Literacy update from OFSTED

OFSTED have shared their guidance for the training and teaching of literacy the highlights include;


Common barriers facing trainees and new teachers

n      Too few opportunities to teach all aspects of language and literacy, and ways of teaching literacy skills across other subject areas.

n      Too few opportunities to teach pupils of different ages and those with different needs.

n      Observations of trainees and new teachers did not focus on specific areas of language and literacy, including phonics, and feedback was not precise about how pupils’ learning could be improved.

n      Areas for improvement in feedback did not build upon existing skills, they were not clearly defined and there were often too many.

n      Schools did not have an accurate view of the quality of their own provision or the skills of different staff. They struggled to identify what the newly qualified teacher needed to learn and this often led to overly narrow, inward-looking induction.

n      Insufficient expertise or capacity to support the newly qualified teacher in developing their teaching of language and literacy. New teachers in these situations were often isolated and lacked experience of different approaches in order to reflect upon and evaluate their own practice.

Characteristics of the best new teachers of language and literacy in this survey

The best new teachers had been well supported and consequently they had:

n      a deep understanding of children’s language development and understanding of the of the links between language skills and literacy skills

n      sufficient knowledge of language and literacy skills across the age groups. They were able to adapt their teaching for different age groups as well as pupils with a range of abilities and attainment

n      good questioning skills which helped pupils develop their thinking skills through talking and listening

n      a good knowledge and understanding of phonics and how this supports reading and spelling. They understood how to help pupils use their skills learnt throughout the curriculum.

They also had ability to:

n      create interesting experiences and activities that promoted the use of language and children’s listening skills

n      provide good models of spoken language as well as writing

n      use accurate and precise pronunciation, blending and segmenting of words when teaching phonics

n      assess learning in language and literacy accurately and understand what to teach next to enable pupils to progress quickly

n      use a wide range of well-considered resources to help extend vocabulary and create an enthusiasm for writing

n      assess pupils throughout lessons and target their questioning providing sufficient challenge and support for different pupils

n      understand how to support pupils with special educational needs and those who are at an early stage of acquiring English

n      be proficient in teaching language and literacy skills across the curriculum

n      be highly reflective practitioners.


You can find mor eresources at

What worries me is that without the opportunity to work in other schools or have the benefit of the university time of theory and relection how can we ensure we get the best out of our teachers?  We seem to be asking a lot without giving them the best to learn from.  Whilst I applaud being in schools gives that practical element, it doesnt help when no one in your school knows how to deal with something it just means that everyone, is stuck, including the child  rather than having a  wealth of other learned experiences which can be drawn upon from within the profesionals at that particular school with also very little if any support from LA staff due to recent cuts then thsi can only be the beginning of the slide in Education.


























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