In striving to Raise Attainment for All in Literacy, Language and Communication, taking a “one size fits all” approach, driven by programmes, does not allow us to get it right for every child. However, individualising learning is not always straightforward depending on the range of skills present within a class. In order to match literacy instruction to the developmental needs of the children in our classes, teachers need to be able to easily assess their pre-reading and pre-writing skills, and have to hand practicable strategies that can address identified needs.
Highland Council’s approach to Emerging Literacy (www.highlandliteracy.com/emerging-literacy) provides practitioners with the pedagogy, assessment tools and classroom resources to support them in taking a developmental approach to literacy. We know that the majority of children have “gaps” in their pre-reading and pre-writing skills on school entry, regardless of their background. The local authorities within the Northern Alliance are working together in an effort to prevent preventable literacy difficulties through the development of universal pedagogy for practitioners as they continue to develop Emerging Literacy.
The Northern Alliance are publishing three reports this session on the implementation of Emerging Literacy across the seven local authorities. The first interim report was published in December 2016.
A further two reports will be published in March and July to detail the progress made over an academic year.