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literacy hour


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Part of the government's National Literacy Strategy (NLS) introduced in 1998. While the NLS framework explains what should be taught, the literacy hour is the means of teaching it. It is a compulsory part of primary education which requires primary teachers to deliver a daily literacy lesson according to a recommended structure. Pupils are taught for the first half of the lesson as a whole class, and for the second part of the lesson they work in groups or individually, with the teacher focusing on supporting one group. The lesson ends with the pupils sharing and reflecting on what they have learned. What is taught can vary, but the general aim of the literacy hour is to raise the standard of pupils' reading, writing, spelling, grammar, and communication skills. The recommended structure of a literacy hour is as follows:

I. F. W.

Isabella Wallace

Section 1 (15 minutes)

Whole‐class guided reading

Section 2 (15 minutes)

Whole‐class word‐ or sentence‐level work

Section 3 (20 minutes)

Group or individual work while the teacher works with one or more ability group

Section 4 (10 minutes)

Whole‐class plenary session

Subjects: Education.


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