UKLA is delighted to announce the shortlists for the UKLA Book Awards 2014

Wednesday, March 12, 2014 . Posted by Trish

"For me the pleasure was to engage with teachers who are passionate about books." Pam Lewis, University of Brighton

Small Publishers Star on Teachers' Award Selection

This year 55 teachers from schools in Sussex are judges for the unique UKLA Book Awards.  Their shortlists show you don’t need big marketing budgets to be worthy of their attention. Alongside such mighty giants as Random House, Puffin, Oxford, Walker and Bloomsbury, we see the first appearance of new kids on the block Hot Key as well as small imprints like Phoenix Yard, Nosy Crow and Pushkin Press.

Click here to go to the UKLA Book Award pages

Download the press release

Reading lessons: why synthetic phonics doesn’t work

Wednesday, March 05, 2014 . Posted by Trish

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.

The cost of the phonics test

Tuesday, February 11, 2014 . Posted by Trish

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.

Log in or register to download the .pdf file

Log in or register to download the .pdf file

To read or not to read: decoding Synthetic Phonics by Andrew Davis

UKLA Wiley Blackwell Research in Literacy Education Award Shortlist Announced.

Posted by Trish

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.

2013 UKLA Literacy School of the Year announced

Friday, January 17, 2014 . Posted by Trish

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.

For further information please contact Brenda Eastwood: UKLA General Manager on .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) / 0116 2231664

Notes to editors:

UKLA Literacy School of the Year:  A school where literacy thrives


  1. The school’s literacy curriculum:
  • imaginative and creative, aimed at engaging all pupils in literacy;
  • links with parents and carers, and the wider community enhancing pupil engagement and achievement in literacy;
  • pervades the whole school curriculum;
  • takes place both in and outside the classroom;
  • takes place both in and outside the school.
  1. All the staff are enthusiastic and ‘signed up to’ the school’s creative approach to literacy teaching. They demonstrate to pupils that they themselves are readers and writers.
  1. There is tangible evidence throughout the school that literacy thrives and in particular that the school has a well-developed and well used school library
  1. Pupils are enthusiastic and engage with literacy both in and outside the classroom. They are confident communicators and can demonstrate breadth in their reading and writing, including reading for pleasure.
  1. There is access to and creative use of 21st Century digital texts as well as more traditional texts.
  1. Pupils feel that the literacy curriculum is meeting their needs and challenging them to make progress.
  1. There is evidence of future plans and developments for ensuring literacy continues to thrive in the school and its community.





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Bev Barnes

Bev Barnes
Primary Consultant
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