School-wide Literacy
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Reflections on Challenge

Lake Matheson just after the sunrise

As the year draws towards its end, it is natural to look back and reflect, and to take stock. Sometimes we see things in that broad overview from a fresh perspective. I’ve now been blogging for two years, and I can see that one of the themes I have come back to repeatedly is the challenge for secondary schools to meet their responsibilities to help students who struggle with reading. I don’t just mean doing something – I mean doing something that is demonstrably effective.

Graffiti - listen to the voiceless

In Schools Character and Justice, I reflected on the character debate in education and how our character is displayed in our actions – specifically, the actions we take (or don’t take) to support our most vulnerable students.

Te Wero – The Challenge shows that “with a systematic approach, it is possible to virtually eliminate all reading problems in around three years” and so poses the question to school leaders: if you have effective solutions to hand for these students, why wouldn’t you act?

These checklists were written to help schools audit their literacy provision. They can all be downloaded as PDFs:

5 Principles to ensure that literacy improves for all students

10-Point Checklist: Literacy at Secondary School

15 Tests for Secondary School Reading Interventions

Monsters Inc 2

Are all reading interventions created equal? points out why school managers must have the knowledge to discriminate between more and less useful interventions.

Neat closet (Flickr)

Spring Cleaning makes the case for removing (often multiple) ineffective interventions and focusing scarce resources on those that will make the most difference.

Panning for gold

Are all students screened for reading? shows why schools must ensure that reading is assessed systematically for all students, not just the obvious ones.

These slightly older posts still make relevant reading on the same theme:

Why is there a reading problem in secondary schools?

A question of progress

Headline measures?

The Bridge Over the Reading Gap

Russian Dolls (Pixabay)

Lastly, in Peeling Back the Layers, the state of national reading data and a lack of accountability for progress in reading at secondary school is uncovered.

I hope that you may find both challenge and encouragement to ensure that every secondary school offers students a fair deal in reading.

Visit our website.

You may also be interested in:

Dark Mountain Reflection (Unsplash)

Reflections on Hidden Potential

Mountain reflection with path (Pixabay)

Reflections on the Hard Road to Success

Two Boats on Misty Lake (Unsplash)

Reflections on Journeys


  1. Pingback: Reflections on Hidden Potential | thinkingreadingwritings

  2. Pingback: Reflections on the Hard Road to Success | thinkingreadingwritings

  3. Pingback: Reflections on Journeys | thinkingreadingwritings

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