Supporting Secondary Faculty Literacy

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By no means within the subject of faculty management has a lot been anticipated, with so little time, because the position of literacy coordinator.

I’ve written earlier than about the literacy coordinator as a Sisyphus determine. Invariably, with an hour or two freed up from instructing on their timetable, the coordinator is predicted to work some wonders in the case of embedding literacy practices.

Given the skimpy time allotted, some skimming alongside the floor of the literacy problem is inevitable. Maybe it’s an hour on the beleaguered finish of a coaching day, or sporadic celebrations of studying.

Fairly merely, except literacy management is given the time and instruments it requires, it dangers proving a distraction from the shared accountability of senior and center leaders. What’s extra, I’d counsel there are in all probability a set of energetic components that decide whether or not the position has any success. I reckon time, instruments (monetary or in any other case), and seniority all matter (being on the senior group, or with quick access to them).

The place does the college chief begin? Literacy has its roots in each classroom, branching out in plans, insurance policies, and an array of practices. My traditional recommendation is to try to shrink the problem and achieve some readability on what we truly imply by ‘literacy’.

The perfect guess signifies we should always choose a precedence that’s ‘amenable to vary’ (individuals prefer it, assume it’s well timed, and it helps resolve their issues). It the midst of a pandemic, it’s also about being pragmatic and punctiliously exploring what is possible for academics (and pupils) within the time that they’ve.

Shrinking the problem

Any choice of priorities for literacy runs the danger of being reductive, and but, we could should be pragmatic and decide from widespread present issues and areas of predictable promise.

The EEF steering report on Enhancing Literacy in Secondary Colleges gives an evidence-based abstract, with key suggestions.

I’ve recognized the next areas of literacy that really feel salient for secondary literacy proper now. The hyperlinks hopefully supply some helpful prompts, some acquainted and a few new, together with references to discover additional:

Disciplinary literacy:

Seldom does literacy in secondary faculty stick except it’s tailored to the completely different calls for of studying, writing, and extra, within the topic disciplines. Starting with ‘disciplinary literacy’ might show engaging and accessible.

  • See EEF Secondary Literacy Steering Report Advice 1 for an accessible explainer.
  • Discover this disciplinary literacy bibliography by the peerless Professor Tim Shanahan. 
  • Watch this recording of Professor Shanahan clarify disciplinary literacy for a Greenshaw Analysis Faculty recording. 
  • @KVinceyxx has written a superb weblog on growing division literacy reps, which gives a helpful car for disciplinary literacy. 
  • With a disciplinary literacy lens, I wrote about studying mattering in maths.
Vocabulary Growth:

Prioritising vocabulary growth constantly seems to be necessary, engaging, and manageable for many academics. I’ve occurred to bang on about it for some time, so listed here are some key sources and sources.

  • Busting a number of vocabulary myths is necessary to determine a shared understanding of the significance of vocabulary instruction.
  • I wrote in regards to the three pillars of vocabulary instructing.
  • With disciplinary literacy in thoughts, I wrote about closing the phrase hole in science for OUP.
  • Katherine Mortimore has defined a bespoke TA dictionary vocabulary mannequin.
  • I’ve recognized a vocabulary growth studying record to discover additional.
Studying growth:

Is there something extra important to educational achievement than expert studying? It’s a perennial literacy precedence for good purpose.

  • I’ve shared some free sources on ‘Closing the Studying Hole’.
  • I gave a researchED speak on ‘Closing the Studying Hole’ (with PPT and references).
  • Essa Academy have kindly shared a free ‘disciplinary studying’ booklet on TES.
  • Kate McCabe has shared a weblog on ‘disciplinary studying’ (with PPT useful resource) which accounts for the constructive work undertaken in her faculty.
  • DRET’s studying programme gives an intensive explainer of a scientific strategy to entire faculty/Belief studying.
Writing growth:

Maybe there isn’t any extra complicated ability anticipated of pupils than writing. And but, academics routinely describe themselves as underconfident in educate writing explicitly. Academics should be supported to interrupt down the complicated act of writing into extra manageable chunks.

  • Advice 4 and 5 within the EEF Enhancing Literacy in Secondary Colleges supply two key areas to give attention to for writing: break down complicated writing duties and mix writing instruction with studying.
  • I’ve written about vocabulary and writing and the way we assist pupils work phrases into their writing.
  • The What Works Clearing Home within the US has produced complete steering on Instructing Secondary College students to Write Successfully.
  • The irrepressible Cogscisci group of science academics held a useful writing symposium on all issues writing in science.
  • The superb Writing Revolution has impressed plenty of blogs; notably the favored ‘as a result of, however, so’ sentence construction. Kristian Shanks explains ‘as a result of, however, so’ as used within the historical past classroom neatly.
Literacy at transition:

Literacy coordinators are routinely requested to clean over studying and literacy on the transition. Sadly, we defer to ‘mild’ approaches, corresponding to sharing an article or studying, when the fact is that the complicated, altering curriculum throughout key levels must be understood and extra substantive bridges constructed.

  • I’ve written in regards to the language leap throughout the KS2 and KS3 transition.
  • Extra particularly, I write about the ‘studying hole’ at transition.
  • The OUP and CfEY have shared an fascinating report on Bridging the Phrase Hole on the Transition (there’s a launch video too).
  • This OUP weblog describes Sarah Eggleton’s faculty and their give attention to educational vocabulary on the transition.
  • This EEF Faculty Transitions Device summaries the proof of challenges on the transition – together with a scarcity of curriculum continuity.
Curriculum connectedness:

Colleges are grappling with the continuous act of curriculum growth. Studying, vocabulary, writing, and extra, all should be interwoven into curriculum growth – not seen as a bolt on. Literacy is just inextricable from curriculum growth.

  • I’ve written about educational vocabulary and schema constructing, which is complemented by a greater and broader weblog by Tom Sherrington on schema constructing.
  • I’ve written how curriculum growth is a instructor growth problem. As an illustration, academics have to find out about studying challenges that mediate the curriculum, and so forth.
  • Ruth Ashbee has written a considerate weblog linking literacy (or language) and curriculum.
  • Professor Dan Willingham writes a cogent clarification of why tales are psychologically privileged (and the way they might help join up our curriculum).
  • Mark Miller at Bradford Analysis Faculty has sensitively unpicked the position and language of the information organiser as a software to cohere language within the curriculum.
Placing it into motion – insurance policies {and professional} growth:

Literacy can’t be a instructor coaching afterthought. If the coordinator is filling the graveyard slot in September, and never a lot else, then we shouldn’t anticipate a lot constructive change. So, the place to begin?

  • The EEF Enhancing Literacy in Secondary Colleges has a useful literacy RAG self-assessment software to assist appraise the present place with literacy from which to construct on.
  • The EEF’s Efficient Skilled Growth steering report identifies a variety of ‘mechanisms’ which are essential for efficient literacy skilled growth.
  • Alice Visser-Furay has kindly shared her plans, insurance policies and sources created in her position as literacy lead.
  • You’ll be able to carry out a pre-mortem to anticipate the failures and challenges that may beset your greatest laid plans.
  • Tim Shanahan writes about why it’s so laborious to enhance studying achievement within the US, however it’s his ‘final mile’ drawback which is so related to literacy coordinators: we have to persuade colleagues that change and bettering literacy is important.

I might have shared a thousand hyperlinks, named a plethora of leaders, academics and specialists, signposted useful books, and extra. Apologies for omissions, however the record was already lengthy, and the literacy lead has an excessive amount of to learn and do already! Any nice hyperlinks for literacy leads are welcomed in feedback.


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