Best practice in the reading and writing of pupils aged 7 to 14 ... - Estyn

learning.wales.gov.uk

Best practice in the reading and writing of pupils aged 7 to 14 ... - Estyn

Best practice in the reading and writing of pupils aged 7 to 14 yearsApril 2008The quality of teaching and assessmentThe quality of teaching51 The quality of teaching in Welsh and English has improved steadily over the past 10years. Many lessons are delivered at a good pace and include skilful teaching ofreading and writing. Good teaching and enthusiasm for language and literature inWelsh and English foster positive attitudes to language and literature.52 In the most effective lessons, staff link speaking and listening, reading and writing sothat pupils understand that these language modes are interdependent. Throughlistening and reading, pupils understand how language conveys meaning and theydevelop these skills for themselves orally and in writing. When staff develop theseskills through interesting and challenging topics, pupils are motivated to becomeindependent readers and willing communicators.53 In the best teaching, language skills are taught explicitly. The teacher demonstratesand explains specific skills so that pupils understand clearly and can apply what theyhave learnt for themselves. Reading and writing tasks are pitched at the right leveland structured in a way that enables pupils to build on what they can already do anddevelop their skills further.54 When there is a continuing focus on phonics in key stage 2, particularly in English,this approach helps pupils to consolidate and use this knowledge to decode wordseffectively. Effective work includes:• revising and consolidating the blending of phonemes;• identifying syllabic patterns in multi-syllabic words; and• continuing to emphasise the use of phonic knowledge as one of the strategies forreading unfamiliar words.55 Securing pupils’ phonic knowledge of language is important for decoding – reading arange of texts accurately and independently – and for encoding – spelling wordscorrectly.56 In both key stages, pupils develop higher-order reading skills best through reading arange of fiction and non-fiction texts that are written for different purposes andaudiences. Pupils achieve high standards in reading when staff use interesting textsto encourage pupils’ personal response and to extend their understanding. In themost effective teaching, staff use a range of approaches, including shared, group andguided reading to improve pupil’s fluency and comprehension skills.57 Pupils’ reading skills develop best when staff choose high-quality texts. This isbecause the quality of pupils’ own language is usually directly related to the quality ofwhat they read and hear. Texts also include a range of media, such as videos, audiotapes and specialist magazines that challenge the assumption that reading isconcerned only with books.16

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