I attended the Department for Education briefing on the new Primary Literacy Curriculum this week. If you have read previous draft documents, there were no surprises. (You can read latest draft here.) It was, however, made very clear that there would be no major changes, only ‘tweaks’, though the department is obliged to continue an extensive consultation process.
Jane Hough, the DfE Literacy Adviser, noted the two key points that had emerged during the previous consultation period (from June 2012) were the issues surrounding the teaching of phonics and the lack of Speaking and Listening directives in the new curriculum.
Regarding Speaking and Listening, the implication was that of course teachers would know how important these key aspects of literacy are, but I don’t believe this is necessarily so. Unless something is in the National Curriculum or will be assessed, it is unlikely to be widely adopted as essential by teachers. They are simply too busy trying to fit everything else in a crowded curriculum to read between the lines and guess what is really required.
We will continue to ‘beat the drum’ on this issue and provide quality resources and training that have been proven to raise standards across all aspects of Literacy.
Consultation on this final draft will continue until April 16.
Maria Brosnan, Managing Director.