Wednesday, March 05, 2014
Source: The Guardian Teacher Network.
As World Book Day approaches, academic Andrew Davis argues that the synthetic phonics check isn't an appropriate way to teach or assess reading among primary students.
Current government policy concerning reading favours synthetic phonics (SP), where children learn to recognise letters with their associated sounds – and how to blend those sounds to "read" the "words".
The revised national curriculum, coming into force from September 2014, requires reception and year 1 students to be taught SP. Students aren't meant to get help from clues such as context, meaning or illustration. It's difficult to gauge how rigidly this will be enforced, but the situation certainly suggests there'll be a significant increase in pressure on schools and teachers to conform. Continue reading here.
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Under the Freedom of Information Act, Margaret Clark has discovered the costs for the phonics test and the phonics ‘catalogue’ offer to schools.
Download her artcicles 'Whose knowledge counts in Government literacy policies and at what cost?' from Education Journal 186 and 'The impact of an IMPACT pamphlet: on decoding synthetic phonics' from Education Journal 188 below, as well and the IMPACT pamphlet on decoding synthetic phonics by Andrew Davis.
Our thanks to Demitri Coryton for permission to publish these.
The UKLA/ Wiley-Blackwell Research in Literacy Education Award is a prestigious prize bestowed on the best article in the Journal of Research in Reading (JRR) and Literacy in the previous year. Both are peer-reviewed journals with international reputations for excellence.
To view the shortlist click here.
Friday, January 17, 2014
The UK Literacy Association is proud to announce the 2013 recipient of our new award for schools. Victoria Junior School, Workington, Cumbria is the 2013 Literacy School of the Year: A school where literacy thrives
UKLA is a registered charity, which has as its sole object the advancement of education in literacy and is committed to promoting good practice nationally and internationally. UKLA President Alayne Öztürk said “We hope that this award will soon become an aspirational and recognised kite mark of excellence for schools”
Criteria have been formulated which reflect the wealth of international research into and experience of good literacy practices. Any UKLA member can nominate a school which they believe to be worthy of the award and independent assessors will visit the school in question to see their practice in action.
Victoria Junior School is a large Junior School on the west coast of Cumbria. The school has worked year on year to raise standards in all areas of literacy. Creating an innovative environment for learning has been a priority of the school since 2010. Developing an “Outstanding Reading Culture” has been achieved through innovative use of ipads, promoting blogging and online reading along with an increased use of newspapers and skilfully using the “power of reading” strategies to promote a love of literature. Allowing children to explore the world of “stories” guides them to places in which imagination can grow, aspirations can be raised and self-confidence enables them to explore the potential of the world around them. Outstanding progress in reading and writing has resulted in the school receiving a letter from the Minister of State for Schools congratulating the staff on the excellent performance of all pupils which placed the school in the top 250 in the country and for providing exceptional effective education in particular for their disadvantaged pupils.
The assessors were most impressed by the way that literacy is placed at the heart of the school and children and visitors are immersed in literacy as soon as they enter. All staff are passionate and enthusiastic and committed to driving forward the school’s vision for literacy. Children blog about their interests and communicate with a global audience as well as with the wider school community. They are engaged and motivated in lessons and speak enthusiastically about their learning in literacy. The main library area is an impressive, well used and attractive area. Reading for pleasure is encouraged and expected and evidenced from creative responses displayed throughout the school. It is evident that this school is constantly reflecting and working out ways to develop and enhance learning experiences for the children – it is a school which, in their own words, never stands still!
UKLA has invited Headteacher, Pauline Robertson and her team to present a seminar to share their good practice at the UKLA International Conference in 2014, when they will also receive their Award.
Notes to editors:
UKLA Literacy School of the Year: A school where literacy thrives
Wednesday, January 08, 2014
The Manchester Writing for Children Prize 2014
Deadline for entries: 28th February 2014
Judges: Mandy Coe, Imtiaz Dharker and Philip Gross
“This is a great initiative – putting children’s poetry in the same league of seriousness as the other Manchester prizes.” Philip Gross.
Under the direction of Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy – Professor of Contemporary Poetry and Creative Director of the Manchester Writing School at MMU – MMU is launching the brand new Manchester Writing for Children Prize. The Prize is open internationally to both new and established writers aged 16 or over (there is no upper age limit) and invites the submission of a portfolio of poetry to be read by children within the age group of 5 to 12. Portfolios should contain three to five poems, totalling no more than 120 lines. The entry fee is £12 per portfolio of poems.
*Terms and conditions apply.
Being a member of UKLA helps me in my job because the journals, magazines and newsletters provide me with news, views, research reports and high quality articles on all aspects of home and school literacy. ”
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