down); • references to teacher demonstration; • the guided group focus • annotations and evaluation notes and modifications arising from AfL. The amount of detail given about lesson activities and resources is up to individual teachers. It is useful to write the lesson skill first and then the activities through which it will be taught and applied so that ‘learning’ not ‘doing’ leads the lesson. However, the more engaging and interactive the activities are, the more effective the learning. *Short writing opportunities throughout a unit linked to the theme of the unit or class novel, e.g. letters, notes, posters, diary entries, lists, poems . . . . .
Assessment for Learning
Day to Day assessment The basic principle of Assessment for Learning (AfL) is that whatever day to day judgements are made by the teacher about a child’s attainment, go on to inform planning, teaching and learning. These judgements are made through talking and listening to the children, marking, observations, and occasional tests. This is known as formative assessment. The children are central to AfL and should be involved in their own progress. They should have a good awareness of themselves as learners and what their next steps are. In this way, AfL is not about being right or wrong, but about being at a certain stage of learning with identified areas for development. Children should know and understand their ‘next steps’ through discussion with the teacher, marking and learning targets. Key Elements of AfL Lesson Format • The Big Picture • Clear objective • Success criteria • Differentiated activities • Plenary to review learning Involving children • Quality questioning • Interactive learning • Talk for thinking/writing • Self/peer evaluations • Learning environment • Support learning • Motivate children • Celebrate learning Feedback and Marking • Links to objective and success criteria • Specific • Balance of oral and written • Support next steps learning Periodic assessment The National Guidelines for Assessment are called Assessing Pupils’ Progress. Guidance can be found at http://nationalstrategies.standards.dcsf.gov.uk/node/158443
Useful Resources and Websites
YOU! You are the most powerful and influential resource in the classroom. Your expectations, attitudes and enthusiasm will set the tone and standard of work produced by the children. No book or scheme can show children how to read and write better than you. But…just in case you need a little help: http://nationalstrategies.standards.dcsf.gov.uk/primary/ http://www.lancsngfl.ac.uk/ http://www.lancsngfl.ac.uk/nationalstrategy/literacy/ www.teachernet.gov.uk www.lovereading4schools.co.uk www.clpe.co.uk www.sparklebox.co.uk/ Grammar for Teachers: http://nationalstrategies.standards.dcsf.gov.uk/node/164564 The following resources can be accessed on the National Strategy Literacy Framework site or ordered as hard copies from 0845 60 222 60: Primary Framework for literacy and maths – 02011-2006BOK-EN Letters and Sounds – DCSF Ref: 00281-2007FLR-EN Support for Spelling – DCSF Ref: 00171-2009 FLR-EN Talk for Writing – DCSF Ref: 00467-2008BKT-EN Excellence and Enjoyment: Learning and teaching for bilingual children in the primary years – DCSF 00068-2007FLR-EN (Excellent resource for any classroom whether EAL or not. Also really useful for updating teacher subject knowledge of grammar) Grammar for Writing – DfEE Ref: 0107/2000 Developing Early Writing – DfEE Ref: 0055/2001 Any questions? E-mail email@example.com
This booklet can be downloaded from our website at www.lancsngfl.ac.uk/nationalstrategy/literacy
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