Chris Leicester Chris Leicester Chris Leicester Chris Leicester



The workshops can assist schools deliver the national and school curriculum and meet targets in the following areas:

1. Helping teachers deliver under proposals set out in the introductions in the proposed  education review, especially in the area of; ‘Bringing the curriculum to life.’

Education Secretary Michael Gove writes:

‘The Government envisages schools and teachers taking greater control over what is taught in schools and how it is taught, using their professional skills and experience to provide the best educational experience for all their pupils. In order to bring the curriculum to life, teachers need the space to create lessons which engage their pupils, and children need the time to develop their ability to understand, retain and apply what they have learnt.

The review will take place in two phases. The core subjects of English, mathematics and science will remain subjects within the National Curriculum, with statutory Programmes of Study from Key Stage 1 to Key Stage 4. The first phase of the review will, therefore, consider the essential knowledge (e.g. facts, concepts, principles and fundamental operations) that children need to be taught in order to progress and develop their understanding in these subjects, and draft new Programmes of Study with a view to them being taught in maintained schools from September 2013.’

2. Helping schools to assist the government alleviate its anxieties about the restrictions current theatre licensing regulations impose upon young people performing in outside theatre groups, and how their personal development might be affected as a result. They are concerned that not enough children are given the opportunity to perform in such theatre productions because of the regulations. Visiting theatre can bring performance and its benefits to schools thus bi-passing restrictive regulations and the problems these create.

Children’s Minister Tim Loughton said:
‘We have a great tradition of amateur theatre in this country, especially at this time of the year when the local pantomime or Christmas show brings local communities together. It is crazy that some children are being denied the chance to perform in local shows and that some amateur groups avoid putting on shows with children’s roles. Local authorities are doing their best to follow the law but amateur groups have been put off from applying for child performance licences.

That’s why we need to review the law in the future, and in the meantime we are making it clearer to local licensing officers and amateur groups how they can make it quicker and easier to involve children in amateur performances.

Performing gives children fantastic skills and helps them build their confidence. The law needs reviewing to ensure children are not denied the opportunities of performing in an amateur or professional capacity. But there is also agreement that we must keep children safe from potential exploitation and make sure their education doesn’t suffer.’

3. Helping schools deliver National Strategy learning objectives. This taken from the National Strategies website (archived due to the current review).


Primary framework for literacy: learning objectives

Year 5

Year 6

Progression Year 6/7

1 Speaking 

Tell a story using notes designed to cue techniques, such as repetition, recap and humour

Use a range of oral techniques to present persuasive arguments and engaging narratives

Use exploratory, hypothetical and speculative talk as a tool for clarifying ideas

Present a spoken argument, sequencing points logically, defending views with evidence and making use of persuasive language

Participate in whole-class debate using the conventions and language of debate, including standard English

Tailor the structure, vocabulary and delivery of a talk or presentation so that it is helpfully sequenced and supported by gesture or other visual aid as appropriate

Use and explore different question types and different ways words are used, including in formal and informal contexts

Use the techniques of dialogic talk to explore ideas, topics or issues

Use standard English consistently in formal situations and promote, justify or defend a point of view using supporting evidence, example and illustration which are linked back to the main argument

2 Listening and responding

Identify different question types and evaluate their impact on the audience

Make notes when listening for a sustained period and discuss how note-taking varies depending on context and purpose

Listen for and recall the main points of a talk, reading or TV programme, reflecting on what has been heard to ask searching questions, make comments or challenge the views expressed

Identify some aspects of talk that vary between formal and informal occasions

Analyse and evaluate how speakers present points effectively through use of language and gesture

Identify the main methods used by presenters to explain, persuade, amuse or argue a case, e.g. emotive language

Analyse the use of persuasive language

Listen for language variation in formal and informal contexts

Investigate differences between spoken and written language structures


Identify the ways spoken language varies according to differences in the context and purpose of its use


