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Critically Evaluate The Extent To Which The Literacy Hour Enhances The Teaching And Learning Of English As Required By The National Curriculum For English.

3352 words - 13 pages

Throughout this assignment I will be critically evaluating each part for the literacy hour highlighting the purpose and effectiveness of each section and how it interlinks with the National Curriculum concluding in whether the hour does actually enhance the learning and teaching of English.The introduction of a National Literacy Hour as part of the National Literacy Strategy (NLS) has been seen as a major reform to improve standards of literacy in primary schools in England, as an unacceptable number of eleven year olds were failing to reach the standard of literacy expected of their age.The government made it clear that no legal action would be taken against the schools who do not follow the NLS despite statements that it is non-negotiable. The NLS is not a statutory framework, although schools are expected to adopt it.The literacy hour is designated to establish a common pattern and routine that pupils can follow to enable teachers to be more pro-active in the classroom and maximise the time spent teaching as apposed to managing. The basic structure of the hour will be for all classrooms so that pupils meet similar predictable framework from class to class (Guardian, 5 December 2002). It also means that teachers will have a common structure to share the planning and develop their ideas. "The framework provides schools with a means of shifting the emphasis in planning for the revised National Curriculum (NC) for English" ( DfE, 1995). The literacy hour clock was designed ot be the main focus or 'heartbeat' of the lesson, providing clear direction, pace and interactivity.The policy and strategic justifications of the strategy include recognition of how literacy contributes to the lives and personal development of individuals and to the strength of the economy as a whole. The structure of a daily literacy hour is constructed around the NC. The central role of literature in the English curriculum is a reflection of the kinds of beliefs expressed in the Bullock report: Literature helps to "shape personality, refine the sensibility, sharpen the critical intelligence; that it is a powerful instrument for empathy and a medium through which children can acquire their values (DES, 1975, p 124).Reading and writing are justifiably referred to as central parts of the basics as these tools are for further learning (Baber 1977 p 174). Very low levels of literacy are associated with unemployment and crime, it is therefore crucial that literacy skills should be aimed to be taught and learnt effectively, preventing such happenings.The framework for teaching the literacy hour, a key component of the NLS proposes an interpretation of literacy that emphasises reading, writing and spelling skills. The framework specifies that all classes should be taught literacy daily for one hour of continuous dedicated time. The work should include class shared group and guided reading, writing tasks, the teaching of phonics, spelling vocabulary, handwriting and grammar with...

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