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Thurrock Literacy Conference Wednesday, November 12, 2014

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  1. GEOFF BARTON: Making an Impact with Literacy Thurrock Literacy Conference Wednesday, November 12, 2014 Download this presentation at

  2. LITERACY FOR LEARNING Why is whole-school literacy one of the most important things we can be doing? How to achieve IMPACT? How can we help learners in their reading?

  3. Why do we need it? • Nearly 40% of pupils make a loss and no progress in the year following transfer, related to a decline in motivation • Pupils characterise work in Years 7 and 8 as ‘repetitive, unchallenging and lacking in purpose’ • “Year 7 adds so little value that actually missing the year would not disadvantage some children” (Prof John West-Burnham)

  4. It’s an L&T thing ‘Standards are raised ONLY by changes which are put into direct effect by teachers and pupils in classrooms’ Black and Wiliam, ‘Inside the Black Box’ “Schools are places where the pupils go to watch the teachers working” (John West-Burnham) “For many years, attendance at school has been required (for children and for teachers) while learning at school has been optional.” (Stoll, Fink & East)



  7. LITERACY FOR LEARNING Please don't smoke and live a more healthy life PSE Poster

  8. LITERACY FOR LEARNING Sign at Suffolk hospital: Criminals operate in this area


  10. LITERACY FOR LEARNING • Churchdown parish magazine: • ‘would the congregation please note that the bowl at the back of the church labelled ‘for the sick” is for monetary donations only’

  11. LITERACY FOR LEARNING Why cross-curricular literacy?

  12. LITERACY FOR LEARNING The literacy context ... • A 1997 survey showed that of 12 European countries, only Poland and Ireland had lower levels of adult literacy • 1-in-16 adults cannot identify a concert venue on a poster that contains name of band, price, date, time and venue • 7 million UK adults cannot locate the page reference for plumbers in the Yellow Pages

  13. BBC NEWS ONLINE: More than half of British motorists cannot interpret road signs properly, according to a survey by the Royal Automobile Club. The survey of 500 motorists - conducted to mark the 70th anniversary of the publication of the Highway Code - highlighted just how many people are still grappling with it.

  14. According to the survey, three in five motorists thought a "be aware of cattle" warning sign indicated … an area infected with foot-and-mouth disease.

  15. Common mistakes • No motor vehicles - Beware of fast motorbikes • Wild fowl - Puddles in the road • Riding school close by - "Marlborough country"  advert

  16. October 2005: Key findings

  17. October 2005: Key findings • The Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS), published in 2003, found that, although the reading skills of 10 year old pupils in England compared well with those of pupils in other countries, they read less frequently for pleasure and were less interested in reading than those elsewhere. • An NFER reading survey (2003), conducted by Marian Sainsbury, concluded that children’s enjoyment of reading had declined significantly in recent years. • A Nestlé/MORI report highlighted the existence of a small core of children who do not read at all, described as an ‘underclass’ of non-readers, together with cycles of non-reading ‘where teenagers from families where parents are not readers will almost always be less likely to be enthusiastic readers themselves

  18. October 2005: Key findings • The role of teaching assistants was described in the report as ‘increasingly effective’. Many of them are responsible for teaching the intervention programmes and this work has improved in quality as a result of improvements in their specialist knowledge.

  19. October 2005: Key findings • The Strategy has improved some teachers’ understanding of the importance of pupils’ literacy in developing their subject knowledge and to some effective teaching, especially in writing and the use of subject-specific vocabulary. Despite this, weaknesses remain, including: • the stalling of developments as senior management teams focus on other initiatives • lack of robust measures to evaluate the impact of developments across a range of subjects • a focus on writing at the expense of reading, speaking and listening.

  20. Key principles of Literacy Across the Curriculum • Good literacy skills are a key factor in raising standards across all subjects • Language is the main medium we use for teaching, learning and developing thinking, so it is at the heart of teaching and learning • Literacy is best taught as part of the subject, not as an add-on • All teachers need to give explicit attention to the literacy needed in their subject.