3 Group discussion and interaction 

Plan and manage a group task over time using different levels of planning

Consider examples of conflict and resolution, exploring the language used

Adopt a range of roles in discussion, including acting as a spokesperson, and contribute in different ways such as promoting, opposing, exploring and questioning

Understand different ways to take the lead and support others in groups

Understand and use a variety of ways to criticise constructively and respond to criticism

Identify and report the main points emerging from discussion

Understand the process of decision making


Acknowledge other people's views, justifying or modifying their own views in the light of what others say



Work together logically and methodically to solve problems, make deductions, share, test and evaluate ideas

4 Drama 

Reflect on how working in role helps to explore complex issues

Improvise using a range of drama strategies and conventions to explore themes such as hopes, fears and desires

Develop drama techniques to explore in role a variety of situations and texts or respond to stimuli

Perform a scripted scene making use of dramatic conventions

Devise a performance considering how to adapt the performance for a specific audience

Develop drama techniques and strategies for anticipating, visualising and problem solving in different learning contexts

Use and recognise the impact of theatrical effects in drama

Consider the overall impact of a live or recorded performance, identifying dramatic ways of conveying characters' ideas and building tension

Work collaboratively to devise and present scripted and unscripted pieces that maintain the attention of an audience, and reflect on and evaluate their own presentations and those of others


7 Understanding and interpreting texts 

Make notes on and use evidence from across a text to explain events or ideas

Appraise a text quickly, deciding on its value, quality or usefulness

Locate resources for a specific task, appraising the value and relevance of information and acknowledging sources

Infer writers' perspectives from what is written and from what is implied

Understand underlying themes, causes and points of view

Read between the lines and find evidence for their interpretation

Compare different types of narrative and information texts and identify how they are structured

Understand how writers use different structures to create coherence and impact

Identify how print, images and sounds combine to create meaning

Distinguish between everyday use of words and their subject-specific use

Explore how word meanings change when used in different contexts

Infer the meanings of unknown words using syntax, context, word structures and origins

Explore how writers use language for comic and dramatic effects

Recognise rhetorical devices used to argue, persuade, mislead and sway the reader

Identify the ways writers of non-fiction match language and organisation to their intentions

8 Engaging and responding to texts 

Reflect on reading habits and preferences and plan personal reading goals

Read extensively and discuss personal reading with others, including in reading groups

Read a range of recent fiction texts independently as the basis for developing critical reflection and personal response

Compare the usefulness of techniques such as visualisation, prediction and empathy in exploring the meaning of texts

Sustain engagement with longer texts, using different techniques to make the text come alive

Explore the notion of literary heritages and understand why some texts have been particularly influential or significant

Compare how a common theme is presented in poetry, prose and other media

Compare how writers from different times and places present experiences and use language

Write reflectively about a text, distinguishing between the attitudes and assumptions of characters and those of the author and taking account of
the needs of others who might read it


Year 7

Year 8

Speaking and listening – 1 Listening and responding

1.1 Developing active listening skills and strategies

identify key features of speech in a variety of contexts, and some key skills and strategies used by speakers

explain the effect of specific features of speech, the skills and strategies used by speakers, and identify areas for improvement

1.2 Understanding and responding to what speakers say in formal and informal contexts

identify, sift and summarise the most important points or key ideas from a talk or discussion

explain the speaker's intentions and make inferences from speech in a variety of contexts

Speaking and listening – 2 Speaking and presenting

2.1 Developing and adapting speaking skills and strategies in formal and informal contexts

tailor the structure and vocabulary of talk to clarify ideas and guide the listener

select the most appropriate way to structure speech for clarity and effect, taking into account task, audience, purpose and context, and the range of supporting resources available

use some verbal and non-verbal techniques to make talk interesting for listeners

engage listeners' attention and interest by using a range of different verbal and non-verbal techniques

