Words prove important in ‘Emerging Literacy’ report to Council Members

Members of The Highland Council’s Education, Children and Adult Services Committee have overwhelmingly ‘embraced, celebrated, and welcomed’ a report on ‘Emerging Literacy’ presented by the Northern Alliance, Emerging Literacy Development Team.

James Mctaggart, Early Years Educational Psychologist; James Cook, Raising Attainment in Literacy Officer;  Rebecca Castelo, Speech & Language Therapist; and Jennifer Pickering, Occupational Therapist enthralled Council Members with their update on the achievements of the roll out of the Emerging Literacy project.

Funded by the Education Scotland Innovation Fund, the Emerging Literacy Development Team is working with practitioners across the Northern Alliance local authorities in Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Moray, Orkney, and Shetland to provide resources that enables teachers from Primary 1 onwards to adapt literacy teaching to the developmental status of their pupils.

The project, which reaches across the Northern alliance, was initially created in Highland with Highland Council resources and its development has been supported by many teachers in Highland schools. Cross Alliance work has enabled this to be spread and further built upon this year.

Drew Millar, Chair of the Education, Children and Adult Services Committee said: “There are clear examples of the benefits the integrated team have created. It is also good see that the Northern Alliance is working well. This report shows that the literacy attainment gaps are beginning to close. Congratulations to the team on all the great work they are doing.”

Bill Alexander, Director of Care and Learning thanked Members for celebrating this ground breaking work, he said: “Members have enabled this opportunity through the creation of integrated care and learning between Highland Council and NHS Highland. 

“The team are captivating local authorities across the Northern Alliance with this work which is about supporting teachers to work with children through their development stages, in the critical literacy skills, and about how we support parents in the early stages of their child’s development.

Members embraced the work done to support developmentally appropriate teaching and learning in literacy in the early level; celebrated the unique partnership of education, health and other professionals in improving literacy outcomes for young children; welcomed the developments across the Northern alliance and the lead role played by Highland staff in this; and agreed to endorse the direction of travel and agree to receive further reports on progress and effectiveness of the approach to emerging literacy. 

27 Oct 2016
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