Tag: metalinguistics

Sharing Reading Approaches with Parents and Carers at St. Bernadette’s RCPS

parents 1 st bsParents and carers from St. Bernadette’s RCPS engaged in an active learning reading session on Thursday 26th February. Pupils from across the stages participated in the session sharing their knowledge and understanding of reading skills and strategies with both parents and visitors from St. Ninian’s Primary School in Stirling.

Falkirk Council’s Literacy team delivered the session sharing the good practice embedded in the school and two P6 pupils confidently and competently delivered a short presentation which included a very impressive i-movie and musical rap demonstrating reading skills.

Parents took part in a thinking reader session using the text ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’.  The strategies and key ideas to support children at home were shared and explained.

parents 2 st bs

The six strategies are:

1) Prior knowledge and understanding

2) Metalinguistics

3) Visualisation

4) Inference

5) Main ideas

6) Summarising.

The visitors were then treated to a marketplace style tour of pupil work from across the stages.

Feedback included:

  • This was enjoyable, fun, great insight into children’s learning. It’s amazing to have the evidence exhibited in children…. Amazing
  • Good to show how the kids learn and the wide variety of text. Learned how important the kids understanding the text is and understanding of words.
  • Very informative so impressed by the work of the pupils. Fab!
  • The session was very helpful. Helps me understand more about how reading is taught and delivered in school! Will use at home.
  • Very useful allowed insight into strategies employed within school (would be helpful having “bullet point” newsletter on this.
  • I really enjoyed this session. I find it incredible and inspiring to realise the skills the children are managing to acquire at such a young age.
  • Reading is a wonderful life skill so anything that encourages it is a great idea.
  • I found the session helpful in relation to encouraging reading skills to my grandson. Maybe an information night for grandparents/carers would be beneficial.
  • Really good to see such creative children that seem to really enjoy what they are doing.


Literacy Strategy Celebration of Success

Monday 12th January saw over 100 people attending a celebration of Falkirk Council’s Literacy Strategy event at Camelon Education Centre. Representatives from all of the 8 work streams including parents, pupils from Bonnybridge Primary and Grangemouth High School, teachers, Education Scotland, Library Resource Services,  businesses, partners, Falkirk Herald, Forth Valley College, the author Stuart Reid, librarians, development officers from neighbouring authorities, Scottish Book Trust, Employment and Training Unit, Moneywise Project, Entrepreneur Me and Renella.

Key note speakers Helen Fairlie, Literacy Development Officer, Education Scotland and Anne Pearson, Acting Director of Education started the celebration event off with positive news about how Falkirk Council are raising attainment in literacy.

After hearing the key note speakers, participants broke off into work stream groups to engage in professional dialogue and share their contributions to the literacy strategy to date. They then examined next steps and further ways forward to support ‘zero tolerance to illiteracy’.

Here are a few samples of photographs from the event:

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Active Approaches to Reading at Early Level


Falkirk Council’s Early Level literacy mobilisation team have been working hard on support materials for Early Level staff. The focus is on early reading skills and the team have produced a short document outlining approaches to support the teaching of early reading skills. The document provides examples and photographs of ‘The Thinking Reader’ in action at this level. Sharon has been working with a number of nurseries including Larbert Day Nursery, Denny Primary School Nursery, Hallglen Nursery, St. Margaret’s Nursery and Nethermains using this approach. St. Francis RCPS have taken the Thinking Reader approach which is embedded across the school and adapted it within their nursery. St. Francis have produced wonderful work included in a ‘Thinking Reader’ floorbook which they are sharing at a good practice literacy event across the authority.

To access this document, please click here: Active Approaches to Reading Dec 2014

Thinking Reader at Bainsford Primary


Emma Cuthbert, Interim PT at Bainsford Primary School is delighted to share the wonderful work her P2/1 class has been carrying out in relation to higher order reading skills. 

The class have already studied Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers and completed a thinker reader booklet. The start of this session has been spent on Book Detective skills and roles and comprehension related to their reading books.

They have recently studied Pink – again by Oliver Jeffers and you can see some evidence of their hard work here.

Emma and her class are making an extremely valuable contribution to the Literacy Strategy and plans to go onto applying these skills to other texts. Sharon Wallace, Curriculum Support Officer is really impressed with the quality of reading here and has invited Emma to share this good practice at an authority CPD event.

Can you spot the 6 comprehension strategies in operation here?

1. Prior knowledge and understanding – what do you already know about penguins? What do you know about pink?

2. Metalinguistics – can you spot the tricky words or phrases? Can you find the word ‘penguin’ in the text?

3. Visualisers – can you draw of a picture of the story so far?

4. Inference – reading between the lines questions

5. Main ideas

6. Summarising

The children really enjoy the Thinking Reader approach and here are a few quotes to share:

“I really enjoyed ‘finding the evidence’ in the book” Ella

“Can we do these again for a different story? They are fun.” Jack

Active Reading Animation for Parents and Carers

As part of Falkirk Council’s ‘Zero Tolerance to Illiteracy’ strategy, the Curriculum Support Team have been working on a number of ways to support parents and carers in this area. It is very important to us to share the strategies used to teach reading with parents and carers in order to improve attainment in this area. Reading workshops have been delivered a number of Falkirk Council Primary Schools and these have been really well received with really positive feedback.

A short animation has been recorded to support in this area and is available on Falkirk Council’s You Tube channel. We are very grateful to a P7 pupil from Airth Primary for recording the voiceover on this, showing us her excellent reading skills in action! It can also be accessed from here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ef1zKq6zm3U

For more information, please contact your child’s school to see if they are holding an active literacy reading workshop.

Meta-Literacy at Graeme High School

Members of the Curriculum Support Team from Falkirk Council were delighted to be invited along to a recent Literacy across Learning event at Graeme High School. After receiving input on ‘Active Literacy’, class teachers from across a wide range of subjects showcased a range of learning opportunities with an active literacy focus.

The Curriculum Support Team were treated to a carousel of activities where pupils rotated in a cooperative learning style session, around twelve tables of activities. The activities were initially introduced by subject teachers, and after one rotation, older pupils led the learning.

There was an exciting variety of activities working on literacy skills such as metalinguistics, note-taking, visualisation, summarising, paraphrasing, Big Writing, effective connectives and vocabulary building.

The morning was enjoyed by all. Thanks Graeme High for the invitation and sharing this super learning opportunity with us.

I Like Big Books!

Larbert High School has highlighted the value of reading in this parody you tube video entitled ‘I like big books’.

The video can be viewed by clicking on this link.

 It was produced as part of Literacy Week 2013.

Active Literacy is used in all Falkirk establishments and aims to develop six key reading comprehension skills which are:

  1. Prior knowledge and understanding
  2. Metalinguistics
  3. Visualisation
  4. Inference
  5. Main ideas
  6. Summarising and paraphrasing.

All six comprehension skills are explicitly modelled and taught and pupils then apply these skills across a wide range of texts across a variety of genres.