This term I am giving both primary and secondary courses on literacy across the curriculum, a sign of the importance of this issue. It is extremely high on Ofsted’s agenda, and the new national curriculum also places great stress on teaching literacy through all subjects.
I have pulled together relevant extracts from the national curriculum and statements made by Ofsted about literacy across the curriculum.
- Teachers should develop pupils’ spoken language, reading, writing and vocabulary as integral aspects of the teaching of every subject.
- Teachers should develop pupils’ reading and writing in all subjects to support their acquisition of knowledge.
- It is vital for pupils’ comprehension that they understand the meanings of words they meet in their reading across all subjects.
- It is particularly important to induct pupils into the language which defines each subject in its own right, e.g. accurate mathematical and scientific language.
- Too few schools have effective programmes for developing literacy skills across the curriculum.
- Literacy includes the key skills of reading, writing and oral communication that enable pupils to access different areas of the curriculum.
- Inspectors will consider the impact of the teaching of literacy and the outcomes across the range of the school’s provision. They will use the evidence they gather to inform the overall evaluation of pupils’ achievement, the quality of teaching and the impact of leadership and management on raising standards.
- Progress in literacy is assessed by drawing on evidence from other subjects in the curriculum, where this is sensible.
- The descriptors for an outstanding school include the following criteria:
- The school’s curriculum promotes and sustains a thirst for knowledge and understanding and a love of learning.
- Pupils read widely and often across all subjects to a high standard.
- The teaching of reading, writing and communication is highly effective and cohesively planned and implemented across the curriculum.