The Challenge of Literacy in Schools


Education is all incredibly important, as I’m sure you’ll agree.

I’m sure that you’ll also agree that the delivery of education brings up issues that are sometimes apparently unsolvable. The answer to these things is always going to be more attention, rather than less.

If I understand things correctly, these are the things that schools are running into:

a) Some of the materials they are required to teach are too difficult for some children.It sounds obvious, but is worth a close look: taking in required data and contributing to it in some way, as a definition of ‘education’, is more difficult for some than for others. This is doubly a problem due to the natural literacy levels of young children.

b) It appears that the standard application of common sense means that a whole year's curriculum cannot be covered in one year. This seems self-evident. Some children will quickly grasp some aspects of what they are being taught; others won’t. The clock is ticking, the days go by and there are only so many hours in each day.

What to do?

One absolutely spot-on solution is to aim to increase literacy level through introducing Phonics a little earlier, intensifying its delivery as early as possible and making sure that teachers are familiar with everything to do with it. I would highly recommend that all teachers re-study phonics and be mentored through re-training if appropriate. This should include receiving precise coaching on it under someone who knows what he or she is doing.

Asking teachers from Reception class level up to increase the amount of time each day spent on phonics, numbers and writing is also a correct move. This doesn’t even have to be much time. I am familiar with a school where the procedures around registering c