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The Literacy Hour is a scheme introduced by David Blunkett and the Department of Education and Employment (DfEE). It is aimed at reducing the high rate of illiteracy in the UK.

The idea is that an hour is spent focussing solely on reading and writing to ensure that no child manages to get through the school without being able to read or write. I know someone who, due to a minor learning difficulty, did not know how to read or write until she was seven but managed to blag her way through the first two years of school with excellent reports from teachers.

The recommendation from the DfEE is that the hour should be divided as follows:

  • Approximately 15 minutes of shared reading or writing (whole class)
  • Approximately 15 minutes of word and/or sentence level work (whole class)
  • Approximately 20 minutes of guided group and independent work
  • Approximately 10 minutes of plenary session (whole class).
The Literacy Hour has been widely regarded as one of the few successes of Labour's Education Policies.

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