Every teacher in English is a teacher of English.
Headteacher and literacy expert Geoff Barton explains how simple whole-school approaches can make a real difference
HEN THE National Literacy Strategy was introduced in 1998, first in primary schools and then recast as part of an all-encompassing Secondary Strategy, it was underpinned by a long-
overdue recognition that literacy standards in this country were too low and needed to be sorted out. But the problem was that literacy was just one strategy
jostling for attention among many. In too many schools those shiny yellow boxes and booklets are propping open a stock-cupboard door or festering at some forgotten edge of the staffroom. Thus we have not “done” literacy. Meanwhile, it is become more important than ever
that we help our pupils to speak, read and write better. And if the performance target of pupils gaining five “good” GCSEs including English and maths has done anything, it is added new urgency in our mission to get these basics right. The risk is that we often assume this is the job of
the English and maths departments and an increasingly intolerable sense of accountability gets heaped upon their shoulders. Instead, as my work with the Specialist Schools and
Academies Trust (SSAT) has been demonstrating over the past year, literacy is all teachers’ responsibility. As George Sampson, teacher and then fledgling
school inspector, put it in 1922: “Every teacher in English is a teacher of English.”
That does not mean, however, that we should
expect teachers to abandon their subjects in order to teach grammar. Literacy should mean slightly different things in different subjects. This is why the approach I advocate starts with a very simple motto: “Don’t call it literacy.” If you are a teacher of science or history, then you
will want your pupils to speak, read and write like a scientist or like a historian. That’s not the job of a literacy co-ordinator: it is an essential part of being a specialist subject teacher. Too often as teachers we are good at teaching the
“what” of our subjects – what pupils need to know, what the key points are that they will be assessed on. But it is the “how” that makes the big difference – how to generate ideas, how to plan and structure thoughts, how to express complicated concepts in straightforward language. Merely providing writing frames and sample answers
will not be enough for many pupils. They need to see us demonstrating the skills they need and giving a running
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Don’t call it literacy!
commentary on our thought processes. It means having to be clear on what scientists or historians do when they read or write, and then modelling it, teaching it, and giving pupils feedback on their progress. The best teachers do this instinctively. A great
science teacher will use high-level scientific vocabulary, explaining and repeating those terms systematically. In the process they will be modelling how scientists use language. They will not only describe what a scientific investigation looks like – drawing attention, perhaps, to the way scientists will avoid using “I” and “we” – but then crucially will demonstrate how, as a scientist themselves, they might write the opening sentence or paragraph. To be really successful, we must have a whole-
school approach to literacy. If we put together a small number of consistent messages across all subjects – use shorter sentences, avoid joining all your sentences with “and” and “but”, aim for three to five paragraphs to a page of A4 – then pupils can stop second-guessing what different teachers expect, and focus instead on building their confidence in each subject. That is what we are working on at our school, and
what I have been working on with the SSAT Leading Edge, Gaining Ground and literacy programmes. Successful teachers share their strategies for embedding speaking, listening, reading and writing across the curriculum via SSAT’s literacy networks, programmes, events and in-school support. For example, Fiona Hope, an SSAT literacy lead
practitioner and advanced skills science teacher, has led a whole-school INSET through her science department on 10 steps to simply and logically embed speaking, listening, reading and writing into the teaching and learning of every subject to suit the needs of students’ of all abilities. This whole-school approach has great impact; teachers feel supported and students have their literacy learning reinforced using the same language across all subjects. So let’s not call it literacy and, instead, let’s build
it into our training of new teachers and the ongoing professional development of all our staff.
• Geoff Barton is headteacher at King Edward VI School in Suffolk. An English teacher by background, he has written more than 50 books on grammar and literature and is author of the SSAT’s Re-Booting English. He will be hosting the English and literacy zone at the SSAT’s Achievement Show on Tuesday (June 15).
The SSAT has launched two new literacy publications: Love Literacy is a book containing literacy-based starters and plenary ideas for all subjects. How to improve literacy in all subjects using new learning technologies shows you how to harness students’ love of technology to improve literacy skills while enhancing teaching and learning. To get involved in SSAT literacy networks, programmes and opportunities, visit www.ssatrust.org
. uk/literacy or email firstname.lastname@example.org
What motivates us? Dot
Struthers discusses the three secrets
ACCORDING TO Daniel Pink who has written a book called Drive, the secret to high performance and satisfaction is based on three things: our ability to have some control over what we do, to learn and create new things, and to have a purpose greater than ourselves.
