How to give your greater depth writers the teaching they deserve | literacyforpleasure

How to give your greater depth writers the teaching they deserve

When I was ten and a new pupil at secondary school, I wrote my first set homework assignment for R.E. – a recount of the one of the seven plagues of Egypt. After a few days my book came back with the comment (in a mean little script written in red pen): Is this all your own work? Mortified, because it was my own work and I’d written it like a story, with my usual enthusiasm and emotional investment, I approached the teacher on the pretext that I hadn’t been able to read her comment. “Well,” came the reply,” it was so vivid.”…

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Examining the evidence on the effectiveness of synthetic phonics teaching: the Ehri et al (2001) and C.Torgerson et al (2006) meta-analyses by Rhona Johnston, Emeritus Professor of Psychology, University of Hull | Anne Glennie

Examining the evidence on the effectiveness of synthetic phonics teaching: the Ehri et al (2001) and C.Torgerson et al (2006) meta-analyses

Rhona Johnston, Emeritus Professor of Psychology, University of Hull

Introduction

In a recent article, Castles et al (2018) have concluded that there is insufficient evidence as yet to determine whether the synthetic phonics approach is superior to the analytic phonics approach, citing the meta-analyses of Ehri et al ( 2001) and C.Torgerson et al (2006).

Studies of synthetic versus analytic phonics teaching

The experiments comparing the…

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7 ways to help the bottom third | James Murphy

It’s the time of year when we farewell Year 11 students, with a mixture of relief, anticipation, and sometimes a tinge of regret. For some, the promise of what they will do with their lives is so beautiful it almost intoxicating. For others, not so much: those students who strove, who struggled, who despaired, and sometimes gave up; the ones whom we instinctively feel should have done better, but we know are likely to end up with grades at 3 or even below. And it‘s at this time that we most wonder – could we have done something different?

There are many potential reasons why students…

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Anything but the teaching . . . | James Murphy

The latest issue of Best Evidence in Brief continues a long-standing trend in the business of teaching children to read: namely, to flail about looking for anything that might shore up student reading, without having to go to the bother of actually getting teachers to teach differently.

The bulletin describes an intervention in 12 US primary schools with economically disadvantaged students. All had their vision tested and were issued free spectacles if they were found to need them – one pair for school, one for home, with broken pairs replaced for free. I was surprised to read that 69% of…

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National Literacy Trust’s Annual Survey Reveals That A Writing For Pleasure Pedagogy Is Needed Now More Than Ever. | literacyforpleasure

The headline from this year’s National Literacy Trust’s survey into young people’s attitudes towards writing is unsurprising but increasingly concerning.

For a number of years now we have used the trust’s annual survey, which focuses on responses from over 40,000 apprentice writers, to make the case for a Writing For Pleasure pedagogy.

Throughout these years, we have seen that young people have either an indifference or a dislike for writing but this year it has climbed to over 50%. We also have 40% of children who only ever write when they have to. This is quite staggering.

Obviously,…

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Homework | Phonics and Books

I’ve seen homework from all sides now– as a child, as a teacher and now as a parent– and I have to confess I grow less and less sure that there is any value in homework at Primary School level.

My own memories of homework are of learning spellings, doing comprehensions which I found incredibly dull and pages of maths calculations (also very dull). As well as this I had endless ‘What did you do in the holidays?’ type projects, which only became exciting the summer my little brother was born, and then I really wanted to write all about that.

Broadly speaking you get three types of homework…

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Does it matter if some can’t read? | James Murphy

Although nearly everyone would subscribe to the ideal of universal literacy, there are plenty of pragmatists in education who believe that in reality, we must accept that a certain proportion of students will leave school illiterate to some degree – that is, reading well behind the norm for their chronological age. This is the result of the bell curve, they say – and after all, the cost of addressing the problem in terms of time and money is too high. Some children just aren’t going to get there.

This certainly appears to be the way that the education system has worked to date. The National…

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