LITERACY IMPACT! Literacy Across the Curriculum: Maintaining the Momentum Geoff Barton March 10, 2014 All resources can be downloaded at www.geoffbarton.co.uk Presentation 38
LITERACY IMPACT! • 1 Where are we (and where are you) with literacy? • 2 Who are your key players and what do you need to do next? • 3 Developing practical approaches … • in Humanities subjects • in Scientific subjects • in tutor time • in speaking & listening … and how will you measure IMPACT?
LITERACY IMPACT! The approach …
LITERACY IMPACT! SECTION 1: So where are we with whole-school literacy?
Reasonable but horrible questions … 1 - Name one child who has improved their reading or writing based on a literacy initiative at your school? 2 - If you have a literacy working party, how much money do their salaries represent? 4 - What do your best teachers do to help students read, write, think and spell better? How do you know? 5 - If literacy is important, is it part of all lesson observations? Reviews? Performance management? 3 - If I asked 3 of your staff what your whole-school policy said, what would they reply?
October 2005: Key findings English is one of the best taught subjects in both primary and secondary schools.
Standards of writing have improved as a result of guidance from the national strategies • Some teachers give too little thought to ensuring that pupils fully consider the audience, purpose and content for their writing. October 2005: Key findings
Schools do not always seem to understand the importance of pupils’ talk in developing both reading and writing. • Myhill and Fisher: ‘spoken language forms a constraint, a ceiling not only on the ability to comprehend but also on the ability to write, beyond which literacy cannot progress’. • Too many teachers appear to have forgotten that speech ‘supports and propels writing forward’. • Pupils do not improve writing solely by doing more of it; good quality writing benefits from focused discussion that gives pupils a chance to talk through ideas before writing and to respond to friends’ suggestions. October 2005: Key findings
The Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) 2003: 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. • NFER 2003: children’s enjoyment of reading had declined significantly in recent years • A Nestlé/MORI report : ‘underclass’ of non-readers, plus cycles of non-reading ‘where teenagers from families where parents are not readers will almost always be less likely to be enthusiastic readers themselves’. October 2005: Key findings
October 2005: Key findings • The role of classroom assistants was described in the report as ‘increasingly effective’.
Despite the Strategy, 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. October 2005: Key findings
S&L: Does it happen systematically anywhere to develop thinking and to model writing? Implications for you …? Writing: is there an understanding across any teams of how to develop writing - eg how to get better evaluations, better essays, better scientific writing? Reading: Who is teaching reading? Has reading for pleasure slipped from your radar? Leadership: Has your leadership team lost interest in literacy? How will you reignite interest?
LITERACY IMPACT! What’s the latest news?
What we know about Writing … • The standard of writing has improved in recent years but still lags 20% behind reading at all key stages (eg around 60% of students get level 4 at KS2 in writing, compared to 80% in reading). • Writing has improved as a result of the National Strategy. • S&L has a big role in writing - it allows students to rehearse ideas and structures and builds confidence. • But S&L has lower status because of assessment weightings. • In teaching writing we tend to focus too much on end-products rather than process (eg frames). We should think more about composition - how ideas are found and framed, how choices are made, how to decide about the medium, how to draft and edit. • We are still stuck with a narrow range of writing forms and need to emphasise creativity in non-fiction forms. • We need to rediscover the excitement of writing. LITERACY LATEST! With thanks to Professor Richard Andrews, University of York
Some implications for us … LITERACY LATEST! • Who’s actually teaching writing in our school? • Is there a shared understanding of what helps pupils to write? • How can we teach composition? • Which teams could have a particular impact if they developed a shared approach to writing? • How is speaking & listening being used to help pupils to write? • Is there a school or departmental approach to S&L? • Where should we start?