2.2 Using and adapting the conventions and forms of spoken texts

recognise different conventions and forms in speech

make some appropriate selections from a range of conventions and forms in speech

use the main conventions of standard English when appropriate

use standard English, adapting the level of formality to different situations

Speaking and listening – 3 Group discussion and interaction

3.1 Developing and adapting discussion skills and strategies in formal and informal contexts

make clear and relevant contributions to group discussion, promoting, opposing, exploring and questioning as appropriate

make a sustained contribution to group discussion, and illustrate and explain their ideas

help discussions succeed by acknowledging and responding to the contributions of others

listen carefully, ask pertinent questions and make suggestions in order to solve problems and test ideas

3.2 Taking roles in group discussion

take different roles in group discussion as required by the task or context

develop the skills required for group discussion by taking a variety of designated roles including acting as spokesperson for the group by reporting the main strands of thought or decisions

Speaking and listening – 4 Drama, role-play and performance

4.1 Using different dramatic approaches to explore ideas, texts and issues

explore ideas, texts and issues through a variety of dramatic approaches and conventions

use specific dramatic approaches and conventions in structured ways for effective exploration of ideas, texts, issues and themes

4.2 Developing, adapting and responding to dramatic techniques, conventions and styles

work on their own and with others to develop dramatic processes, narratives, performances or roles

develop and sustain processes, narratives, performances and roles through the use of a variety of dramatic conventions, techniques and styles

comment on the effectiveness of the different dramatic conventions and techniques used

evaluate the impact and effectiveness of a range of dramatic conventions and techniques

Reading – 5 Reading for meaning: understanding and responding to print, electronic and multi-modal texts

5.1 Developing and adapting active reading skills and strategies

extract the main points and relevant information from a text or source using a range of strategies such as skimming and scanning

use a range of reading strategies to retrieve relevant information and main points from texts, distinguishing between fact and opinion where appropriate

use inference and deduction to recognise implicit meanings at sentence and text level

use inference and deduction to explore layers of meaning within a text

make relevant notes when gathering ideas from texts

make relevant notes when researching different sources, comparing and contrasting information

5.2 Understanding and responding to ideas, viewpoints, themes and purposes in texts

identify and understand the main ideas, viewpoints, themes and purposes in a text

trace the development of a writer's ideas, viewpoint and themes

make a personal response to a text and provide some textual reference in support

respond to a text by making precise points and providing relevant evidence in support of those points

5.3 Reading and engaging with a wide and varied range of texts

make informed personal choices of texts and express their preferences

broaden their experience of reading a wide range of texts and express their preferences and opinions

understand how readers choose and respond to texts

explore how different audiences choose and respond to texts

Reading – 6 Understanding the author's craft

6.1 Relating texts to the social, historical and cultural contexts in which they were written

understand the different ways texts can reflect the social, cultural and historical contexts in which they were written

explore the concept of literary heritage, why certain texts are important within it and how some texts have influenced culture and thinking

6.2 Analysing how writers' use of linguistic and literary features shapes and influences meaning

identify and describe the effect of writers' use of specific literary, rhetorical and grammatical features

explore the range, variety and overall effect on readers of literary, rhetorical and grammatical features used by writers of literary and non-literary texts

6.3 Analysing writers' use of organisation, structure, layout and presentation

explore the range of different ways writers use layout, form and presentation in a variety of texts

explain how specific choices and combinations of form, layout and presentation create particular effects

explore the variety and range of ways the content of texts can be organised, structured and combined

explain how specific structural and organisational choices in texts create particular effects

Writing – 7 Composition: generating ideas, planning and drafting

7.1 Generating ideas, planning and drafting

develop different ways of generating, organising and shaping ideas, using a range of planning formats or methods

explore, problem-solve, connect and shape ideas, and identify the most appropriate approach to planning their writing

7.2 Using and adapting the conventions and forms of texts on paper and on screen

draw on the conventions of written forms to plan writing and develop ideas to fit a specific task

plan writing and develop ideas to suit a specific audience, purpose and task by adapting familiar forms and conventions

Writing – 8 Composition: shaping and constructing language for expression and effect

