Information Literacy – teaching pupils how to think

I have been actively promoting Information literacy through Study Skills over the last four years. Driven by the obvious need to improve students’ expertise when researching and using resources, I was granted a Leading Edge funded project by my SLT. This began with an attempt at a Skills Audit across the curriculum leading to a pilot off-timetable day for Year 7 pupils and an extensive survey of information-gathering habits of our Sixth Form students.

The co-operation and collaboration with my teaching colleagues was paramount, as was the backing of members of the Curriculum Leadership Team (of which I am a member). The work culminated in a full report to senior management for discussion on how to develop Skills work across all Stages.  Study Skills formed a complete strand of the Whole School Improvement Plan for the academic year 2009-10.  Working jointly with a teaching colleague during this year we achieved the following changes

  • slightly re-modelled the Skills Day
  • created pages for KS3 student planners introducing a  PLTS  focus on a half-termly basis
  • devised appropriate lessons to run in PDC in Year 10 and 11
  • re-wrote the Year 11 revision pack which is also used for mentoring C/D candidates
  • created a longer session for Sixth Form induction which includes a booklet which   students access at their own pace

Information Literacy now has a fuller and more effective profile in my school and it has been rewarding to be able to use my skills as the information professional to improve students’ independent learning in a radical way.

By Lin Smith, Ecclesbourne School



Information Literacy
Our school uses a skills-based approach to curriculum and learning through years seven to eleven, identifying five competencies which pupils will adopt by the end of their education to ensure they are competent learners and citizens.  Of the five, one is to an information competent learner, which translates as being able to access, research, analyse, and evaluate information effectively, and to then use this to create something new.  I have been involved with the working party for this competence in the development and implementation of the competency for our key stage four learners.  I have been able to make valuable contributions to the group through my own research into, and knowledge of, information literacy, and worked closely with the member of staff with responsibility for competencies within the school to plan, shape and develop how the competency would be implemented.
I  am now working with staff to help staff plan learning opportunities which cover the information competence in their lessons.  I help to identify the skills they might want to highlight, the information sources that they can use, as well as developing resources to support the learning of our pupils.

By John Iona, Oasis Academy, Enfield

 Also, have a look at this excellent explanation of how to build information literacy skills around a specific purpose – in this case, Year 10 Work Experience, by John Iona.

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