Wrapping paper has been cleared away and recycled (hopefully!), the tree and decorations are back in the loft, it’s dark outside, and February feels such a long way away. That can only mean one thing…

Back to school!

But there’s that one child in your class that you’re worried about. A bright child who answers every question spot on, but who’s writing doesn’t reflect their comprehension. Or the quiet child who panics when you ask them to read aloud. Or that child who’s had 1:1 literacy support for the past two years but doesn’t seem to be making the progress you would expect them to. Or the child who always looks blank when you’ve given the class their instructions for the lesson. How can you support them?

Tools to succeed

We believe that the best way to support these learners is to provide the whole school with the tools needed to identify children with literacy difficulties. Drive for Literacy is our year long programme through which our Facilitators will work collaboratively with you on this journey, training, advising and signposting to ensure the best possible classroom practice. A holistic joint review of your literacy and SEND provision will identify three areas of focus. Needs in each school will differ. So, Drive for Literacy will differ. The case study below illustrates one expression of building a whole school literacy culture.

In one of our Drive for Literacy partner schools in 2017/8 – a large mixed comprehensive – any teacher was welcome to the “drop-in clinic” held by the Facilitator. Teachers came from across the school, from Maths to Drama to English to PE for insightful advice and guidance. No question too small! One drama teacher found that students were struggling to plan and structure an essay on Shakespeare’s Othello. But with a planning session which involved colour coding and group discussion, all students were subsequently engaged and enthused to write.

“We’ve been able to talk about systems and processes but also different students and different needs. This has been of great value to the school.” (school SENCo)

2019 bursary offer

In 2019, Drive for Literacy is offered with a generous bursaryup to 75% off running costs. This is to ensure that the schools most in need of support can afford it. Over 50% of schools will pay just £2,995 for an audit, eight consultancy days, six professional learning workshops, and end-of-year impact review as well as contact throughout the programme. Schools also benefit from access to DYT’s literacy and SEND networks. You can use our bursary calculator to see if you’re eligible for a bursary.

New Year’s resolution

Driver Youth Trust is committed to improving outcomes for these children – the ones struggling with literacy. There are three of these children in each classroom on average (Fish in the Tree 2016). We want to further empower teachers and schools through training, advice and guidance which gives them an increased capacity to identify and support these children. Make this your resolution too, and apply for Drive for Literacy today.