TES: new DfE funded mumbo-jumbo to aid literacy

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TES: new DfE funded mumbo-jumbo to aid literacy

Post by Susan Godsland » Fri Feb 10, 2012 10:59 am

Primaries to boost literacy with 't'ai chi-style' exercises

http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=6176699
Hundreds of five-year-olds are to get a new addition to their timetables in a bid to boost their literacy: exercise.

The 10-minute routines of controlled movements, likened to t'ai chi by one teacher, will be introduced at 40 primary schools to train pupils out of reflexes in their bodies that can hamper their reading and writing.

Most children grow out of certain reflexes, such as the way a baby grasps a finger placed in its palm, but when they do not it can slow development and have an impact on their learning, according to researchers. They have now devised exercises - many of which are accompanied by songs and nursery rhymes - to help to "switch off" the reflexes, aiding children's ability to concentrate.

Dr Martin McPhillips, a psychology lecturer at Queen's University Belfast who has studied the phenomenon, estimates that among the children in the bottom 10 per cent for reading, 60-70 per cent may have so-called "persistent primary reflexes".
On the BBC too - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-16971411
The project is one of six to have won a grant from the government-funded £125m Education Endowment Fund.

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Re: TES: new DfE funded mumbo-jumbo to aid literacy

Post by Susan Godsland » Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:09 pm

http://www.education.gov.uk/inthenews/i ... ged-pupils
The Secretary of State for Education has today allocated £110 million to establish an education endowment fund (EEF) designed to raise standards in underperforming schools.

The EEF will distribute money to local authorities, academy sponsors, charities and other groups that bring forward innovative proposals to improve performance in our most challenging schools. Those bidding for funds from the EEF will have to outline how their proposals will raise attainment. Bidders must also demonstrate how they will be held accountable for the success of their proposals.
Each project will have to meet tough criteria in order to be awarded funding, and bidders must prove their innovative, bold and rigorous approaches will support school improvement
Obviously, having even a tenuous link with real science not one of those 'tough criteria' :roll:

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Re: TES: new DfE funded mumbo-jumbo to aid literacy

Post by Susan Godsland » Sat Feb 11, 2012 7:40 pm

Son of Brain Gym: Dancing to Nursery Rhymes Boosts A-Levels or something.

http://behaviourguru.blogspot.com/2012/ ... rsery.html

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Re: TES: new DfE funded mumbo-jumbo to aid literacy

Post by Susan Godsland » Fri Feb 17, 2012 12:27 pm

Oh my goodness, all is explained :mad:

'This is the biggest issue we face in education' says Kevan Collins 'the first leader of the Education Endowment Foundation'. Kevan Collins must tackle the underperformance of poor children'

http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=6179224
No wonder Kevan Collins is smiling. As the man in charge of the last pot of education money in England, his job is akin to standing in an open-topped limo throwing wads of cash to the cheering crowds of grateful teachers below.
Dr Collins (he has a PhD in literacy development from the University of Leeds) is probably best known in education for his role as the first director of the Primary National Strategy, Labour's attempt to revitalise the National Literacy and Numeracy Strategies
The EEF will not pay for schools to continue with core or well-established programmes and it expects every project to cost at least £50,000 and reach at least 100 pupils.

It is a very different beast from the approach under Labour, when interventions were rolled out nationally on the basis that if something worked, all children should have a crack at it.
Put 'Kevan Collins' into the RRF message board search box and you will find a slew of messages describing how Kevan Collins assured the Parliamentary Select Committee that the NLS multi-cueing strategy was based on the work of Marilyn Adams.

He and Ruth Kelly also claimed (after the Clackmannanshire study was published and after the House of Commons inquiry) that "synthetic phonics is at the heart of the NLS"

No wonder he's smiling.

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Re: TES: new DfE funded mumbo-jumbo to aid literacy

Post by Debbie Hepplewhite » Fri Feb 17, 2012 8:38 pm

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5159

It seems to me that they could have saved the money (millions of pounds) being spent on research if they heeded approaches that have already been found to work as described via John Walker's blog and thanks to Susan's recommended reading (see link).

Kevan Collins and the government need to learn about this early language work.

And they need to be fully alerted to the anti-desk, anti paper and pencil culture that is gathering momentum in England.

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Re: TES: new DfE funded mumbo-jumbo to aid literacy

Post by Susan Godsland » Fri Apr 20, 2012 10:29 am

Oh dear, yet another movement and exercise programme said to improve reading skills :roll:

http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=6210930

The oracle tells me that a pot of DfE money is heading Dr. McClelland's way to help fund her research.
Dr McClelland said that her programme draws on several studies that show movement programmes can help to improve children's reading.

It was in part inspired by Professor Usha Goswami, director of the Centre for Neuroscience in Education at the University of Cambridge, who has published evidence on the link between being able to hear rhythm in music and reading ability.

Dr McClelland points out that there is little definitive research into exactly how such initiatives work, but she has recently completed a study of 248 children who are using her programme and found that they improved faster than similar children. Below-average readers make five times the progress in reading age than expected over the 12-week period of the programme, Dr McClelland said.