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“If – then” rewards give us less of what we want and yet as parents and teachers we are probably all guilty of taking this approach with our children. If you do this, then you will get that. The problem with this is that they work for routine tasks but on a long-term basis they crush creativity and crowd out good behaviour. According to Mr Pink, there are two types of
people, those who are motivated by extrinsic desires and those motivated by intrinsic desires. Let’s call them type X and type Y. Type X are more interested in the rewards
associated with doing a task than the task itself and type Y are more interested in achieving the task and if they get a reward then that is an added bonus. So let’s examine the three core concepts that
Mr Pink talks about from a teacher’s perspective, although looking at it from a student’s perspective would equally give you some useful insights.
This is the desire to direct our lives. We have a natural instinct to want to direct and have a say in what we do (our curriculum), how we do it (our teaching methods and approaches), when we do it (timescales), and who we do it with (other teachers and resources). Ask yourself as a teacher how much autonomy
you are giving your students over how and when they do their homework or projects.
This is the urge to get better and better at something that matters. In our case as teachers, that means teaching! Only engagement can create mastery! Mastery is a mindset. It requires you to see your
abilities as not finite but as infinitely improvable. Mastery is pain – it requires effort, grit and deliberate practice. Mastery is impossible to fully realise, which makes it both frustrating and alluring. So do the assignments or projects you give your students fully engage and stretch them?
This could be a yearning to do something greater than yourself. Humans by nature seek purpose – a reason to be doing things. Focusing on just individual student’s needs will not create long-term satisfaction. They need something which is greater than just them. Do your students understand how doing additional homework will contribute to the learning of the whole class? Whatever your approach to motivating your
students, staff or stakeholders are, perhaps you might consider Mr Pink’s three elements which I think are truly thought-provoking.
• Dot Struthers runs workshops for teachers. To find out more about motivation and to sign up for a free monthly CPD newsletter and resources. register at www.merechats.co.uk
SecEd • June 10 2010
awards and grants PRIMARY/SECONDARY Kelloggs Active Living Fund
The Kelloggs Active Living Fund will give small grants to projects and activities that directly lead to people taking part in sustained physical activity. The aim of the fund is to help remove the barriers which stop people being active.
Award criteria The Kelloggs Active Living Fund is keen to fund activities that enable adults and children to exercise together. The fund is open to applications from charities and other voluntary and community organisations. Schools can apply but the fund will only consider contributing towards extra-curricular activities that promote sustained physical activities.
Kelloggs will make a grant of up to £1,000, but will only fund activities or projects where the grant makes a signifi cant impact. For example, Kelloggs would consider a grant of £1,000 for a £2,000 project, but would not consider a grant of £1,000 for a £10,000 project.
Applications will be judged against two key criteria: Project type and benefi ciaries.
You are more likely to receive funding if your project meets the top priority in both criteria. These are, (a) innovative ways of getting non-active individuals active, and (b) family units, children and adults, undertaking physical activity together.
Three good examples of high priority applications are: A project that establishes exercise classes where mums and kids exercise together.
A walking project designed for adults and families.
A project which enables adults and children to learn to swim together.
The Active Living Fund will not make a grant: To individual athletes, sportsmen and women.
For costs associated with salaries or posts.
To profi t-making organisations. Towards transport costs, as all projects should be accessible to ensure sustainability.
PRIMARY/SECONDARY The BBC Wildlife Fund
The BBC Wildlife Fund is a grant-giving charity set up in May 2007 to distribute money raised by donations to help support projects protecting the world’s endangered wildlife.
Award criteria The remit of the BBC Wildlife Fund is: To support projects that are working to protect endangered wildlife and biodiversity – animals, plants and the wild places they need.
To help protect and improve the natural habitats that wildlife and humans share.
Once the total amount raised from appeals in summer 2007 is known, the fund will work with a wide range of
wildlife charities to assess how and where the money can make the most difference.
The fund will welcome grant applications from groups working internationally and in the UK. However, it can not do so until the total amount raised during the Saving Planet Earth season is known.
BBC Wildlife fund Deadline
Likely to be sometime in December 2007
Amount of award As yet unknown
Contact details BBC Wildlife Fund PO Box 60905 London W12 7UU
Fundraising for Schools September 2007 7
To applications where the request does not directly support the activity being undertaken, for example the fund will consider a request for equipment, but not for maintenance on a building being used.
To retrospective applications, where the activity has either taken place or has commenced at the time an application is considered by the Kelloggs panel.
Kelloggs Active Living Fund
Amount of award Up to £1,000
Contact details email: email@example.com
The Ford Britain Trust supports local projects based near its main manufacturing plants, Andrew M
The Ford Britain Trust was created by Trust Deed on 1 April 1975 for the advancement of education and other charitable purposes benefi cial to the community.
