Our commitment to Newly Qualified Teachers

Published on: 
Tuesday, 27 August 2019 - 2:39pm
Charlotte Hacking, CLPE Learning Programme Leader



Starting your NQT year is an exciting time: teaching is a deeply enriching and rewarding career. Your first class of eager young minds await you. As you start your planning for English, you might begin to feel like there is a lot to cover and so much to think about: what can you offer different children to encourage them as readers and writers; which texts should you be sharing with your class and building lessons around; how will you build in the teaching of phonics, spelling and grammar?

The CLPE are here to help with these crucial aspects of literacy teaching. We run a full four-day training programme geared towards establishing the foundations of good practice, giving you a depth of knowledge on how to encourage all children as readers and writers, ensuring progress and raising attainment, as well as building your knowledge base at the start of your teaching career.

Our Excellence in Literacy for NQTs course establishes a focus on language and grammar. We recognise that the development of oracy leads to increased skills in reading and writing. As language proficiency improves, children can articulate their responses to texts at a deeper level: they understand why authors make certain language choices and how to use language and grammar as writers themselves to match different purposes, audiences and forms. As James Britton so rightly observed, "Reading and writing float on a sea of talk" (1983, p. 11). 

Phonics is a key skill that early readers of all ages need experience of to support their journey into fluency. The second day of the training will ensure you leave with a firm knowledge and understanding of the basic and complex phonic codes, how to support children to blend phonemes together to support word reading and how to segment words into constituent phonemes in order to spell.

We know that our best readers are also more likely to spell well. This day will naturally lead from phonics into spelling, sharing the complexities of the English orthography and how to support children in becoming increasingly accurate in their spelling choices. You will learn the rules and patterns of the English spelling system so you can support children effectively from the offset. The blend of research-led training and tried-and-tested classroom strategies will ensure you have a holistic understanding of why and how to teach phonics and spelling effectively. 

The third day will focus on the teaching of reading, covering a range of strategies to help you extend children’s reading choices and their engagement with reading, and will provide a thorough grounding in the range and breadth of high-quality literature needed to support and deepen children’s comprehension skills. Throughout the day we will explore different reading practices, including reading aloud, shared reading, group reading, individual reading and independent reading and how these can be used and planned for to support progress for all children.

Want to know how to use the best children's books? Read our What We Know Works guide on Choosing and Using Quality Children's Texts

Writing will be the focus of the final day of training, pulling together all the areas of learning from the course so far. We will look at the interrelationship between reading and writing, including how to choose and use texts to enrich vocabulary and inspire opportunities for writing, how to identify the steps into writing fluency for children and support all children to make progress and how to teach phonics, spelling and grammar in context of rich and purposeful writing experiences across a range of genres. We will explore what an authentic writing process looks like in the classroom: coming up with ideas, drafting, reflecting on, editing and publishing work. Activities explored throughout the day will help children to understand how to use language and grammar for effect on a reader and be able to make meaningful choices around purpose, audience and form. 

Throughout the four days, you will complete further reading and gap tasks back in your classrooms to allow you to try out ideas from the course days, reflect on their effectiveness and deepen your understanding of effective practice and pedagogy, continuing your professional development between sessions and giving you a through grounding in the elements of successful English teaching. Coming together at the CLPE’s Literacy Library will enable you to be surrounded by the best quality children’s literature and to learn in a wider community of NQT’s from a range of different schools, allowing you to see a broad range of perspectives and to engage with each other beyond the course days, sharing practice and developing your learning together.

Underpinning all sessions will be an understanding of the development of reading and writing, using the CLPE Reading and Writing Scales - diagnostic tools that allow teachers to recognise where each child is at in their journey towards becoming a successful and independent reader and writer. The scales help teachers plan for the best possible practice and how to create environments to foster each child’s development, enabling them to make progress from their various starting points. 

The texts that we share throughout the course are all drawn from Corebooks online. This online resource will also support you in choosing the very best children's books for your classroom libraries. The site contains a selection of carefully chosen texts for you to use in developing collections for your classroom as part of your reading and literacy programmes.  

CLPE has made a substantial contribution to practice and theory in literacy teaching through its research and development projects since the Centre was founded in 1972. All our courses, conferences, training and resources are based our research and the well-evidenced research of others in the field of education and literacy, giving a firm foundation to build your practice for the rest of your career.

Book onto Excellence in Literacy for Newly Qualified Teachers