Archive for the Literacy Category

The case for grammar

The case for grammar

I teach an adult evening class in formal writing skills. It is for learners who are under-confident about the daily writing tasks essential in work or other situations. This is the second term I’ve delivered the class. A fascinating pattern is emerging. In both classes the composition […]

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Linlithgow Book Festival

Linlithgow Book Festival

The Linlithgow Book Festival for 2013 promises once again to bring a range of superb Scottish writers to town to discuss their work and engage with readers.  The Book Festival is sponsored by local companies Palimpsest Publishers, Far From the Madding Crowd, The Book Sanctuary, The Line […]

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If developing school students’ literacy is a key policy then teacher training providers face a major challenge

If developing school students’ literacy is a key policy then teacher training providers face a major challenge

One of Curriculum for Excellence’s strengths has been its focus on literacy. “Competence and confidence in literacy, including competence in grammar, spelling and the spoken word, are essential for progress in all areas of the curriculum. Because of this, all teachers have responsibility for promoting language and […]

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Young Writers win awards at Linlithgow Book Festival

Young Writers win awards at Linlithgow Book Festival

Last week, at the Linlithgow Book Festival, the prizes for the 2012-2013 Young Writers Competition were presented by Scots Makar, Liz Lochead. 

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Power of the pen

Power of the pen

I recently had an opportunity to view literacy from a new perspective.

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Everyone in school must get to grips with grammar

Everyone in school must get to grips with grammar

Michael Gove has announced that English 11-year-olds will sit a grammar test. Many with whom I would naturally stand in any conflict involving Gove have objected on the grounds that such an approach will narrow teaching and lead to “teaching to the test”. I disagree with many […]

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Ah dinnae ken why I have to talk proper, Sir

I was helping a group of S6 students to draft their personal statements for their Ucas forms. These are fine young folk: engaged, enthusiastic, bright. Like many in Wester Hailes, however, they often underachieve. They have not developed the cultural hooks on which to hang higher order […]

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Talented young essayists have their say

Talented young essayists have their say   Who will be the Ian Banks, the Liz Lockhead or the Janice Galloway of 2032? Are any of tomorrow’s top novelists honing their writing skills in West Lothian schools today? And if they are, how best can they be encouraged […]

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It’s a matter of time for literacy

Heart-searching is occurring in the educational world over one of our most basic tasks, the teaching of literacy. Statistics suggest that 15 per cent of adults lack the functional literacy skills expected of an 11-year- old. The recent OECD report on Scottish schools illustrates the growing gap […]

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Cherry tree poem gave pupils’ insight a chance to blossom

Cherry tree poem gave pupils’ insight a chance to blossom

In the playground of my last school stands a cherry tree.  It stood there before the school was built but being close to the building line it was cut and pruned over the years.  In winter therefore, leafless, its branches pointing in one direction, away from the […]

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