There is a a howl from Group 1. "Miss, George bit my leg!" It's a quarter to twelve onFriday morning. It's nearly the end of the literacy hour.
This touch of realism in Tessa Knott's article in this new booklet from the National Association for Special Educational Needs (NASEN), will amuse all teachers grappling with the diverse learning needs of 30-plus children in this first year of implementing the literacy hour.
There are accounts of literacy hours from mainstream and special schools; general recommendations for support; approaches to linking individual education plans to the teaching framework; and reflections on the national literacy project by former HMI Trevor Dickinson.
In addition there are the results of a very early survey of 10 schools about what is happening to children with special needs within the literacy hour. Not surprisingly, as well as positive experiences and hopes, there are concerns. Hopefully, after the first year of full implementation of the Literacy Strategy, NASEN will be able to follow up the survey on a broader basis and to draw together further classroom strategies for hard-pressed teachers.
The writer is based at the Centre for Language in PrimaryEducation, London.