Julia Percy, a Year 5 teacher at Christ Church Primary School in Leigh, Greater Manchester, used the programme, aimed at Years 3-7, last year and is repeating it this year. "There is nothing in there that is about practising reading; it is all exercises," said Ms Percy. "But we saw the reading ages of some children really improve and the children themselves commented that their concentration had never been better.

"We want to look at more long-term results, because classes can vary so much from year to year, but we have decided to carry on with it and give it a good go."

Nicola Matthews, a Year 5 teacher at Rose Hill Primary School in Oxford, who has been following the programme since January with her class, has also reported positive results.

"We start with fast marching to music, swinging arms and legs in time. Then there are coordination exercises, eye exercises and a clapping sequence," she said. "They really enjoy and it ends with breathing and relaxation. Quite a few of the children, maybe 12 of the 29, say it is easier to concentrate and feel they can read more speedily."

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Re: TES: new DfE funded mumbo-jumbo to aid literacy

Post by Debbie Hepplewhite » Fri Apr 20, 2012 7:43 pm

Isn't our country supposed to be broke? :???:

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Re: TES: new DfE funded mumbo-jumbo to aid literacy

Post by Derrie Clark » Sat Apr 21, 2012 11:18 am

"There is nothing in there that is about practising reading; it is all exercises," said Ms Percy. "But we saw the reading ages of some children really improve and the children themselves commented that their concentration had never been better.
Do you think these 'some' children are perhaps practising reading at home?

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Re: TES: new DfE funded mumbo-jumbo to aid literacy

Post by JIM CURRAN » Wed Jan 02, 2013 2:16 pm

When you keep on hearing the same names in different high profile jobs in education, irrespective of their past record, you get the feeling that it’s all a bit like moving the deckchairs on the Titanic.

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Re: TES: new DfE funded mumbo-jumbo to aid literacy

Post by Derrie Clark » Wed Jan 02, 2013 10:39 pm

So true Jim.

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Re: TES: new DfE funded mumbo-jumbo to aid literacy

Post by Susan Godsland » Sat Mar 22, 2014 10:58 am

http://britisheducationpolicy.wordpress ... e-noticed/
The truth is that many of the studies included in Hattie’s Visible Learning, for example, fail to meet the basic standards of methodological rigour. Reading Recovery is a good example. As the evaluation report from the EEF notes, of 78 existing studies on Reading Recovery only 4 met basic evidential standards.

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Re: TES: new DfE funded mumbo-jumbo to aid literacy

Post by Susan Godsland » Sat Mar 22, 2014 11:56 am

List of tax-payer funded EEF projects 'completed' or 'in progress'

http://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/projects/

According to EEF ''Each project will have to meet tough criteria in order to be awarded funding, and bidders must prove their innovative, bold and rigorous approaches will support school improvement''

As I commented earlier in the thread, in the case of some of the projects chosen, having even a tenuous link with real science is obviously not one of those 'tough criteria'

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Re: TES: new DfE funded mumbo-jumbo to aid literacy

Post by Debbie Hepplewhite » Sat Mar 22, 2014 3:45 pm

But look at the bottom paragraph of this page: http://britisheducationpolicy.wordpress ... e-noticed/
For now the publication of these initial reports should be welcomed. They will not immediately tell us how to improve the education system but they will start to give us an idea about what works (reading recovery-style literacy catch-up programmes ) and what doesn’t (Catch-Up Numeracy). If this knowledge informs decisions that school leaders make about where to invest time and money then we are certainly moving in the right direction.
And yet, Susan, if we follow the link from the word 'programmes' (I've made the word red here), it virtually promotes reading recovery-style/ catch-up! :sad:

http://educationendowmentfoundation.org ... n-reading/
The project

Switch-on Reading is an intensive 10-week literacy intervention. It is delivered on a one to one basis by staff, most commonly teaching assistants, who have been trained in the approach. The purpose of Switch-on is to achieve functional literacy for as many pupils as possible, and so to close the reading achievement gap for vulnerable children working below age-expected levels. It is inspired by the well-established intervention Reading Recovery, which is teacher led and delivered over a 12-20 week period.
Most ambiguous.

What are people to think?

On one page they read that Reading Recovery might not be cracked up to be what is always being claimed - and via one of the links we go to a programme 'inspired' by Reading Recovery.

No wonder the 'understanding' of reading instruction and intervention amongst the teaching profession is not universal.

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Re: TES: new DfE funded mumbo-jumbo to aid literacy

Post by Debbie Hepplewhite » Sat Mar 22, 2014 3:55 pm

You would have hoped and thought that there would be interest from the universities and the DfE in trialling all the programmes which passed rigorous scrutiny for the phonics match-funded initiative from April 2011 to October 2013.

I still consider that there are so many dots which simply are not joined up in our profession.

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Re: TES: new DfE funded mumbo-jumbo to aid literacy

Post by maizie » Sat Mar 22, 2014 7:26 pm

Debbie Hepplewhite wrote:You would have hoped and thought that there would be interest from the universities and the DfE in trialling all the programmes which passed rigorous scrutiny for the phonics match-funded initiative from April 2011 to October 2013.
'Fraid not, Debbie. They're commercial you see.

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