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Teaching Higher Order Literacy
Skills through the LNF at KS3
The Professional Literacy Company
• Higher Order Literacy Skills: definitions
• Literacy in Action
• Literacy and the LNF – challenges and
solutions for secondary schools
• The Literacy of Individual Subjects
• Whole School Literacy: Communities of
• The Literacy Rich School: Next Steps
Higher Order Reading Skills –
What Are They?
HORS and the LNF
Higher Order Reading Skills
LNF Expectation Statements KS3 (Y7)
Use a range of strategies to skim texts for
gist, key ideas and themes, and scan for
detailed information
Collate and summarise relevant
information from different texts
Read between the lines using inference
and deduction
Evaluate the content, presentation and
appeal of a text
Identify how a text is organised to make
the content clear and informative
Literacy in Action
HOLS and the LNF
• What higher order skills (oracy, reading,
writing) did you use in your role as ‘Reading
• What helped you to use them?
• How are these skills represented in the LNF?
• What are the implications for us as teachers?
Reading Detectives and the LNF
Oracy: Collaboration
Group & Discussion
Writing: Meaning,
purposes, readers
Contribute purposefully
to group discussion to
achieve agreed outcomes
Infer ideas which are
not explicitly stated
use a range of
strategies to plan
Make a range of
contributions to
Read between the lines Plan writing making
using inference and
choices about the best
ways to present
content for effect
Take a range of roles in
more formal group
contexts, e.g. when
working with unfamiliar
peers or adults
Use inference and
deduction to
understand layers of
Make connections
between texts, their
themes and factual
content, and identify
any agreement and
In planning writing
make choices about
content, structure,
language, presentation
to suit the purpose
Reading and Writing for Real
Reading and Writing for Real
Providing students with:
• An engaging and motivating ‘hook’
• A clear purpose for reading and writing
• A strong context for applying literacy skills
• Authentic audiences for their writing
• An unfolding narrative to retain their interest
Real, Realistic or Pure Fantasy?
• Real
• Realistic – could be real – but it isn’t! (or
maybe there are elements of truth?)
• Fantasy – developing the imagination – having
• Classroom based e.g. artefacts, letters,
visitors, adult in role
• School based e.g. playground or field event
• Out of school e.g. visit or trip
Reflection activity
• How could you make ‘Reading and Writing
for Real’, or aspects of it, work for you in
your curriculum area?
• Think about what you are planning to
• Decide on an exciting ‘way in’.
• Where possible, give your writing tasks
purpose and audience
• Consider the quality of your outcomes
Priorities for Today’s Course
• Identify a range of Higher Order Literacy Skills
• Show how these are represented in the LNF
• Demonstrate how HOLS can be taught and
practised in the context of daily lessons
• Provide working models of strategies and
units for delegates to take away and trial
• Invite schools to evaluate and share the
outcomes of their work
Literacy and the LNF in
Secondary Schools
Challenges and Solutions
The LNF: Some Key Messages
Focuses mainly on planning and assessment
Establishes national expectations year on year
Guide to progression in key aspects of literacy
Cross-curricular (all subjects, incl. English)
Cross-phase (5-14)
Statutory from September 2013
The LNF: Some Key Issues
• What definition of literacy are we using?
• What is the relationship between English (or
Welsh) and Literacy?
• At secondary level, should literacy be taught in
English, then practised across the curriculum, or
taught in the context of individual subjects?
• How/where do we bring together the ‘whole
picture’ of a student’s competence as a reader,
writer, speaker, listener?
• What’s the timescale?
Definitions of Literacy
Literacy is not narrowly about the mechanics of
being able to decode the words on a page or write a
grammatically correct sentence, although these are
essential skills in their own right.
It is about the skills needed to understand written
and spoken language, to interpret what has been
written or said, and draw inferences from the
evidence that surrounds us. It is also about being
able to communicate in our turn – fluently, cogently
and persuasively.
Extracts from LNF Handbook
• The LNF focuses on the learner’s acquisition of
and ability to apply the skills and concepts
they have learned in order to complete
realistic tasks appropriate to their stage of
• Teachers will be able to use the LNF to
integrate literacy … into their teaching
whatever the subject matter
Extracts from LNF Handbook
• Literacy is not the same as English/Welsh; as a
consequence the LNF expectations do not address all
aspects of the English/Welsh subject orders and need
to be used in combination with other forms of
assessment to develop a comprehensive picture of
learner achievement.
• The literacy component of the LNF will help teachers to
address the literacy skills requirements of the
English/Welsh programmes of study but not the more
literary/creative aspects of the subject orders.
