In October 2019, a consultation was launched on proposals for changes to the statutory framework for the early years foundation stage in England. You can read UKLA's response to the proposals by downloading the pdf on right of this page. Our response has been drafted by Karen Daniels from Sheffield Hallam University and Lucy Rodriguez Leon from the Open University, conveners of the UKLA Early Years Literacy in Education Special Interest Group. In our response we propose that the EYFS should take a broader view of literacy and build more explicitly on the experiences of communication and literacy that young children bring with them to early years settings. We have made specific recommendations for the Early Learning Goals for talk, reading and writing. Many members will wish to submit their own response to the consultation. We hope that the UKLA submission will be helpful to you in doing so. Details of the proposed changes and the form for submitting a response can be found here: https://consult.education.gov.uk/early-years-quality-outcomes/early-years-foundation-stage-reforms/ . Submissions need to be received by 31st January.
CLPE released its second Reflecting Realities report on 19 September 2019. The Reflecting Realities: Survey of Ethnic Representation within UK Children’s Literature 2018 shows that there has been an increased presence of BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) characters in children’s books published in 2018, compared to the previous year. This is the second year the survey has been conducted in the UK, with the aim of identifying and highlighting representation within picture books, fiction and non-fiction for ages 3 – 11.
In July 2018 CLPE published Reflecting Realities, the first UK study looking at diversity in children’s literature. Funded by the Arts Council, its aim was to quantify and evaluate the extent and quality of ethnic representation and diversity in children’s publishing in the UK.
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.