Secondary teachers across England are using a range of methods to improve literacy levels among their pupils, a new report by Ofsted has shown.
The education watchdog's report 'Improving Standards in Literacy: A shared responsibility' sought to identify examples of best practice among secondary schools in driving cross-curricular enhancements in this area.
It found that schools tended to be particularly successful when they treated literacy as something central to rather than separate from the wider teaching and learning debate and highlighted how literacy skills could bolster pupils' performance in different subjects.
Different departments within schools were also encouraged to share good practice in improving literacy with each other and to use systematic and effective monitoring and evaluation to ensure that their efforts were achieving desired results.
The report also found that those in English teacher jobs often played an important role in successful cross-curricular literacy initiatives, while the support of head teachers and other senior staff members was also essential.
Ofsted also stressed that there was no "quick fix" for improving literacy and that while the best literacy schemes shared some characteristics, successful approaches also needed to grow out of their particular context and could not simply be transplanted from one school to another.
Michael Cladingbowl, the watchdog's director of schools policy, commented: "The best schools made literacy an integral element of the whole school curriculum.
"In these secondary schools, there was no attempt to address literacy through one-off training days for staff. Literacy in the best schools was an integral part of longer term school improvement plans and informed the content of action plans for each subject."
Last September, Ofsted introduced a new framework for inspection of schools in which literacy was built into each of the key judgements made during inspections, with a school rated outstanding likely to have demonstrated its success in promoting literacy across the curriculum.
Posted by Alan Douglas