What we know about vocabulary … LITERACY LATEST! • Aged 7: children in the top quartile have 7100 words; children in the lowest have around 3000. The main influence in parents. • Using and explaining high-level words is a key to expanding vocabulary. A low vocabulary has a negative effect throughout schooling. • Declining reading comprehension from 8 onwards is largely a result of low vocabulary. Vocabulary aged 6 accounts for 30% of reading variance aged 16. • Catching up becomes very difficult. Children with low vocabularies would have to learn faster than their peers (4-5 roots words a day) to catch up within 5-6 years. • Vocabulary is built via reading to children, getting children to read themselves, engaging in rich oral language, encouraging reading and talking at home • In the classroom it involves: defining and explaining word meanings, arranging frequent encounters with new words in different contexts, creating a word-rich environment, addressing vocabulary learning explicitly, selecting appropriate words for systematic instruction/reinforcement, teaching word-learning strategies With thanks to DES Research Unit
Some implications for us … LITERACY LATEST! • Teach 10 words per week - by whom, when, where? • Ensure key pupils are read to with vocabulary explanations • Teach new words in a text prior to reading • Encourage questions about word meanings • Display key words and meanings • Have a glossary in the planner • See tutor time as a literacy kick-starter each day
What we know about students who make slow progress … LITERACY LATEST! Characteristics: 2/3 boys. Generally well-behaved. Positive in outlook. “Invisible” to teachers. Keen to respond but unlikely to think first. Persevere with tasks, especially with tasks that are routine. Lack self-help strategies. Stoical, patient, resigned. Reading: they over-rely on a limited range of strategies and lack higher order reading skills Writing: struggle to combine different skills simultaneously. Don’t get much chance for oral rehearsal, guided writing, precise feedback S&L: don’t see it as a key tool in thinking and writing Targets: set low-level targets; overstate functional skills; infrequently review progress With thanks to DfES
Some implications for us … LITERACY LATEST! • How to get more S&L into their lives? • How to get them thinking before answering? • How to get better feedback? • How to set more challenging targets? • How to stop them from being invisible? • Who should be their champions?
What we know about 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.
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.
Talking Point KS3 IMPACT! • What have been the successes in your own school? • What do you need to do next?
Literacy strategy: The next phase Self-evaluation: So where are you up to in your school? 0 3 5 NO PROGRESS GOOD PROGRESS
LITERACY IMPACT! SECTION 2: Reigniting the process
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)
We are part of the literacy club Literacy is taught - it doesn’t just happen LITERACY FOR LEARNING Every teacher in English is a teacher OF English (like it or not) Basic assumptions Literacy today is different from when we were younger
We are part of the literacy club LITERACY FOR LEARNING We forget our own privilege at our peril
GUESS THE TEXT TYPE LITERACY FOR LEARNING
1 Proud mum in a million Natalie Brown hugged her beautiful baby daughter Casey yesterday and said: “She’s my double miracle.”I FIBRES LITERACY FOR LEARNING
2 The blood vessels of the circulatory system, branching into multitudes of very fine tubes (capillaries), supply all parts of the muscles and organs with blood, which carries oxygen and food necessary for life. LITERACY FOR LEARNING
3 Ensure that the electrical supply is turned off. Ensure the existing circuit to which the fitting is to be connected has been installed and fused in accordance with current L.L.L wiring regulations LITERACY FOR LEARNING
LITERACY FOR LEARNING Language oddities
DOGS MUST BE CARRIED ON THE ESCALATOR LITERACY FOR LEARNING
LITERACY FOR LEARNING Please don't smoke and live a more healthy life PSE Poster
Sign at Suffolk hospital: Criminals operate in this area LITERACY FOR LEARNING
LITERACY FOR LEARNING ICI FIBRES
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’ LITERACY FOR LEARNING
Literacy today is different from when we were younger LITERACY FOR LEARNING • Multi-media dominates • Most ‘classic texts’ are known through film • Reading extended writing is rare • A visual culture dominates • The notion of ‘accuracy’ is being challenged • None of this is a bad thing
LITERACY FOR LEARNING Why cross-curricular literacy?
The literacy context ... LITERACY FOR LEARNING • 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
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) LITERACY FOR LEARNING
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 highlighted just how many people are still grappling with it.
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.
Common mistakes • No motor vehicles - Beware of fast motorbikes • Wild fowl - Puddles in the road • Riding school close by - "Marlborough country" advert
The single greatest influence on learners is teacher expectation Sylvester and Levithal 1994
Every teacher in English is a teacher of English George Sampson, 1921
So what’s in it for you …? • Literacy supports learning. Pupils will understand and respond better to your subject • You’ll see improvements in the quality of their work • You’ll see increased motivation, especially from boys • Better literacy increases pupils’ self-esteem and behaviour. It helps them to learn independently LITERACY FOR LEARNING
Working with key players Librarian Strategy manager Working party Headteacher Governors classroom assistants Subject leaders Students! Tutors