Launchpad for Literacy

Launchpad for Literacy is all about children, the skills they have and the skills they need for all aspects of literacy. It is a systematic, skill-based approach, enabling you to:

  • improve outcomes in the Early Years and beyond by creating firm foundations and a broad base of readiness, addressing whole school attainment issues from the ‘bottom-up.’
  • identify and close specific skill gaps with individuals and vulnerable groups, assessing, tracking and quantifying the process of closing the gap.
  • identify speech, language and other developmental needs as soon as possible and to embed specific skill-based intervention into practice and ‘Quality First Teaching.’
  • have a greater level of diagnostic capability, establishing reasons and solutions to underpin informed interventions when literacy acquisition is problematic.

The Launchpad for Literacy is an approach to literacy readiness for all children within the Early Years. In the Early Years and beyond, it also gives practitioners and leaders a tool to clarify what children CAN do, identify developmental skill gaps and set next steps, enabling you to:

  • incrementally close gaps in relation to vulnerable groups.
  • build skills to work towards group listening, participation and learning, supporting older children who find this problematic.
  • target specific language and vocabulary skills involved in a ‘Love of Reading’ and pave the way for reading comprehension, inference and building knowledge.
  • bridge the gap between spoken language and literacy by focussing on incremental sequences of skills.
  • improve Phonic and longer-term literacy outcomes for reading and writing.
  • avoid using ‘blanket’ approaches to literacy readiness and speech & language by embedding informed interventions into targeted practice and Quality First Teaching.
  • implement ‘progressive support’ by setting appropriate next steps for children with more specific needs or where progress has plateaued, ensuring progression for all.
  • avoid cycles of repeating what a child cannot do during interventions in order to facilitate progress.
  • make more informed decisions about interventions based on diagnostic assessments, making communication with Outside Agencies more specific and two-way.
  • focus on the language and social communication skills involved in PSED and appropriate behaviour.
  • Launchpad for Literacy also affirms and supports current good practice and pedagogy, allowing you to make more specific decisions about what you do and why, based on the skills children have now and the skills they need.

Launchpad for Literacy CPD links from projects and local authorities

These discussions are with the amazing Anne Brass from Education Durham. In the first, we discuss the background and ethos of Launchpad and give an overview of the Skills Framework. In the second, we discuss possible applications. This was recorded just before the detail of the EYFS Reforms was made available, so add implementing the EYFS Reforms to the list of possible applications!

Watch the Education Durham Launchpad for Literacy Partnership overview videos

This project involves a group of schools and PVI settings. There is a strong nursery/lower FS focus to the project.

There are 3 videos:

1. An introduction – gives an overview of the Skills Framework and looking at the practicalities and possible thought process behind implementing.

2. Interaction and language enrichment – discusses how knowing where children sit on the Skills Framework and understanding what you want to achieve for children’s next steps, can inform how you interact with children and the language that you use. We can, therefore, use our interactions in a really targeted way to embed interventions.

3. Padding out Phase One – looks at how a greater understanding of the ‘What?’ and the ‘Why? of Phonic Preparation can make our Phase One opportunities more specific, targeted and incremental. We also discuss skills such as conceptual understanding and sequential auditory memory which are missed out of Phase One but, if gaps are left unaddressed, create barriers for learning and progression.

Watch the North Yorkshire videos

This training has a heavy Phonics focus. There are 10 sessions in all and detail of each of these is on an index page in the folder. They are split into Phonic Preparation Topics and then looking at barriers to learning and progression once a SSP has begun.

You will need to look at which ones are relevant to you and who needs to watch what.

The titles of the sessions are:

1. Preconditional Skills for Phonics: Identifying the skills that underpin Phonic readiness and progression.

2. How do I get my children ready for developing phonological awareness?

3. How do I get my children ready to blend?

4. How do I get my children ready to hear sounds in words?

5. How do I get my children ready for recognising letters?

6. How do I get my children ready to form letters?

7. What do I do if a child can’t blend?

8. What do I do if a child struggles to retain phoneme-grapheme correspondence knowledge, move on to digraphs, trigraphs or to read at word-level?

9. What do I do if a child struggles to form letters?

10. What do I do if a child struggles to transfer phonic knowledge to writing?

Watch the Middlesbrough videos

This podcast was recorded with the EYFS Forum Team. We discuss the difference between delay and disordered development, the importance of understanding Speech, Language & Communication Development but then being able to translate this understanding into Targeted Practice. The EYFS Reforms are also briefly discussed.

Watch the EYFS Forum video

This CPD link is within the public domain so please feel free to share this one as widely as possible.

The content includes:

The link to the EYFS Forum Podcast as described above.

Language Enrichment Training – Originally delivered through YEAT English Hub this discusses the principles of interactions and language enrichment when taking children’s current skills and next steps into consideration. Although Launchpad is briefly mentioned, this training is applicable for all, even if people don’t use Launchpad.

Launchpad for Literacy & the EYFS – This is an overview of Launchpad for Literacy within the EYFS, looking at how it fits in with the EYFS Reforms, Phase One, identifying SLC and other needs and working with outside agencies.

Speech & Language – The Bedrock for Literacy – this interview with Kathy Brodie for the EYFS Summit with the Speech, Language & Communication focus, looks at how SLC Development underpins literacy readiness. However, we also discuss links with PSED, maths and the move towards a Knowledge-Based Curriculum.

Watch the Training for All videos

These training videos sit alongside a Social Mobility Project within Kirklees Council which is mainly using Launchpad within PVI settings. The Project is asking Settings to initially focus on a few key Skill Strands.

Topics therefore include:

An Introduction – What is Launchpad and also, what it is not!

The other videos take key Skill Strands and look at the process of considering the skill and how it develops, considering the children and also auditing current practice. The Skill Strands addressed are Auditory Discrimination, Auditory Memory for Understanding, Rhyming, Symbolic, Conversation & Group and Visual Memory.

Watch the Kirklees Social Mobility Project videos

Speech, Language and Communication Development in Key Stage 1

The importance of understanding Speech, Language and Communication Development when working with children aged 5-7, with a focus on children with delayed and disordered language profiles – particularly relevant in the current climate.

Speech, Language and Communication Development in Key Stage 1 – an article written by Kirstie Page for the ‘Foundation Stage Forum’.