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Report on the Renfrewshire Literacy Approach : August 2015 – July 2017

Ellis, Susan and Anderson, Jess and Rowe, Adele (2018) Report on the Renfrewshire Literacy Approach : August 2015 – July 2017. [Report]

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Abstract

This report describes the first two years of the Renfrewshire Literacy Approach, designed to both raise general literacy attainment and to narrow the attainment gap between economically advantaged and disadvantaged children in Renfrewshire. The intervention was the result of a partnership between Renfrewshire Council and Strathclyde University. It was prompted by the recommendations of the Renfrewshire Tackling Poverty Commission and was funded jointly by Renfrewshire Council and the Scottish Government. Scope: The intervention took place in both primary and secondary schools. The primary school intervention was allocated the largest part of the funding. It involved rebalancing the teaching focus of the curriculum, introducing new pedagogies and more responsive use of resources. The changes were effected through a process of co-production between school professionals and university academics. In the primary sector, co-production involved academics working directly with the Head Teachers and teachers in all 49 primary schools. The secondary school intervention was smaller and more traditional in design. It was facilitated through existing Renfrewshire Council support networks and provided professional development directly to 63 teachers working in 10 subject areas. It focused on teaching the subject-specific literacy demands of particular disciplines. Neither intervention required a particular teaching programme or resource. Instead school staff identified and introduced those changes most likely to be sustainable and offer the best payoff in their own context. Research background: Two areas of research informed the analysis and subsequent interventions: literacy research knowledge and tools helped professionals identify and implement those changes most likely to raise attainment, and professional-development research informed the overall strategy for delivering effective change at scale.