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News from Lemos&Crane

New and improved LiteracyActionNet website

Katherine Vaughan

9 December 2013

Lemos&Crane are excited to announce the launch of the new and improved LiteracyActionNet website. Information is now divided into five easy to navigate sections: schools, children and families, adults, examples, and videos. Dozens of new government publications, academic reports and current examples have been added to the site. Visit LiteracyActionNet to browse these new resources.

Schools

The schools section is an invaluable resource for teachers, teaching assistants, SENCos and others working in a school environment. The section contains up to date information on the national curriculum, methods of assessment, dyslexia and learning disabilities, and teaching interventions. 

Brand new content includes information on the difficult transition between primary school and secondary school, a process which can too often have detrimental effects on a students’ learning. A report from the Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills (Ofsted) suggests that links between Key Stages two and three are productive but for several reasons they are prone to dwindle over time. Methods for effective transitions might include providing students with a “reading passport” which ensures that new teachers have access to information about what work has already been completed; enabling year seven students to make films about their own experiences of the transitions; or arranging for year six students to get to know their new library before enrollment.

Children and families

The children and families section explains the benefit of parents' involvement and encourages parents and family members to become involved in a learner’s literacy. This is especially important for boys and dads. Research suggests that 49% of fathers do not read with their children, yet children who grow up with actively involved fathers benefit in numerous ways. These benefits include greater problem-solving skills; better school attendance; resilience to stress; greater curiousity; and gaining increased self-direction. Some studies have found that measuring the time a father spends reading with his child is the most consistent predictor of emergent literacy outcomes.

It is not just the fathers who have the opportunity to enhance their children’s literacy at home – parents, grandparents, siblings and friends can also help learners by encouraging and taking part in meal time discussions. Parents who engage their children in mealtime chat improve their children’s confidence. These children are much more likely to raise their hands in class and work better in groups. These skills will be particularly beneficial with the renewed focus on speaking and listening skills in primary schools in September 2014 as part of the Government’s proposals for a revised National Curriculum.

Adults

Unless something happens that disrupts their normal routine, adults don’t always feel any need to develop their literacy skills. For many, an important turning-point is becoming a parent. Other reasons for an adult to decide to improve their skills might be to improve job prospects, to feel more in control of health issues or simply to improve their own confidence.

The section on adults covers the implications of low levels of literacy in older adults. Older people with lower literacy and numeracy skills were more likely to say their health was poor and to have depressive symptoms. They were also more likely to be current smokers. The study highlights that it is never too late to improve one’s own literacy skills.

Visit the LiteracyActionNet website here

Keep up to date with LiteracyActionNet on twitter: follow @LiteracyNet

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