chapter  10
8 Pages

'Media and culture': developing literacy for life

ByRobert Catt, Victoria Whitfield

The National Curriculum for English Programme of Study for Reading at Key Stage 2 demands the inclusion of ‘challenging subject matter that broadens perspectives and extends thinking’ and at Key Stages 3 and 4, texts which ‘offer perspectives on society and community and their impact on the lives of individuals’ (DfEE 1999). Here the complementary nature of image and word is recognised by many teachers. Joanna Oldham further describes the use of contextual photographs which ‘depicted scenes of industrialisation, the workhouse, homeless children . . . in an attempt to convey the poverty of another period’. Such ‘images’, she suggests ‘informed and enhanced the reading of a decontextualised passage concerning Oliver sleeping in the undertaker’s workroom. The visual images provided an additional form of access into the text designed to give the students confidence in their ability to make meaning . . .’1