Literacy plan to help ease start-of-term doldrums

The age-old concern of settling pupils back into school after the summer break could be eased by a series of detailed literacy plans for teachers.

Maintaining progress in the first few days after the holidays is known to be a particular problem in Year 7, the first year of secondary school. The Office for Standards in Education criticised transition arrangements in a report earlier this year, saying few schools gave priority to curriculum continuity.

Transition units have already been published for Year 6 to 7 and 4 to 5 and units are now ready for the other primary years, apart from Reception to Year 1.

Pupils take time to adjust in all year groups, according to Steve Anwyll, director of the National Literacy Strategy, which is hoping to speed up the settling-in process with a series of plans which straddle the end of one year and the beginning of the next.

These plans aim to help children progress by reintroducing them to a familiar topic.

Mr Anwyll said: "They will be helpful examples, they are not the only way to plan, but they will show ways of organising the national literacy framework into meaningful chunks of work.

"We do not want exemplified units for everything, that would not be helpful because it would mean selecting particular texts and it is vital that teachers make those choices. But exemplified units covering term 3 to term 1 might be very helpful for teachers because it is a means of promoting continuity."

The plans are expected to be particularly useful to teachers in Year 3, the first year of junior classes.

Mr Anwyll said: "For many children Year 3 will involve a change of school or within a primary school a change of ethos. It is an important year because it is when children secure their early knowledge."

Published unit plans are available at: www.standards.dfes.gov.ukliteracy

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