  21. Consistency in teaching literacy is achieved when … • Literacy skills are taught consistently and systematically across the curriculum • Expectation of standards of accuracy and presentation are similar in all classrooms • Teachers are equipped to deal with literacy issues in their subject both generically and specifically • The same strategies are used across the school: the teaching sequence for writing; active reading strategies; planning speaking and listening for learning • Teachers use the same terminology to describe language.

  22. Ofsted suggests literacy across the curriculum is good when … • Senior managers are actively involved in the planning and monitoring • Audits and action planning are rigorous • Monitoring focuses on a range of approaches, e.g. classroom observation, work scrutiny as well as formal tests • Time is given to training, its dissemination and embedding • Schools work to identified priorities.


  24. LITERACY IMPACT! So what are we going to do about it at whole-school level…?

  25. Focus relentlessly on T&L ‘Standards are raised ONLY by changes which are put into direct effect by teachers and pupils in classrooms’ Black and Wiliam, ‘Inside the Black Box’ “Schools are places where the pupils go to watch the teachers working” (John West-Burnham) “For many years, attendance at school has been required (for children and for teachers) while learning at school has been optional.” (Stoll, Fink & East)

  26. Key players Librarian Strategy manager Working party Headteacher Governors Teaching assistants Subject leaders Students!

  27. Key players Strategy manager Focus, tailor, customise See as professional development rather than delivery Differentiate training Emphasise monitoring more than initiatives Use pupil surveys for learning & teaching

  28. Essential literacy rooted in professional development An example …

  29. Headteacher Must be actively involved as head TEACHER Eg monitoring books, breakfast with students, feedback to staff Must be seen in lessons Must be reined in to prioritise

  30. Librarian Key part in improving literacy Include in training Part of curriculum meetings Library should embody good practice - eg key words, guidance on retrieving information, visual excitement Active training for students, breaking down subject barriers Get a library commitment from every team Then sample to monitor it

  31. Governors Visit library, get in classrooms, talk to students Clearly signal the “literacy” focus Emphasise s/he’s discussing consistency Sample of students and feedback Part of faculty reviews on (say) how we teach reading

  32. Working party Maintain or disband? Less doing and more evaluating - questionnaires, looking at handouts, working around rooms, talking to students Asking questions: “What do teachers here do that helps you to understand long texts better?” Work sampling Creating a critical mass

  33. Students Tell us how we’re doing Build into school council Small groups work with faculty teams to guide and evaluate Audit rooms for key words, etc

  34. Teaching Assistants Make them literacy experts Let them lead training Make their monitoring role explicit Publish their feedback

  35. Subject leaders Help them to identify the 3 bits of literacy that will have the biggest impact Prioritise one per term or year Join their meetings at start and end of process Help them to keep it simple Provide models and sample texts Evaluate Build literacy into their team’s performance management

  36. So what are we going to do about it at whole-school level…?

  37. LITERACY FOR LEARNING Why do students find it harder to understand non-fiction than fiction?

  38. LITERACY FOR LEARNING • Fiction is more personal. Non-fiction has fewer agents: • Holidays were taken at resorts • During the 17th century roads became straighter

  39. LITERACY FOR LEARNING Children’s fiction tends to be chronological. Fiction becomes easier to read; non-fiction presents difficulties all the way through

  40. LITERACY FOR LEARNING Non-fiction texts rely on linguistic signposts - moreover, despite therefore, on the other hand, however. Learners who are unfamiliar with these will not read with the same predictive power as they can with fiction

  41. LITERACY FOR LEARNING Non-fiction tends to have more interrupting constructions: The agouti, a nervous 20-inch rodent from South America, can leap twenty feet from a sitting position Asteroids are lumps of rock and metal whose paths round the sun lie mainly between Jupiter and Mars

