Course: MA Primary Education
Student ID : 1103059
Subject: Language and Literacy
Essay title: Literacy and Numeracy are seen as essential, cross-curricular skills. Identify the place of literacy in the Scottish primary curriculum and then at greater length, explore how grounding in literacy skills will facilitate in other curriculum areas in delivering the Curriculum for Excellence.
Word Count: 1912
The curriculum for excellence is organised into eight subject areas: Expressive Arts, Health and Wellbeing, Languages, Mathematics, Religious and Moral Education, Sciences, Social Studies, and Technologies. The Scottish primary curriculum recognises the importance of each of these subjects . However, literacy is seen as fundamental as it “unlocks access to the wider curriculum” ( Curriculum for excellence: Literacy across learning principles and practice). Literacy is organised into three strands: reading , writing and talking and listening. From my school placement experience, and personal reading I will discuss how grounding in each of these literacy strands can help facilitate children in their knowledge acquisition, and understanding of other curriculum areas.
The curriculum for excellence defines literacy as a “set of skills which allows an individual to engage fully in society and in learning through the different forms of language, and the range of texts which society values and finds useful” Within the curriculum literacy is organised into three strands: reading, writing and talking and listening. Reading is a skill which can greatly help children in all curriculum areas. However, it is essential that children foster a positive attitude towards reading from the early stages, in order for this to occur. “For the youngest children, well before the age of five, sharing and enjoying favourite books regularly with trusted adults, be they parents, carers, practitioners or teachers, is at the heart of this activity.”(Rose, 2006). While on placement in a nursery school I witnessed how an interest in reading can be promoted which was having a library for the children to go to. “ “library equips students with lifelong learning skills and develops their imagination, thereby enabling them to live as responsible citizens”.(Premars and Willars, 2002) Before home time the teacher would select a book to read to the children in the library, and would involve the children by asking a question like “what do you think will happen next?” “The very hungry caterpillar” was one book the teacher read to the children, which helped the children with their knowledge of the subject Health and Well-being, as from it the children learned about the importance of eating healthily in order to grow big and strong. The children also developed their Numeracy skills from the reading, when they counted the number of fruits the caterpillar eat each day. I could see that the children were all developing an interest in reading which encouraged them to go to the reading area by themselves a pick a book to look at. This was also helping them to establish an interest in other curriculum areas. One girl pick up a book on shapes, and she was pointing at a triangle, and she asked me “what is that?” with great curiosity. Another boy asked me to read a book about earthquakes to him, and as I was reading the book to the boy more children came over when they heard the excitement in my voice. After the reading. I asked the students to stand up and shake as though there was an earthquake, in order to encourage physical activity among the children. As children progress through the primary curriculum collaboration between teachers and Parents is vital for children‘s reading skills. “Children whose parents said they heard them read at home had markedly higher reading attainments at age 7 and 8 than children who did not receive this kind of help from their parents.”. While on placement with Primary 4 the teacher assigned the...
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