Following the development of her Contemporary Approaches to Classic Text methodology,
Gill published a series of articles in English Four to Eleven, the Primary journal
of The English Association and UKLA. See article links below.
Disbelief was suspended as children prepared for the possibility of an alien invasion
of their town. Local media, emergency and community services all played a role as
a plan was formulated. After exploring our feelings in MSN conversations, we read
the book . . .
The King had won the Lottery and Lady M needed more shoes. So, the King had to die.
This was just one of the scenarios created by pupils during their exploration of
the themes and characters in The Scottish Play. They built models, they blogged,
they painted and they acted. The response? ‘I wasn’t a great fan of Shakespeare,
but acting it out in my own language helped me to understand the story.’
What is the difference between Doctor Who and Beowulf? Hundreds of years and some
changes in language. Pupils who explored Beowulf started the project as a class of
children and ended as scops and poets who wrote some amazing kennings.
Best Practice in English Teaching
An article, The effect of exploratory talk on the development of sentence structure
in able writers, was published in Literacy, an internationally refereed journal published
by the UKLA . This research applied the work of Neil Mercer and the Cambridge University
team to a classroom context. In exploratory talk, children learn to explicate their
thinking, challenging and building on each other’s thinking in order to extend learning.
These skills were then applied to the development of sentence structure, with particular
reference to relative clauses. The outcome was surprising – although the principal
focus of the study, the able writers were not the only children to discover the power
of exploratory talk.
To read the full article follow the link to the Wiley subscription page.
There has been an explosion in the publication of picture books for older readers
in recent years. They require a different type of reading skill from word-based books,
drawing on the ability to ‘read’ the details of images. Resulting from a project
with the Schools Library Service, this article details how a group of pupils used
music to explore Don’t Read This Book, by Jill Lewis and Deborah Allwright. Find
out, in the children’s own words, how this helped them to create new meaning as they
used images from the book to compose their own sound track.