Since its revamp, have you noticed how the TES seems also to be shifting its political alignment? A few weeks ago, it ran a much more sympathetic piece on Chris Woodhead, former chief inspector of schools, than I’d have expected – notwithstanding the fact that Chris has motor-neurone disease. This week, there’s an editorial entitled… Continue reading TES reloaded?
Recently, I’ve been posting on a thread on the RRF forum. The subject turned to questions about high-frequency words and, if you’re interested, you can follow what was being argued (here). However, my main point was that there are thousands of teaching practitioners across the country who haven’t a clue how the writing system works… Continue reading Down with high-frequency words!
The Guardian: Reading with kids Today’s Guardian is selling itself on its twenty-four page pull-out ‘Reading with kids’. If you’re looking for good books to buy your young relatives, it offers plenty of advice: ‘The book doctor’ pages for 0-4s and 5-7s contain lots of occasions for what Francis Spufford in his The Child that… Continue reading Reading with kids
If you live in England and teach literacy, you’ll have heard of 100 high-frequency words! You may also remember Neil MacGregor’s recent and marvellous ‘History of the World in 100 Objects’ series. Well, now David Crystal has turned his attention once more to the subject of language and produced the Story of English in 100… Continue reading Crystal’s ology
There’s a very interesting article in the TES by Adi Bloom this week (14th October 2011) about handwriting. In it Mr Beswick from Greave Primary school in Stockport is quoted as arguing strongly that handwriting is redundant and that keyboard skills are the future. On the other hand, Mr Gibbons of Nettlesham Junior school in… Continue reading Why the pen is mightier than the keyboard
I’ve just been watching Michael Rosen on Matthew Wright’s show ‘The Wright Stuff’, broadcast on October 6th. After talking about the plight of the independent booksellers, he was asked by one of the guests on the show what he thought about the government’s support for phonics. What followed had me howling with laughter. For a chap… Continue reading The Wrong Stuff!
Having at one time worked for the British Council and the (as it was then) Bell Educational Trust, I know from first-hand experience that it is entirely possible to teach young children to speak, read and write foreign languages. Michael Gove’s suggestion that language teaching should start at five is by no means radical. In… Continue reading Teaching languages by five