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Planning a Unit of Literacy

Guidance on Literacy Planning

Teachers and practitioners need to plan opportunities across the curriculum to enhance children’s literacy and communication skills.

In order to plan their literacy teaching, teachers and practitioners should start from a thorough knowledge of the children's existing literacy knowledge, skills and understanding, and be clear about the learning outcomes they intend children to achieve. As well as thorough assessment within each year as children move through the primary phase, teachers will build on knowledge and skills gained from assessments in the previous stage of learning: in Key Stage 1 building on the information from the Foundation Stage Profile and in Key Stage 2 moving forward from the end of Key Stage 1 assessments into the next phase of learning.

In planning, it will be important to make connections between the 12 strands of the Framework, because they feed into each other and support well-rounded language development.

As the Independent review of the teaching of early reading (the Rose Report) makes clear, the first steps in literacy are supported by children’s experience of speaking and listening. Children are more confident with words, expressions, ideas and different types of language if they have experienced them in conversation first. Ideas which have been orally rehearsed are better articulated on paper, and clear, confident speakers find it easier to hear and say the sounds in words when they first start to read and write.

Success in writing is partly determined by the experience of reading. The child who is familiar with the conventions of different text types holds valuable information for composing their own texts. Children who have heard many stories, for example, will internalise the conventions and draw on them in their own writing. Indeed, we hope and expect children will learn from the best writers when we introduce them to literature. Different types of literacy such as explanation, information and argument are found in all the domains of reading, writing, speaking and listening.

The English curriculum offers progress through the years, but it is the teacher that brings the skills together for optimum effect in the teaching plan, using texts and topics which are interesting and appropriate for the class.