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Does anyone have any views /experience of the National Literacy Strategy?

(14 Posts)
RubyRioja Wed 13-Feb-08 16:56:18

Presumably this is being used in all state schools by now. I am trying to plow my way through it for my contribution as a school Gov.

But as someone on MN always knows something interesting, I though I's ask the question grin.

Is it good/bad/useful/pointless/bleedin obvious?

MinkVelvet Wed 13-Feb-08 16:57:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MinkVelvet Wed 13-Feb-08 16:59:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MinkVelvet Wed 13-Feb-08 17:00:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

tudorrose Wed 13-Feb-08 17:09:13

Agree with mink and am also a teacher. Its too much to fit in, you rush to get it all done and never seem to get it done properly IMO. And not enough scope for creativity if you follow it to the letter. Which at our school we dont tend to as we have our own "creative cuuriculum" (sp)We teach by topic and fit our literacy into that so if our topic is the Tudors then our literacy will be based on that e.g. Tudor recounts, poems etc. Much more fun!

RubyRioja Wed 13-Feb-08 17:10:49

Oh interesting.

It looks q logical in terms of things kids need to know, but I know kids aren't logical grin

smartiejake Wed 13-Feb-08 18:45:14

There is no doubt that reading has improved since it was introduced but at what cost?

For alot of children (esp the less able) it is deathly boring and behaviour in some cases has got worse IMO.

The problem is that the NLS is too prescriptive and insists on kids reading and writing genre that they are really not ready for and have had little experience of such as balanced arguments and persuasive texts.

I have always felt it would be much better for kids to do this when they go to senior school and for the primary strategy to concentrate on stories, plays, information texts and report writing. I agree that there is not enough time given to whole texts or stories e.g. looking at a set of story starters/ opening paragraphs/ story endings.

I think it also encourages children to analyse too much and does not give enough time over to enjoying reading. I also think a lesson in three or four parts stops the flow of a lesson too much and some kids (especially kinaesthetic learners) get bored with all the teacher talk and just want to get on and DO something.As the other posters have said fine for bright kids.

It is improving though as a more topic based curriculum is being encouraged (which I used when I first started teaching and they're billing it as some revolutionary new idea FFS) and there seems to be a little more flexibilty allowed than a few years ago.

RubyRioja Thu 14-Feb-08 16:28:29

Thanks for input. The more I read,, the more fragmented it seems to be. It does seem a bit shcoking that they are worried about whether a child can read (and critique!)a huge variety of genre at the same time we are hearing that so many children can barely read at all.

Useful stuff, ta!

lljkk Mon 21-Jul-08 18:38:07

Ooh, if anyone sees this thread & can say succinctly what's wrong with the NLS, I'd be curious to learn.

I went to see our head teacher about something completely different today, mid-chat she went off on a tangent about how the NLS was a disaster and the school was about to adopt a completely different scheme (called something like Read-Write).

Does this this fit with the typical criticisms of NLS? In Y1-Y2 our school has stressed literacy tied to story tales (like Fairy Tales, or even TV series, but all fictional, anyway). Okay for my girl, but not appealing at all to the boys!

ReallyTired Mon 21-Jul-08 22:08:26

I think that the national literacy stragery demands too much too soon. My son was asked to write poetry in year 1 before he had the concept of finger spaces or could actually form his letters properly.

I think that not enough time is spent on the basics and many things the NLS are best taught at a later date.

myredcardigan Mon 21-Jul-08 22:19:07

It's dull and boring for the vast majority of children. The texts used are often small pieces of larger texts which have been reproduced and sold as a scheme. I much prefer using real books.
Not enough opportunity to write. Many good schools only do NLS 4days a week and do extended/creative writing on the 5th day.

It doesn't lend itself to differentiation on any great scale. Fine if you have a broad range of 'middling' children. Children who are working at a lower end cannot cope with what's expected esp the word/sentence level work. Bright kids are not stretched anyhere near enough by it.

The difference between the NLS and the NNS is dramatic. The NNS is an excellent document accessible to all kids on their level. The NLS is too prescriptive, lacking in imagination and destroying creative writing.

I'm a teacher too, BTW. smile

sarararararah Tue 22-Jul-08 10:48:15

I think most teachers feel the NLS is really bad news for literacy. It is not child friendly at all and children are learning to read and write inspite of it not because of it. Agree with myredcardigan that NNS is a much, much better strategy.

In common with a previous posters I also think the 3 or 4 part lesson stops children from just getting on with it. It hinders creativity as you're always having to stop and move on to the next part of the lesson! Which is why at my school we have ditched it entirely! We do a really structured phonics approach for teaching the basics of reading and writing and then do literacy through drama, real life contexts, topics etc so that it all actually means something.

AbbeyA Wed 23-Jul-08 07:57:33

It was boring and a failure! Many schools have quietly ditched it and have gone back to the approach mentioned by sarararararah.
I have just had half a term teaching some very talented year 5 writers and I was thrilled with the work produced. We were not held back by having to do word level and sentence level work and getting a measly 20 minutes to write! We could enjoy literature without having to over analyse it. They ended up just writing solidly for a week and produced long, illustrated books with chapters. They were bubbling over with enthusiasm-you didn't get that with the NLS!

RupertTheBear Wed 23-Jul-08 08:22:00

I'm a teacher too and although I agree with all the negative comments about the NLS I think these mainly apply to the old one. The new strategy which has been implemented since September is much better, much more focus on Speaking and Listening, drama etc. We use NLS (as a guide only - we use our judgement to adapt it and make it suitable for the children we are teaching) and do "Big Writing" on the fifth day. We have moved right away from the old 15 mins, 15 mins, 20 mins then plenary structure which is much better. In KS1 (I am in Y5) they teach phonics for 20 minutes a day outside of the literacy hour.

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