Some Current Challenges
for Secondary Schools
Student attainment and attitudes on arrival
The pre-eminence of 14-19
Content and coverage within subject curriculum
Staff expertise and orientation
Constraints of existing structures:
Subject orientation
Timetable and time allocations
Variable groupings
Multiple use of rooms
Some Working Solutions
Ability grouping based on attainment
Literacy Co-ordinator
Intervention Teams/Literacy Champions
Technical vocabulary displays in classrooms
Literacy Placemats; Writing Frames
Student Handbook
Whole School Marking Guidelines
Something More Radical?
• High visibility for literacy: whole school, all areas
• High priority for reading: at all levels
• Redesign KS3 curriculum to strengthen focus on
acquiring, using, applying, celebrating literacy skills
• Use Writing for Real approaches to strengthen context,
purpose and audience
• Use Talk for Writing strategies to train students to
become effective writers across the curriculum
• Make LNF clear and intelligible to students
• Monitor and mentor student progress in literacy:
track and support, with particular emphasis on Y7
The Literacy of
Individual Subjects
Developing Speaking and
Listening Across the Curriculum
Using visual imagery to stimulate
Using speaking frames to develop
use of language
The Writing Demands of GCSE
Investigate the factors that will increase
the rate of a chemical reaction
What traffic management scheme would
best suit this city?
Why did more and more Americans begin
to turn against the Vietnam War?
English Literature
‘Lady Macbeth was the driving force
behind the murder of Duncan.’ Discuss.
Compare the work of two artists that have
impressed you.
‘We should not feed the hungry’.
Discuss, showing that you have
considered more than one point of view.
Devise and evaluate a fitness programme
Strategies for Teaching Writing
Across Curriculum
• Identify the kinds of writing central to your
subject: are students already familiar with them?
• Find or create model text(s), at the upper end of
what you expect your class to achieve
• Imitate - make sure students get to know and
understand the texts really well
• Innovate – work on the texts together: same
purpose, different subject matter
• Invent – can they now produce versions of the
model independently?
The Teaching Process
• Read it
• Talk it
• Write it
Talk about the content
Discuss the audience and purpose
Identify the author
Focus on language features (e.g. cloze)
Identify most and least effective pieces
Improve weak pieces of writing
Explanation Text
Stage 1 – Problem to explain
Stage 2 – Research process
Stage 3 – Parallel Model Text
Stage 4 – Boxing Up; Talk the Text; Toolkit
Stage 5 – Shared Writing
Stage 6 – Students Writing
Stage 7 – Marking/Evaluation
Stage 8 – Consolidate the Learning: exemplars
Emma – a case study
• Why is Bangladesh one of the most flood
prone countries in the world?
Focusing on literacy
• Text level
• Sentence level
• Word level
Working on introductions
Oral rehearsal
Physical practice
What makes a good one
Read it, Talk it, Write it and the LNF
Activity: Written explanation
Expectation Statements: Year 8
Read It
Collect information on a specific topic
from a range of sources
Make notes, selecting relevant info
Organise notes according to agreed
Use a range of reading strategies to skim
for gist and scan for detailed information
Make connections between texts, and
identify any agreement and contradiction
Summarise and synthesise information,
using different sources
Talk It
Share information in pair/group and sift
out relevant material
Orally rehearse and perform the text
Discuss opposing viewpoints and
negotiate ways forward
Present topics and ideas coherently, using
techniques effectively
Write It
Make notes based on research
Contribute to Shared Writing session
Produce own draft, drawing on class
Revise draft in light of peer review and
Select, analyse and present ideas and
information convincingly/objectively
Use technical terms, language and
expression consistent with subject
Use the full range of punctuation to clarify
A word on assessment and marking
• Students write to communicate effectively not
to achieve a level
• Students edit and assess their own work
• Marking should reflect the focus of the
• Assessment should guide the next piece of
‘Feedback to any pupil should be about the
particular qualities of his or her work, with
advice on what he or she can do to improve,
and should avoid comparison with other
Black & Wiliam 1998 – Inside the Black Box
A Community of Researchers
The Unlocked Guide
What we Know What we
Would like to
What we have
Research process
Identify research questions
Set a purpose for reading
Navigate non-fiction texts
Interrogate the text
Record and evaluate information
Skimming and scanning
• Skimming – to quickly identify the main ideas
in a text
• Scanning – to find specific information
• Read the title, headings and sub-headings
• Look at visuals
• Read first and last sentences of paragraphs
and sections
• Keep thinking about the meaning of the text
Know what questions you are trying to answer
Don’t try to read every word
Read vertically rather than horizontally
Visualise key words
Look for clues e.g. capital letters, spelling patterns,
word shapes, numbers
• Use signposts e.g. sub titles, headings, headers
