chapter  5
14 Pages

Reading and Writing in a City School

WithRamin Minovi

Like the terraced houses that surround it, Copperfield Road Infant School was built in 1878 and looks more like a church than many churches do, with its 40-foot spire, arched doorways and pseudo-perpendicular windows. The school's ludicrously small annual allowance has to pay for so many things: reading books, writing books, writing paper, sugar-paper and drawing paper, art materials, pencils, stationery of all kinds. There is no attempt at any kind of streaming: the class is totally mixed as regards ability, another factor dictating the individual or small group approach. The use of a child's own experience and language as the tools for his own learning work well generally, but the multi-racial school may have special difficulties. One of the brighter groups is using the 'Breakthrough to Literacy' equipment to make up a report on their trip to the farm. 'Breakthrough' is a literacy system introduced in 1970.