Saturday, 3 November 2012

Literacy across the curriculum – inset at Eastwood Academy

I’ve at last got time to reflect on the inset on literacy across the curriculum that I gave at Eastwood Academy in Leigh-on-Sea just before half-term. I am always delighted when schools ask me for training on this topic. It is so important. And of course Ofsted is very hot on it right now.

I really liked the feel of the school, and the teachers are great. The discussions and ideas were very impressive. We started by exploring the literacy skills needed for subject learning. The notions everyone then shared for embedding them in lessons were excellent, whether on ways to teach subject-specific vocabulary or note-taking, ideas for enhancing oral communication or comprehension, or methods for making reading and writing interesting. The subject-related books I brought created lots of interest. Pertinent and appealing information and fiction books in classrooms can transform attitudes to subject learning and to reading: books like Horrible Histories and Murderous Maths, or Theresa Breslin’s Divided City, equally valuable in PE, PSHE and RE, or The Arrival by Shaun Tan, inspiring in art, graphic design, citizenship and geography. Real-life reading resources and contexts make reading relevant. Loads of innovative strategies for exploiting newspapers, magazines, menus, catalogues and the like were shared. Students have exciting lessons coming up.