Tag Archives: Probationers

Probationer CPD – Active Literacy

This week Probationers in Falkirk Council have been engaging in professional development on Active Literacy – one of the resources used in Falkirk Council to teach literacy in our primary schools.

To begin the session an introduction video from Falkirk Council’s YouTube channel was shared.

Further videos to Active Literacy can be found at the link below.


The session was then broken down into three sections – spelling and phonics, reading and writing.

The teaching of phonics using magnetic boards was explained and the importance of distinguishing between the spelling of tricky words (words which cannot be ‘sounded out’) and phonics was discussed.  Spelling strategies in upper school were also shared and evaluated.

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Kayleigh Docherty then introduced how she taught reading in her classroom using the Thinking Reader approach.  Kayleigh completed her probationary year in Falkirk Council last year and was happy to share her experiences.

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More information can be found on Thinking Reader at the following websites:




Probationers Experience Active Literacy

 Sharon Wallace, Curriculum Support Team has delivered Active Literacy training this week to all primary probationer teachers in Falkirk.

The two sessions covered the range of strategies and methodologies used across all stages to develop skills in all areas of literacy.

The probationers enthusiastically participated in activities including a spelling test to highlight how we draw on our own phonological awareness, knowledge of spelling rules and phonemes to spell words. They also put a series of words into Elkonin boxes examining the 40 phonemes in the Active Literacy programme.

Sharon provided the primary probationers with a full overview of the programme from early to second level. They developed their knowledge of phonemic awareness, spelling strategies including: mnemonics, words within words and syllabification. Colleagues are aware of how the five finger strategy, effective use of resources such as Smart notebook tools, magnetic boards and letters and reciprocal teaching can enable pupils to become better spellers. Evidence is showing that pupils are transferring their knowledge of phonemes to other types of writing in different situations.

Sharon also explained how the six key comprehension reading strategies are used across a range of ‘texts’. Probationer teachers discussed the reading skills they are currently developing with their classes and how the six key comprehension strategies supports this development.

In terms of writing, Sharon provided colleagues with an overview of the seven different genres and how these should be addressed across the course of the year.

Sharon also shared the new Active Literacy for parents animation.

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/TnXMSAcKcCo" width="425" height="344" allowfullscreen="true" fvars="fs=1" /]Feedback so far has been very positive and has included:

“Thanks very much for the course. I feel really enthusiastic and excited to try out the Active Literacy strategies in class.”