blen’s focus on KS2 and KS3 is reflected in the fundamental interest in learning and teaching in the transitional stage between primary and secondary education. This is an important phase in the acquisition and development of academic literacy. This forum deals with the broader perspective and underlying concerns, skills and attitudes, learning and maturation which affect this process. This is a forum mostly in the spring/summer term which brings together curricular and methodological issues. The target groups of teachers are KS2 and 3 Co-ordinators, primary liaison teachers and subject teachers.
COG is blen’s most recent development area. Underlying all language and literacy development is cognition and learning with understanding. We hold an event on thinking skills focusing on mapping techniques. Follow-up materials from that conference are available on the website.
We distinguish two ways in which a person can be multi-literate. Firstly, a person can be literate in more than one language. Secondly, someone can be literate across different areas of skill or knowledge in one language – for instance, computer literacy, financial literacy, and so on. Here again we emphasise that proficiency is not merely a matter of being able to talk about these content areas, but of capability. The government’s National Literacy Strategy aims at enhancing basic literacy skills in order to equip children to cope with the curriculum and for fulfilling adult life. However, the national curriculum also makes demands on subject specific literacy. Furthermore, modern day society needs people who are literate and capable in different areas, communicate effectively and achieve through capability and motivation.
blen has provided a continuing forum for debating and clarifying these issues.