Language lies at the heart of the drive to raise standards in secondary schools. It is the key to developing in young people the capacity to express themselves with confidence, to think logically, creatively and imaginatively and to developing a deep understanding of literature and the wider culture. For these reasons, it is in all our interests to work together to provide clear and ambitious goals for all pupils in their reading and writing.
The Framework for Teaching English: Years 7, 8 and 9 sets out an ambitious agenda for all abilities. It contains challenges to stretch the gifted and talented, and an imperative to act quickly to bring underachieving pupils up to the level of their peers. Most of all, it equips all pupils for the world in which they will live and work - a world which places a high premium on the written and spoken word, where reading and writing permeate every aspect of life, and where pleasures often derive from good discussion, excellent books and the power of writing.
The Framework is the starting point for a fresh approach to teaching and learning which is key to the whole Key Stage 3 strategy. To learn well, pupils must be inspired, challenged and engaged. The Framework and the training that goes with it will offer teachers a new chance to hone and develop their teaching skills and to share with others how best the ambitions of the Framework can be realised.
We have much to celebrate and build on. We have already seen from primary colleagues that pupils can be brought on quickly and in significant numbers, and we have a responsibility to carry this momentum forward into Key Stage 3, particularly for boys, and especially in writing.
I recommend this Framework to you as a resource for improving teaching and learning in Key Stage 3. Thank you for your continued enthusiasm and commitment, which remain central to the success of the strategy.
The Rt Hon David Blunkett MP
Secretary of State for Education and Employment
Please note: on 6th May 2008, the renewed Secondary Frameworks website went live. Click here to access the renewed Frameworks.