How can you boost Literacy and attainment at KS3?

A cutting edge secondary literacy intervention is helping pupils across England to fulfill their academic potential, in an effort to close the attainment gap in education. The Literacy Intervention Toolkit (LIT) Programme from Hackney Learning Trust uses mindful and metacognitive teaching strategies to enable Year 7 pupils to become more autonomous and confident in all aspects of literacy. LIT uses evidence-based strategies focused on improving thinking, reading, writing and oral communication skills. It also incorporates effective feedback into each lesson so that pupil progress is maximized.

The new proposed Ofsted framework shifts greater focus towards pupils’ qualitative experiences at school, such as their capacity for learning and how they feel about learning, while still looking closely at academic progress.  This proposed inspection framework further underlines the need for outstanding teachers to identify and correct understanding, so that on the spot feedback can be incisive and effective for facilitating pupil progress.

LIT tackles each of these areas by building ‘key learning checkpoints’ (KLCs) into each lesson plan and pupil resource that enable teachers and pupils to assess their use of a range of literacy strategies. Learning is externalised and dialogic, meaning that learning focuses and strategies are constantly reflected on and talked about. These KLCs are also designed to check the depth of understanding of a broad and meaningful curriculum. Creative and age-appropriate texts and topics are coupled with the KLCs with the aim of ensuring pupils are engaged and intrinsically motivated to learn. In this way, LIT builds pupils’ self-awareness and capacity for learning while simultaneously deepening their subject knowledge and understanding.

Sam Henstock, LIT Programme coordinator at Ashfield School, one of the largest secondary schools in the country, reports that their LIT pupils make an average of 3 years of reading age progress in a single academic year.

“While the levels of attainment are excellent, I think other benefits are equally as important. Numbers aside, the visible improvements in students’ overall confidence and feelings towards reading are extremely rewarding, especially as such positivity continues into Year 8.”

Beyond academic progress, LIT equips pupils with thinking, reading, writing and communication strategies that can change their lives academically, socially and professionally. In this way, LIT aims to prepare pupils for the next stage of their lives and to have a lasting and meaningful impact.

To find out more please email Joanna Murray or call her on 020 8820 7607 or visit our web page.

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