In making donations, the trustees pay particular attention to those organisations (including schools) that are located in and operating in areas where the Ford Motor Company Ltd has its present activities and a long standing association with local communities in the UK. Particular consideration is also given to organisations and projects that support the principles embodied in the company’s policies on diversity.
The trust makes donations to undertakings concerned with the advancement of education and other charitable purposes. Preference is given to registered charities (or similar) located and working in areas in close proximity to the company’s locations in the UK. These are Essex (East London), South Wales, Southampton, Daventry and Leamington Spa (although this latter plant is closing).
Special attention is given to projects concerned with education, environment, children, the disabled, youth activities, and projects that will provide clear benefi ts to local communities. Applications coming from, or relating to, projects based outside these geographical areas are generally not considered.
National charities are assisted rarely, and then only when the purpose of their application has specifi c benefi t to communities located in close proximity to Ford locations. An example of one support that could also be relevant to schools is contained in the sidebox.
Applications for sponsorship, individuals, research, overseas projects, travel, religious or political projects are not eligible.
Grants made by the trust are usually: One-off donations for a specifi c capital project.
Funding for part of a project, typically items of furniture and equipment.
Applications are rarely considered for:
Core funding and / or salaries. Revenue expenses. Major building projects.
Grants usually range between £100 and £5,000. Applications for funding for new Ford vehicles are considered when two- thirds of the purchase price is available from other sources. Any subsequent grant is unlikely to exceed £2,000, but in the case of registered charities, it may also be possible to arrange a reduction from the recommended retail price. Grants are not available for the purchase of second-hand vehicles.
The trustees meet in June and November each year. Applications are considered in order of receipt and therefore it often takes several months, for an application to be processed. Although each application is considered carefully, the number of applications the trust receives far outstrip its resources and, because of this, the number of applicants that it is able to h limited. The decision of the trustees is
The following guidelines should be considered when making an appli to the trust:
Applications should be by let is no application form) to th below, setting forth the pur project; whom it is intende and how; why the project and necessary (how were done before?); how it is the project will be carri it will start and fi nish; of the project; how mu raised so far towards
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Fundraising for Schools
December 2007 Issue 84 Your practical guide to raising money
On the agenda: Creating chances
arning about the arts is part of a good education. We want all children to e the chance to develop their creativity,’ said culture secretary James Purnell.
urse there is absolutely nothing l in this. It is well-known that and the arts are important for ping social skills, self-confi dence, y, empathy, imagination... and the d go on ad infi nitum.
ignifi cant is the huge cash Government has committed to cation (page 2). This funding local authorities to provide music tuition. It will also be
s brand new instruments, – a programme led by Youth ned to get primary-aged ing regularly.
he largest sum of money nt has put towards music atives. It is a positive ers are listening to t the arts are fi rmly at
the top of the educational agenda, where they belong.
Carrying on with this theme, pages 4, 6 and 7 contain information on funding for arts education. On pages 10 and 11, Shari Baker looks at some ways schools can access quality provision from creative industries. She examines what support there is – in terms of both funding and training – to help schools increase creativity within their curriculum.
In keeping with this, Fundraising for Schools is offering readers the chance to win a Literacy Software pack, designed to develop creativity and encourage story- telling skills. Turn to page 3 for more details...
3 4 5
Also in this issue... In the latest instalment of his series on Gift Aid, Barry Gower takes a detailed look at how it can be gained successfully from charity auctions (pages 14-15). He fl ags up some of the pitfalls to be avoided and considers a few of the best items to put up for sale.
And finally... As the winter term gradually draws to a close, many schools will be holding Christmas fairs. If your school has a fundraising event planned, please write and tell us about it: amy.g@ markallengroup.com
. Therewill b for the most inte id
All about Fundraising for Schools
Fundraising for Schools is a monthly (11 issues per year) newsletter which keeps the school fundraiser up-to-date with possible extra sources for funding. A subscription will save hours of research at the library and on the phone.
Subscription details: One year £49.50. Two years £89.00. Please complete and return the subscription form on page 16 or call freephone 0800 137 201 and ask for the subscriptions department.
Fundraising for Schools is the leading source of information on grants. It will help you apply for money to the appropriate places at the appropriate times. You can be sure that the content will be: Relevant to schools. Useful for schools. Benefi cial to schools.
Fundraising for Schools is written for the head or deputy with delegated responsibility for fundraising, school development offi cers and interested chairs of governors and PTAs.
Whether your school is seeking funding for a specifi c project or just raising funds to aid its development then Fundraising for Schools is for you.
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