At St Brides, we use Read, Write, Inc. a highly successful phonics programme. It is designed to get all children reading and writing quickly. Click the link to find out, how you can help at home.
The new Literacy and Numeracy Framework for Wales
The Minister for Education and Skills has made raising standards of literacy and numeracy in schools a priority. In his keynote address ‘Raising Schools Standards’ on 29 June 2011, to the Institute of Welsh Affairs, he announced the intention to introduce a new National Literacy and Numeracy Framework (LNF) for all learners aged 5 to 14. This framework will become statutory in every school from September 2013.
Literacy and Numeracy skills are absolutely essential in order for young people to reach their potential whether they are planning to enter further or higher education or the employment market. The National Literacy Programme and the National Numeracy Programme set out the actions the Welsh Government intends to implement to improve literacy and numeracy standards in Wales. The plans for a statutory national framework and for a system of national testing are integral to both programmes.
The National Literacy and Numeracy Framework (LNF) has been developed to help children in Wales to develop a range of literacy and numeracy skills during their time at school. It has also been developed as a curriculum planning tool for schools that will provide a continuum of development, clearly setting out annual expected outcomes in Literacy and Numeracy.
Our school currently has curriculum planning arrangements already in place and these have already been adapted to support cross-curricular planning using the Literacy and Numeracy Framework.
Structure of the LNF
The LNF describes in detail the skills that we expect children and young people to acquire and master from ages 5 to 14. It has two components – literacy and numeracy. These are divided into the following strands.
Within literacy we expect children and young people to become accomplished in:
Oracy across the curriculum
Reading across the curriculum
Writing across the curriculum.
If you require any more information on this please click on the link: www.learning.wales.gov.uk
However, in the Autumn term there will be parent workshops that will focus on how we are implementing the changes in St. Brides.
The Four Elements of Big Writing
Every class has a 'Wow Words' board where new and impressive words that the children have used and have found in good quality texts, are shared with everyone.
The children are encouraged to use these words where appropriate in their writing.
Every class will display examples of powerful connectives (joining words). The children are encouraged to use these to improve the organisation of their writing.
Every class will display and discuss good sentence ‘openers’ (sentence starters) that the children can use in their writing to make their sentences and overall texts more interesting. We teach ways of improving a basic sentence by changing how it begins e.g. 'Suzy walked across the room' to a better sentence, 'With her heart pounding, Suzy slowly crept across the creaking floor boards.'
Every class will display 'Punctuation Pyramids' showing the levels of punctuation. Children are taught the names of the higher level punctuation from Year One onwards and learn to use them in their writing. The levels of punctuation are National Curriculum levels which children are assessed against, ranging from full stops (Level 1) to using colons and semi-colons (Level 5).
As part of the preparation for this session, which is known as ‘Big Writing’, pupils will be given a ‘Talk Homework’. The idea of Big Writing is that if the children can’t say it, they can’t write it. We need to encourage the development of language and listening skills in order to develop children’s writing ability. ‘Talk Homework’ is an approach developed through Big Writing that promotes the development of such conversations.
Some weeks, your child will be given a slip of paper, which may arrive home on different days depending on when Big Writing is going to take place that week. The paper will inform you of the topic to discuss with your child in order to help them with the content of their writing the following Big Write session.
To help your child get the most out of their ‘Talk Homework’ task. Ros Wilson, the creator of Big Writing, suggests that we try to do the following:
· Encourage as many family members as possible to be involved in Talk Homework, possibly around the meal table.
· Switch off the T.V. Try to ensure this is dedicated talking and listening time.
· When giving your opinion, use the ‘because’ word to explain why you think that.
· Give the possible opinions of two contrasting family members who are not present for the talk, and use the ‘because’ work to explain why they may be different.
· Ask others around the table to give their opinions and to use the ‘because’ word.
· Ask your child his/her opinion and ask them to use the ‘because’ word.
· Link the topic you are given to discuss back something you remember from when you were a child and say why things may be different now. Project forward to how things may be different in the future.
If you require any support or clarification about how to conduct ‘Talk Homework’, please contact your child’s class teacher.
Click here for more information.