Follow it to the letter;Curriculum

19th March 1999 at 00:00
From day one the pupils are exposed to the whole alphabet, upper and lower case, and this alphabetic knowledge is reinforced every day," explains Glasgow's literacy co-ordinator, Fiona Harrison.

"So, unlike with phonics, the system used in West Dunbartonshire and Clackmannanshire (where it is known as synthetic phonics), sounds or phonemes are always related and placed in sequence in their correct position in the alphabet. This 'positioning' is important.

"Through shared writing the children will develop what a character, like the pig in today's story from the shared reading session, is going to say. The tutor models the writing for them - she shows them what to do - and then they write their own sentences.

"It's way beyond the approach we would have taken before, because reading and writing go hand in hand so that the children write what they speak and they read out what they write.

"This leads to a more thorough understanding of language because they are writing as well as reading and they can have a go at their own writing. We see this 'having a go' as crucial to motivation and confidence, so we accept approximate writing or spelling. Correction comes later."

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