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Choosing great texts

Unit 2


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If you’re planning a text-based curriculum then picking the best texts possible is one of the most important decisions the school will have to make. To help guide your choices, James Clements turns to research that highlights the value of traditional tales, rich and lyrical texts and emotionally powerful texts. James breaks this down further into 7 different types of text, giving examples of books that fit into each category. We can choose books in which we can see ourselves, or stories that open windows to different worlds and experiences. Studying classic books gives children access to a shared bank of stories that are often referenced in other tales and other media. Or we may select a book because it allows us to explore a big idea with the class. To help structure the planning of a text-based curriculum in your school, James shares a list of questions that will organise decision making - how do you make sure that books reflect the school’s community, the wider country and other times, places and experiences, for example. It’s a great way to reflect on the book you use in your school and why.

Course Materials:

Presentation Slides - Download

.pptx file

Training Handout - Download

.pdf file

Course Creator

Image of James Clements

James Clements

While working as a senior leader in an outstanding inner city primary school, James was instrumental in developing effective reading provision, and was also consulted on the 2014 National Curriculum. A former local authority lead teacher, he is now an English advisor supporting schools and LAs to improve the teaching of reading, writing and drama - and an author for Oxford Owl.

About the Course

In this set of films, education adviser James Clements explores how teachers can develop a text-based approach to the English curriculum. The films take a detailed look at selecting texts, structuring units of work and practical classroom ideas for using rich texts in the classroom.

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