This is the first article in a new series that demonstrates how grammar can be taught in a rich literature context. The first of the series is being provided as a free resource to coincide with the UKLA Grammar conference. Further resources will be provided on the member’s site. In this first paper, the wonderful book by Carol Ann Duffy called Lost Happy Endings can be used to teach quality grammar in context for a variety of year groups. At the heart of the project was the determination that grammar should be taught in context and through high quality books. Having worked with schools on grammar training in the locality, it had become clear that many teachers lacked the knowledge of what grammar could be explored through real books.
Rapid technological change has meant that everyday practices surrounding reading and writing have shifted significantly over the last 20 years. Most homes have access to a range of digital devices and children are brought up in a world where they expect screens to be their companions, toys, entertainers, information givers and means of social communication. Many screen-based texts combine words with moving images, sound, colour, a range of photographic, drawn or digitally created visuals; some are interactive, encouraging the reader to compose, represent and communicate through the several dimensions offered by the technology. Not only are there new types of digital texts, however, but a massive proliferation of book and magazine texts which use image, word, layout and typography, often echoing the dimensions of screen-based technology. The availability and familiarity of these texts mean that young people bring wider experience of text to the classroom. But although many children experience digital texts and environments from a very early age their access to technology varies considerably. There will be differences according to social, cultural, personal and economic factors so that in thinking of how best teachers can respond to the digital experience of their children, focusing on skills is not enough.
This is a chapter from the UKLA publication Literacy and Community: developing a primary curriculum through partnerships. It describes how a class teacher and a literacy consultant in a multilingual school in Birmingham developed a teaching sequence to explore identity and citizenship. The teacher, Katie Palmer, is now Deputy Head Teacher and Curriculum and Assessment Leader, and the school now has 356 children on roll. The book Literacy and Community invites readers to reflect on their own practice and the chapter ends with some prompt questions. If you find this article interesting, why not look in the UKLA bookshop for Literacy and Community for examples of partnerships with homes, parents and communities throughout the primary age range.
This article is an updated version of a chapter from the UKLA publication Beyond Words: Developing children’s response to multimodal texts where teachers in a multilingual school in Birmingham introduced children to multimodal texts through reading and making comic strip stories. Since this chapter was first written, the school has grown so that there are now 938 children on roll including the Nursery, and the Assistant Head Sarah Abraham is now Deputy Head Dr Sarah Allen.