8.1 Developing viewpoint, voice and ideas

develop character and voice in their own fiction writing

draw on some techniques and devices used by writers in order to develop distinctive character and voice in their own fiction

develop their own viewpoint, drawing on evidence, opinions and the particular purpose of the task

select techniques and devices used by writers, and draw on a range of evidence, opinions, information and the purpose of the task, in order to develop a consistent viewpoint in their own non-fiction writing

8.2 Varying sentences and punctuation for clarity and effect

use punctuation accurately to clarify meaning and create effects in clauses, sentences and when writing speech

draw on the full range of punctuation, including colons and semicolons, to clarify meaning, aid cohesion and create a variety of effects

vary sentence length and structure in order to provide appropriate detail, make clear the relationship between ideas, and create effects according to task, purpose and reader

draw on their knowledge of a wide variety of sentence lengths and structures, including complex sentences, and apply it to their own writing to clarify ideas and create a range of effects according to task, purpose and reader

8.3 Improving vocabulary for precision and impact

use vocabulary precisely and imaginatively to clarify and extend meaning and create specific effects

create considered and appropriate effects by drawing independently on the range and variety of their own vocabulary, and by using strategies and resources to extend their available choices

8.4 Developing varied linguistic and literary techniques

develop in their own writing some of the key linguistic and literary techniques used by writers, and deploy them for deliberate effect on the reader

draw on a repertoire of linguistic and literary techniques, and select those most appropriate for creating specific effects in their own writing

8.5 Structuring, organising and presenting texts in a variety of forms on paper and on screen

make ideas and purpose clear by appropriate use of paragraphs and by choosing from a range of linking words and phrases

use a range of cohesive devices with audience and purpose in mind, drawing on experience of how writers develop and connect ideas within and between paragraphs

shape the overall organisation, sequence and presentation of a text to convey ideas clearly and effectively

experiment with different ways of presenting texts, drawing on a range of modes, formats and media with the needs of the reader in mind

8.6 Developing and using editing and proofreading skills on paper and on screen

make improvements to a piece of writing as it progresses by developing techniques for editing, proofreading and making revisions

apply skills in editing and proofreading in a range of different texts and contexts, reviewing and revising writing as it progresses

Language – 10 Exploring and analysing language

10.1 Exploring language variation and development according to time, place, culture, society and technology

identify some of the ways in which spoken English varies in different regions and settings

investigate spoken English from a range of regions and settings and explain how it varies

identify some of the changes that have happened in the English language over time

investigate texts from a range of historical periods to show how the English language has changed and varied over time

10.2 Commenting on language use

describe and find examples of how language is used in different contexts

explain some of the ways in which language varies according to different contexts

understand and make use of the most common terms used to describe language when referring to their own or others' language use

explain how linguistic concepts are related, and use the terminology in ways that help them describe and review language use

4. Helping schools deliver targets which seek to improve the literacy levels of boys in particular. These are selected points taken from, 'Boy's underachievement in Literacy. What can be done?' (Doherty & Hughes (2009) Child Development: Theory and Practice 0-11 Chapter 10: 'Concerns about differencess in the achievments of boys and girls are not new. Whist a number of factors that influence the existence of differences have been found including pupil attitudes and motivation, as well as various home and classroom factors (including the gender of the teacher!) other research projects have identidied strategies that do support boy's literary achievements, especially in writing, (Marsh & Millard, 2000; Barrs & Cork, 2001; Bearne & Warrington 2003). Drawing upon these and other recent Ofsted findings the following strategies are identified as improving boy's performance in writing.

- Oral work which gives gives opportunities for independent articulation of ideas
- Boy's preference is for active learning; learning through doing. Writing should be seen as a result at the end of challenging process, not the process itself   
- Start with transactional writing and move towards creative fiction
- Boys preference is for problem solving and games, what games can be created around reading and writing
- Allow sound-recorded presentations suppported by posters
- Use the examples and involvment of male writers in the comunity 

5. Helping schools demonstrate diversity and equality via the workshops, by providing children, (and especially those in recognised areas of deprivation), with experiences they may not otherwise encounter and benefit from. It might also help the school by strengthening any bids they may wish to present for funds which support this activity in the future. 

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