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Course notes

Course Communication in the Classroom, by Dr Rosemary Sage.

Provider ESCalate (www.escalate.ac.uk).

Venue At school. Two sessions, February 2003.

Cost pound;330 for three days, including certification (which can go towards a BA or an MA), materials and a distance learning pack. Inset is available for about pound;50.

How did you find out about it?

Our head of English has been working closely with ESCalate.

Why go?

I work with Year 7 students of below average literacy, and I wanted to explore new ways of tackling literacy.

What did it promise?

Finding ways to allow teachers and students to communicate.

Did it deliver?

Communication need not be about writing; there are other ways of tapping into people's talents.

Highs and lows We had access to top-quality research about the way people learn and communicate, which the course made relevant for our teaching. I wish it included more staff from our school, so it could be more widely used.

Message, motto or mantra Good communication is the starting point, long before you get writing.

Best advice We were given a doll and told to find as many words as we could to describe it - we soon ground to a halt. So we thought of other ways of communicating, emphasising a multi-sensory approach.

Has it made a difference?

Even though their writing is poor, many of my pupils have good things to say. The course helped me find ways of developing collaborative group work that allows people to discuss ideas and listen to each other.

Coming your way?

ESCalate offers training and resources as part of its research programme.

See website.

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