• Use textual organisational devices e.g. alphabetical
Interrogate the text
Unknown words – to work out word meanings
Stop and think – to monitor understanding
Check the text – to interpret visuals
Text marking – to identify key information
Read, write, read – to read for meaning
Ask the teacher – to formulate questions and
monitor understanding
• Analyse the question – to answer different types of
• Find the main idea – to identify key information
Record and evaluate information
Key words
Change the form
Create student quiz
Next steps
Directed Activities Related to Texts
Reconstruction DARTs
Text completion
Table completion
Diagram completion
Prediction activities
Analysis DARTs
Text marking
Text segmenting and labelling
Table construction
Diagram construction
The teaching process
• Read it
• Talk it
• Write it
A Community of Researchers:
Benefits in relation to LNF
• Provides a meaningful context for learning to
take place
• Opportunity to practise and apply skills for a
clear purpose and audience
• Mixes literacy skills with subject content
• Focuses on active learning
• Flexible and transferable – can tweak existing
programmes of work
Options for adopting this approach
1. Self-contained projects within individual
2. Short-term collaborations between two or
more subjects with pooled objectives
3. A collapsed timetable at key points during
the year to assess students’ ability to apply
learning in ‘real’ situations
4. Transition project: Y6/7 (Y7/8; Y8/9)
5. An integrated curriculum: Y7, KS3
Building a Literacy Rich School
What would Estyn hope to see?
• A rich and dynamic literacy environment, where
speaking, listening, reading, writing have high status
• Plenty of good opportunities for pupils to show
higher-order reading skills and good quality writing in
all areas of the curriculum
• Good quality displays of a wide range of texts
illustrating the forms and purposes of writing, and
pupil-generated examples celebrating best work
• Practitioners who are good language role models for
oracy, reading and writing
• Practitioners who support the development of good
literacy skills in all areas of the curriculum
Visible evidence of literacy
Is your school a literacy –rich
8 Key Propositions to Improve Writing
Do the research: what is writing like now?
Give time to writing: do less, but do it better
Prepare students carefully for writing
Be clear about purpose and audience in writing
Use the classroom to support and reflect student
writing (home grown rather than shop bought)
• Use AfL techniques to provide practical feedback
to students on their writing
• Encourage students to see themselves as writers
• Increase students’ experience of reading
Student Reading Survey (Y7)
• Do you think of yourself as a good reader?
• How often do you find time to read for pleasure? Daily, weekly, less
• Which of the following are you most likely to read if you have some
spare time?
Fiction, non-fiction, magazine, website
• What would you say is your favourite book?
• Can you name 3 authors whose books you enjoy?
• Would you say you read more or less now than you did when you
were at primary school?
• Where is your favourite place to read?
• Do you borrow books from the library? Local, school
• Some books are made into films. If you had a choice, would you
prefer to read the book or see the film?
• Would you say it was cool in your class to be seen as a keen reader?
• What would you say is the best thing about being able to read?
Student Writing Survey (Y8)
Do you enjoy writing?
Do you think of yourself as a good writer?
Do you write outside school?
What kinds of writing in school do you like most/least?
How do your teachers help you with your writing?
Do you prefer to write by hand or on screen?
Did you find writing easier or more difficult at primary?
What advice would you give to a fellow student who
was trying to improve their writing?
• What advice would you give to your school on how
they could help students improve their writing?
A Blueprint for Change
• High visibility for literacy: whole school, all areas
• High priority for reading: at all levels
• Redesign KS3 curriculum to strengthen focus on
acquiring, using, applying, celebrating literacy skills
• Use ‘Writing for Real’ approaches to strengthen
context, purpose and audience
• Use ‘Talk for Writing’ strategies to train students to
become effective writers across the curriculum
• Make LNF clear and intelligible to students
• Monitor and mentor student progress in literacy:
track and support, with particular emphasis on Y7
An Implementation Strategy
• Form core group of committed staff (plc): to include
SMT member; literacy leader; range of subject staff; SENCO
• Develop range of model texts: use with students via T4W
to improve their writing: record before and after outcomes
• Use the LNF in planning and assessing: to guide
focus, expectations, progression, achievement
• Keep other staff (dept, school) informed: spread
practice in school/cluster through demonstration, coaching
• Look for opportunities to restructure curriculum
once new subject orders are known: links between
subjects; integrated units; balance between literacy/content
The Professional Literacy Company
• Fax: 01905 828056 (questionnaires)
• E-mail: [email protected]
• Website: www.theplc.org.uk
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