Following the launch of the National Literacy Trust’s annual research and policy guidance documents for schools, Karina Thompson, Deputy Headteacher of Greenleaf Primary School, East London, talks to us about how she uses the annual research and policy guide and school review documents to inform her work.
When I first started leading literacy in a primary school, the local authority literacy adviser would provide regular updates on relevant policy and recent research so I always felt up to date. Now that support doesn’t exist for many schools, it can feel like you’re really on your own. For this reason, I find the annual research and policy guides and school review documents from the National Literacy Trust essential! It’s brilliant to have an overview of what is new in relation to policy and research and how this could impact on practice. I’d love to read all of the research, but as a busy deputy head, I just don’t have the time. The fact that these documents collate the most pertinent research and pull out the key points for schools is – in my opinion – invaluable.
I’m able to use some of the information straight away, such as the Phonics Screening Check Analysis which I use as a discussion point when doing annual refresher training for teachers and teaching assistants. The Research and Policy Guide also helps me to review my practice and plan my priorities for the academic year ahead. Having read about something, I can experiment with initiatives in the knowledge that the National Literacy Trust has reviewed it and so I feel confident in giving it a go.
The Literacy School Review documents are also a fantastic way to really reflect on your practice, asking a range of searching questions to ensure that you are on top of each area of literacy in your school – something that will prove very useful for Ofsted’s new ‘deep dives’ in reading.
These documents are essential for anyone new to the post of Literacy Lead and are also a brilliant annual refresher for more experienced staff such as myself. It is worth becoming a member of the Literacy Trust just for access to these wonderful resources.