Leicester City: Montgomery County TIPD Visit Introduction Intended aims of the visit To identify effective approaches to planning, delivering and assessing learning opportunities to develop oracy skills in the classroom. To explore the effective use of a Multiple Intelligences Model in developing oracy skills in lower achieving pupils. To consider the correlation between developing emotional literacy and the development of oracy skills. To help Leicester City LEA to develop an effective model for the development of oracy skills in schools with a high proportion of pupils acquiring English as an additional language and schools with a high proportion of pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds. To disseminate learning on the effective development of oracy skills through networks and resources. Expected outcomes of the visit Following the study visit, participants will persue action research on the effective development of oracy skills in the classroom in the context of their schools. The group will form a network of effective practice whoose work will be disseminated through English/Literacy training, network meetings and published report/resources. Improved provision for the development of oracy skills will have a direct and measurable impact on pupils' achievement in English. A cross-phase working group will help facilitate understanding, co-operation and consistency approach to teaching and learning which help pupils transferring from Y6 to Y7 to maintain their progress. How were these to be recorded and identified? Journals: A daily journal was kept by all teachers and has been used for discussion/ reflection since returning from visit. Photos: Examples of good practice, particularly with reference to display. Notes: Good practice recorded by individuals and groups as observed in lessons and other activities. Daily meetings: Feedback sessions with all teachers and trip leader after each school visit to share and discuss findings and draw conclusions relating to practice. Report of the Experience Schools tended to be suburban and affluent with a very supportive parental community. The international community was made up largely of visiting, foreign professional families. Although there were large numbers of pupils for whom English was a second language, the majority of these were highly literate and successful in their own languages. The schools did not have a specific focus on speaking and listening, but were very skilled in delivering a range of language arts programmes, such as guided reading and writing. There was no evidence that emotional literacy and thinking skills were an explicit focus for any of the school visited. However, a positive and supportive culture existed in many of the schools and a lot of the work on developing children’s emotional literacy was implicit throughout the curriculum and the learning environment generally. Evaluation The focus on Thinking Skills and Emotional literacy was not directly observed. However, the schools were developing oracy and raising standards, through a range of other initiatives, systems and approaches. 1) Language/ Reading. Reading was a county wide focus across all schools at all levels. This included a systematic approach, in which detailed, scripted lessons with linked resources, were county funded and generally adhered to by all teachers. Most of the opportunities for speaking and listening were provided through reading and language arts work. There was a very structured approach to spoken and written answers. Guided reading was very high profile, well resourced and generally of a good quality 2) Withdrawal/ Intervention Groups: Focus on early intervention. E.G Pupils falling 6 months behind chronological reading age in one elementary school, were placed on a Soar to Success Reading intervention programme. A range of needs were recognised and reacted to including, ESOL, G+T, SEN, emotional disabilities. A specific curriculum was provided for EAL children at varied levels. 3) Emotional Literacy. Wasn’t explicitly taught but was an implied part of the school ethos, curriculum, relationships, environment. Children in some elementary schools were very confident and able to express themselves using a wide and appropriate vocabulary. Guidance counsellors in place in all elementary and secondary schools providing emotional support, learning support, and making links with parents. 4) Transition. Meetings between phases and staff from schools above and below took place regularly. Teachers from feeder schools engaged in joint moderation of work to ensure judgements were agreed and valid. Schools worked well in cluster groups and heads generally had positive relationships. Good arrangements for transition included, meetings between parents from feeder schools with heads and staff from High Schools, cross phrases lesson observations, cross phase moderation and a fluid curriculum that ensured children were able to access a curriculum based on ability. For example, children in Grade 6 mathematics could be taught the entire year 7 mathematics curriculum where appropriate. Resourcing Many of the above approaches rested on specific use of county funding and well resourced individual schools. The county education dept had prioritised reading and vocabulary development as the main area for raising attainment. All schools were involved in this focus. No child left behind: Early intervention in Years 1-3 for Literacy/ reading programmes which ensured classes of no more than 15. Small groups of children taught by a specialised “reading teacher”. In elementary schools larger classes often had 2 qualified members of staff. In one school classes were generally all below 25. School buildings were part of a systematic regeneration programme. Schools relocated for a year during this time. Specialist teachers taught many of foundation subjects (Art, Music, PE, ICT,) this allowed class teachers to meet together during non-contact times to plan and prepare their lessons. Staff paid separately for after hours meetings. Qualified staff, rooms, and resources were provided for withdrawal groups and treated as a high priority. Most schools had a full time staff development officer, whose role it was to support other staff in the way that head teachers saw fit. Some schools also had an NQT officer who supported the NQT’s full time. How Can Findings be applied to the UK context? Suggested Ways Forward. A unified LEA focus for development/raising attainment (E.G. Reading) which links into the needs of the pupil population. A specific LEA wide curriculum for EAL children, supported by qualified specialist staff, and specific and appropriate resources. Continue to develop oracy networks to share good practice, consider innovations and contribute to LEA training and events. Guided Reading developed to a higher quality and used a one of a range of ways to develop language skills. A more unified, cluster-based approach to transition. Creating opportunities for cross phase moderation, teaching and reflection on attainment. How Will You Apply Them to Your Work? Class Teachers: Develop skills in the use of guided reading sessions to develop high quality speaking and listening opportunities. Consider more integrated approaches to the curriculum along the lines of the “Social Studies” model observed in Montgomery County. Consider use of funding and intervention programmes aimed at years 1-3. Meet with other teachers from visit to share good practice and take some of these ideas forward. Consider using the oracy network, which exists in Leicester to develop work on speaking and listening and share findings/ good practice. Consider use of teacher specialisms to deliver parts of the curriculum. LEA Level: Suggested ways forward Consider the possibility of providing a structured EAL teaching programme to support work in the classroom. Review teacher skill level in delivering guided sessions and consider a LEA wide emphasis on developing guided reading as a speaking and listening opportunity. Continue to develop the implicit and explicit focus on emotional literacy through LEA co-ordinated initiatives. Promote the work of the existing oracy network to support and develop practice across Leicester city. How Do You now Intend To Disseminate The Findings Of Your Visit? Individual staff meetings in specific schools of the teachers involved. Presentations to governors, SED, groups of teachers. A generic, PowerPoint presentations available for future training. Feedback to existing networks. The Leaning Platform. (ICT network) Leicester oracy network Proposals for Future Developments and Continuing Links. Return visits organised from host Montgomery County staff. E-mail links between English and American children. Links between teachers and individual American staff. Expand oracy network to include primary staff from TIPD visit. A regular meeting time/ place to expand the ideas within the group. General Advice for Other Visitors to the Country or Region. Ensure specific objectives, teacher skills and interests are communicated fully to all schools involved in the visit.