  42. LITERACY FOR LEARNING Fiction uses more active verbs. Non-fiction relies more on the copula (“Oxygen is a gas”) and use of the passive: Some plastics are made by … rather than We make plastics by …

  43. LITERACY IMPACT! Subject-specific vocabulary Approaches to reading READING Active research process, not FOFO Using DARTs

  44. LITERACY IMPACT! • Teaching subject-specific vocabulary: • Identifying • Playing with context • Actively exploring • Linking to spelling

  45. LITERACY IMPACT! • Approaches to reading: • Scanning • Skimming • Continuous reading • Close reading • Research skills, not FOFO

  46. LITERACY IMPACT! • Using DARTs: • Cloze • Diagram completion • Disordered text • Prediction

  47. England won the first corner straight off in the first minute, and from the clearance coming out, Gazza fired in a rocket of a volley that looked to be just curving wide – but Illgner lunged to push it away anyhow, and we had a second corner. And then we had a third … ourfootball was surging and relentless – we were playing like the Germans did, and the Germans didn’t like it. Bruises and knocks, sore joints and worn limbs, forget it – there’s no end to the magic hope can work. Wright had Klinsmann under wraps; Waddle released Parker, Beardsley went through once, and then again … Hassler took the German’s first serious strike, and it deflected away from Pearce for their first corner – but Butcher towered up, and headed away. Then Wright picked a through ball off Klinsmann’s feet; the German looked angry and rattled. You could feel their pace, their threat – but still we had them, and the first phase was all England. No question: England could win this. The press box was buzzing. Gazza tangled with Brehme; he got another shot in, then broke to the left corner, won a free-kick … Let’s all have a disco Let’s all have a disco. It was more than a disco, it was history.

  48. The Life of Charles Dickens Chapter 1 CHARLES DICKENS, the most popular novelist of the century, and one of the greatest humorists that England has produced, was born at Lanport, in Portsea, on Friday, the seventh of February, 1812. His father, John Dickens, a clerk in the navy pay-office, was at this time stationed in the Portsmouth Dockyard. He had made acquaintance with the lady, Elizabeth Barrow, who became afterwards his wife, through her elder brother, Thomas Barrow, also engaged on the establishment at Somerset House, and she bore him in all a family of eight children, of whom two died in infancy. The eldest, Fanny (born 1810), was followed by Charles (entered in the baptismal register of Portsea as Charles John Huffham, though on the very rare occasions when he subscribed that name he wrote Huffam); by another son, named Alfred, who died in childhood; by Letitia (born 1816); by another daughter, Harriet, who died also in childhood; by Frederick (born 1820); by Alfred Lamert (born 1822); and by Augustus (born 1827).

  49. DICKENS CHARLES DICKENS was dead. He lay on a narrow green sofa – but there was room enough for him, so spare had he become – in the dining room of Gad’s Hill Place. He had died in the house which he had first seen as a small boy and which his father had pointed out to him as a suitable object of his ambitions; so great was his father’s hold upon his life that, forty years later, he had bought it. Now he had gone. It was customary to close the blinds and curtains, thus enshrouding the corpse in darkness before its last journey to the tomb; but in the dining room of Gad’s Hill the curtains were pulled apart and on this June day the bright sunshine streamed in, glittering on the large mirrors around the room. The family beside him knew how he enjoyed the light, how he needed the light; and they understood, too, that none of the conventional sombreness of the late Victorian period – the year was 1870 – had ever touched him. All the lines and wrinkles which marked the passage of his life were new erased in the stillness of death. He was not old – he died in his fifty-eighth year – but there had been signs of premature ageing on a visage so marked and worn; he had acquired, it was said, a “sarcastic look”. But now all that was gone and his daughter, Katey, who watched him as he lay dead, noticed how there once more emerged upon his face “beauty and pathos”.

  50. PREDICTION FUN Brian Moore, Cold Heaven