Away with it!

10th November 2006 at 00:00
"What about a column on brightening up the literacy hour?" asked The TES.

Well, yes, we'd love to I but the first tip would have to be: "If you're still doing a literacy hour, DUMP IT!''

Literacy hour was invented 10 years ago for two main reasons: to ensure at least an hour's ring-fenced time for literacy teaching every day, and to introduce teachers to essential language knowledge and useful strategies for teaching.

But John Stannard, its inventor, said categorically: "It should not be a straitjacket, but a springboard to effective teaching."

While still a useful framework for new teachers (one new recruit described it as "base camp" from which she'd begun to make exploratory forays up the mountain), for anyone else it must by now have become the most tired of old routines. Away with it!

This leaves you with at least five glorious hours a week to dedicate inventively to the most important subject you'll ever teach: English.

Developing children's ability to communicate, nurturing their understanding of language - humanity's creative communicative tool. Introducing the twin joys of reading and exploring ideas through writing. And (the most exciting teaching task of all) finding ways to make the boring bits fun Sue Palmer and Pie Corbett are literacy consultants. They will be providing ideas for teaching literacy each week

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