Today marks UNESCO’s International Literacy Day, and, this year’s theme, Transforming Literacy Learning Spaces, is very appropriate for us and our mission and vision.

According to UNESCO, the day gives an opportunity to: “Rethink the fundamental importance of literacy learning spaces to build resilience and ensure quality, equitable, and inclusive education for all.”

So, with our focus firmly on quality education, we’re sharing a fantastic new resource with our tutors to help them support their tutees to develop crucial literacy skills. The tutorial (hosted on our tutor training platform Thinqi) gives a variety of top tips on how to support pupil literacy development, including providing targeted vocabulary instruction during all lessons.

According to the Education Endowment Foundation’s blog, What makes effective literacy teaching:

Good literacy skills provide us with the building blocks not just for academic success, but for fulfilling careers and rewarding lives. Yet despite our best efforts, a disadvantaged child in England is still more than twice as likely as their classmates from more advantaged homes to leave primary school without reaching the expected levels in reading and writing."

We understand the importance of getting these building blocks right, from the start, which is why all our tutor resources, developed by our Quality Team, are evidence-based, using research evaluated and reviewed by bodies such as the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF).

To ensure our tutors have the resources to deliver high quality tuition throughout the time they are with us, the team, which includes six Qualified Teachers, release new tutorials regularly. They also host Continuing Professional Development (CPD) sessions, to support our tutors’ own development. And all our tutors have access to the tutor learning platform, Thinqi, which has a range of materials covering all our key tuition subjects and Year groups, with a number focusing specifically on developing literacy skills in pupils.

The Department for Education’s Education Hub blog wrote in February this year: “In English, we think that all pupils should be able to read fluently and write accurately and coherently. These skills set them up to succeed and flourish in secondary school and access a broad and balanced curriculum . . . Basic literacy is also important as it is essential for expression. Without basic literacy skills pupils will struggle to engage with subjects across the curriculum.

“Poor numeracy and literacy skills can have a huge knock-on effect on their wider education and the ability to get on in life.”

A report from Ofsted, Moving English Forward, also stresses the importance of fluency in literacy: “Even with effective teaching in English lessons, progress will be limited if this good practice is not consolidated in the 26 out of 30 lessons each week in a secondary school that are typically lessons other than English.”

Vicky Sadler, our Deputy Director of Training and a former said: “Literacy is so important. It’s being able to deeply understand a subject through its vocabulary which in turn enables us to talk about it, comprehend texts about it and write about it.

“Our tutors need to be able to plan to approach this academic vocabulary and provide purposeful opportunities to explore it through structured and modelled talk, reading and writing opportunities in their session, and talking with their pupils rather than to them. Our new literacy tutorial is packed with helpful strategies to support our tutors in helping their tutees to develop these vital skills.”

If you are based in a school and would like to know more about how we can support your pupils to achieve their potential, please get in touch on one of the links below.

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