Phantom colonic irritation

17th March 2000 at 00:00
IAIN MacDonald does nothing in his article "Colonic irritation" (TES, March 3) but show his ignorance of the true value of the National Literacy Strategy, and his obvious self-enforced isolation in his high school.

Any primary teacher, who has been in the profession during the past 10 years, would point out to Mr MacDonald that the literacy strategy is probably one of the most effective educational documents of the post-1988 era!

While it requires vision, commitment, intellect and enthusiasm from teachers if it is to be used effectively, its value as the foundation for schemes of work, relevant planning documents and effective classroom delivery is great.

No doubt he still believes that Year 7 pupils should be re-

assessed as they enter the secondary sector and taught in mixed-ability groups fr the duration of key stage 3!

Hasn't he spoken to a primary teacher recently? He has certainly missed the most obvious advantages of the strategy and national curriculum - cross-phase trust of teaching and teacher assessment in key stage 1 and 2, and the continuity of the literacy curriculum.

Perhaps he should visit a primary school because he would find the strategy encourages a literature-based curriculum being taught by teachers who know when to teach the colon, metaphors and develop the skills of information reading, so valuable in educational perspective.

Perhaps his existing literacy strategy has yet to accept the reality that Level 5 11-year-olds, have entitlement to a "brave new world" in Year 7!

SA Webb


Mablins Lane community primary school


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