TITLE OF DEVELOPING PRACTICE EXAMPLE
Sauchie ELC is part of Clackmannanshire Council. Clackmannanshire wide there is a P1-P3 reading gap which has been identified through data and monitoring and tracking. This has identified that there perhaps needs to be more done at early level to help bridge the gap and raise attainment of our learners.
In 2018 3 members of staff including the Excellence and Equity Lead attended a series of Prof Sue Ellis training on Equitable Literacy. From this the EEL and lead literacy practitioner of the setting took the learning forward and implemented this into practice. The aim was to establish a learning environment in Sauchie ELC where books and texts are loved and valued by staff and children and learning experiences were on offer to help children identify themselves as readers and develop the important pre-reading skill of comprehension to help establish solid foundation for children to go on and have a successful experience as they begin to engage in learning to read in formal primary school education.
The EEL and Lead Literacy practitioner worked together to establish a range of training opportunities for staff to engage in. The purpose of this was to share some of the theory/knowledge and data behind the Prof Sue Ellis training to help educators understand why this needed to be a priority in our setting and how we planned on doing this. This helped to create a shared vision and establish an ethos in our setting where books are loved and valued.
In Sauchie ELC we wanted to enhance reading experiences to that stories and texts were shared with value and purpose. So that children had the opportunity to fully explore texts and stories. We created and established the 15 core text strategy. Prof Sue Ellis shared the impact of establishing 15 core texts on children's literacy skills.
Through the 15 core texts children have constant access to these, these texts are available when the children want them. By having the 15 core texts on offer to the children this means that the children will have been exposed to these texts and will be familiar with them. The 15 core texts all relate to a specific comprehension skill which the child is developing and this is noted inside each cover as a guide for educators too.
We also established stimulating and welcoming reading environments for our children. These environments allow children to fully explore texts and stories and allow children to bring books to life. We established the 'focus text' and 'focus word' strategy this allows educators to consult with children to select a focus text and over a period of time the educator will provide learning experiences for the child to explore the text in depth and detail, they also select a focus word from the text which again is explored in depth to allow children to fully develop an understanding and meaning of the words used in the texts, all of this provides rich learning experiences for the children and gains depth in literacy skills.
We created a tracked learning journey of progression for each child which is shared with families. Through our online learning journal platform educators have created "developing comprehension skills" learning intentions for each child which are tracked. Each time a child engages well with a text and has opportunity to further develop their comprehension skills educators can add high quality observations as milestones in learning to show development of the child's skills and abilities this is then shared with families.
We wanted to replicate the high quality experiences at home with children and so created the Sauchie Storyteller project which aims to provide the same learning experiences at home with families but also to support parents in understanding the importance of sharing stories.
The EEL applied for the SLIF funding and was awarded £2000. We then ordered a range of texts and stories. Our 15 core texts and other favourites and well known authors. We consulted with children and asked them which stories they would like too.
When the books arrived the EEL and the literacy lead worked together to create packs which would be sent home to the families. These packs provided families with an introduction to the project with an explanation of what we aim to achieve through engagement with it and also gave families step by step support on how to upload and contribute to their child's tracked learning intention.
We created QR codes to videos of our enthusiastic educators sharing information about the stories and also step by step of what to do in the project.
Children have the opportunity to select a book from the library and take this home to share with their families. The families are then provided with all the information in the pack that they need to understand the importance of their engagement with this project. Each book has an identified comprehension skill inside which it is supporting the children to develop. Parents/carers can use this to identify what they are helping their child to develop.
Families are then encouraged to upload this family learning experience on to their child's learning journal which can then be added to the tracked learning and evidences family learning too.
"I never realised that sharing a book with my child would help them develop important literacy skills" - Parent
"I love having a book with my family" - Child
"It's a really fun way to learn together" - Parent