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Transcript of Literacy Presentation
Ofsted (June, 2013): Teachers’ application of strategies to improve
students’ literacy skills is too variable across
subjects and year groups.
Target: To improve students' achievement by making reading and writing a
key priority in all lessons, across all subjects.
Every student at Bishop of Rochester Academy will be aided in achieving their academic, personal and social potential through the implementation and delivery of key communication skills. As a school we will aim for key skills to be taught, developed and applied across the programme of study by all practitioners.
Learners will be supported in using naturally occurring opportunities to develop key communication skills that can be applied real life and world of work contexts.
The aim of any literacy initiative is to overcome the communication barriers our learners face.
All subjects assess communication skills and most have elements of all three literacy skills at Key Stage 4:
SPaG to make meaning clear, legibility, ability convey complex subject matter in a structured organized way. Understanding the question set, comparison skills, technical word use.
Making writing clear, connectives, explanation, avoiding repeating pronouns, key words (including those with double meanings i.e. cell), understanding the question, communication and listening skills to develop sentence structures.
Bloom's taxonomy, key words, leadership/confidence skills.
Leisure and Tourism
Persuasive writing, reasoned judgements, effective presentation, selection of information, questioning views of others.
Imaginative response, descriptive writing and vocab range, learning journals, writing frames, studying the effect of a text, key words.
Organization of ideas, SPaG, legibility, understanding target audience, leadership qualities i.e. presentation, teamwork.
'How can I use the data to help me?'
Every student has a writing and speaking and listening grade for English. This data is freely available and all students should know this information. These grades suggest how good at communicating each student is and what could (or should!) be expected from them in every lesson...
A major study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) shows how England's 16 to 24-year-olds are falling behind their Asian and European counterparts.
England is 22nd out of 24 countries. England is the only country whose literacy levels are dropping, year on year.
'What does a literate student at Aylesford look like?'
A student in one of your lessons.
Impact on their G.C.S.E success.
What are their life chances after they leave school?
In our next sessions, we are going to think about how to take pupils like Caleb further on their literacy journey...
Your aim is to find ways to both extend and reinforce his communication, writing and reading skills. We will work together to develop the following literacy support;
1. We will develop literacy structures that will both remind and reinforce Caleb's existing skills. This will empower him in overcoming Literacy hurdles.
2. We will develop techniques in lessons that will support Caleb's higher order thinking.
It's now your turn!
Each table will have one of the 'Seven Deadly Sins' on their desk that is applicable to subject area: How will you support students in using this skill?
Literacy: Strand 1
Reading is the skill of understanding what something is about. This is linked to the complexity (and number) of difficult words in a task or set of instructions.
Hurdles: A low reading age will limit a students understanding of a task set - such as an exam question!
This could become evident through:
A lack of understanding of tasks set in lessons.
A lack of understanding of a modeled example or text book.
A lack of complex words in their own writing.
A lack of understanding of IHS tasks (and subsequently the students doesn't complete them!)
Slow/reluctant to read their work in class.
Check understanding through questioning.
Check the reading age of the text you give them.
Make clear key/difficult words that are not in the students usual vocabulary.
Be aware of the reading ages of your group.
To support reading we have the Accelerated Reader Programme:
Every student in Key Stage Three has allotted time in the Library during their English lessons to read their Accelerated Reader book. After reading each book, the computer program tests them on the book they have just read and gives them a score so that they know what difficulty level to choose next. By opting into this process each student has the responsibility for their own learning and success.
Students will be set new reading ages at the end of Term 2, 4 and 6 and these will be on the system to help you support them in lessons.
The best way of supporting low ability readers is through a process called 'Guided Reading' - thefull clip is on the main staff area, under Literacy 2013!
Hurdles: Students spelling and handwriting can be limiting factors as well as their understanding of the task set.
This could be evident through:
Repetitive sentence structures.
The level of detail of the work completed.
Literacy Stand 2:
Writing is the skill of communicating ideas clearly to the reader.
Challenge incorrect spellings.
Give students a writing skeleton to work from.
Give students planning time for activities.
Set clear expectations for written work and challenge students when these are not met.
Literacy: Strand 3
Communication is the skill of talking and listening and forms the foundation for success in both reading and writing.
Hurdles: A pupil with low level listening skills won't pick up advice given during a lesson and will have trouble concentrating when listening to his peers.
This could become evident through:
A lack of depth of detail in answers.
A lack of confidence when asked to speak in front of a class.
The inability to use ideas discussed by either a teacher or a classmate in their own work.
A good way to encourage reading skill is by adapting 'Guided Reading' techniques.
Use spot checks to see if students are listening.
Ask students to comment on each others work.
Set up routines where students repeat back tasks set.
This is an example of Caleb's work.
On this occasion he is writing in pen (often Caleb chooses to write in pencil).
The work shows:
A willingness to redraft his work if necessary!
A lack solid knowledge of capital letters. He knows how to use them as he changes 'M' into a capital here but there is evidence to suggest that he hasn't embedded this skill securely into his writing.
Spelling is a barrier to success in places.
Caleb uses few full stops which suggests he isn't sure of how to construct sentences.
Caleb begins his mid-paragraph sentences with 'Also' and repeatedly uses this weak construct. This makes his ideas seem underdeveloped.
The Outcome: Caleb will improve in all three literacy strands. He will be more consistent in applying these skills in every classroom he is in.
We live in a culture where the word rich get richer and the word poor get poorer. We, as teachers, are lucky enough to be word rich...
But this won't be enough to improve the literacy of the students on its own...
On your table there is a case study of a typical student in your class. As a department, think about how you would support this student with their particular weakness. There is a good chance they'll be in one of your lessons tomorrow...
But why is it so important that we consider literacy in every subject we teach, in every lesson we teach?
In your subject it is very likely that students are displaying a writing ability below level 3 (unless guided).
Until students consider the way they communicate
in every lesson
they are likely to join the 22% of young people who leave school and don't join a training course/work place as they lack the skills needed to do so.
The majority of students don't like speaking in front of peers as they lack the self-belief to do so. This can be attributed to a lack of confidence but also a lack of belief that they have the skills necessary to communicate effectively.
Term 1 Tests have revealed that around 45% of KS3 (and likely the same % for KS4) have a reading age of
9 years 4 months or lower
That means that they cannot access anything more than basic vocabulary and subject material.
In short, they are not 'functional' in today's society.
"But what does that mean for our learners in the long term?"
In the last two decades the percentage of jobs requiring qualifications has risen from over 10% to nearly 75% of all employment and there is expected to be a further 25% decline in the demand for unskilled labour by 2016.
There is also evidence to suggest that low literacy and numeracy have a major impact on physical and emotional well- being.
Our students will be
unless we all choose to act to stop it. This is
1. To engage you in wanting to help our students succeed to the best of their potential by developing their communication, writing and reading skills.
2. To support you in using good teaching strategies to help the students most in need in your classes.
As a school, we have decided upon the following key priorities to address to support all students with a literacy weakness:
1. To improve the quality and quantity of writing demonstrated by students of all abilities across the curriculum.
2. To provide regular structured oracy opportunities in lessons.
3. To improve the number of students achieving a reading age of nine years and four months or better by the end of Year 9.
In order to support this initiative, each department has a simple proforma with each of these targets on it and is asked to agree a goal for each in order to achieve each of these three aims.
This training session isn't about
It is simply about
By this, I mean just what is the best thing to do for our students.
Did you know...
30% of homes in the UK have less than 8 books in them - and one of these is likely to be 'Fifty Shades of Grey'!