I have been looking for opportunities to get information literacy embedded in the curriculum, and have recently been making progress.
After explaining my thoughts with the Head on the need for IL to be explicitly embedded, we discussed the opportunity the competencies might have in this area and he suggested I speak with the co-ordinator (JSc) about my ideas and how I can work with her in this area.
After our first meeting we found that the “information” competency very much relates to IL, and this would be the relevant area within which the Library and Librarian can work alongside teachers to fit these competencies into the teaching.
The initial challenge has been to look at the current policy regarding the information competency and decide how we would be integrating this for year 10 and 11 pupils. In discussion with a working party, we looked at whether the existing framework needed adapting in order for teachers and pupils to be able to use and access the framework effectively. I took along an example of an information literacy ladder to this first working party meeting, and members felt this was a very useful approach and that our own needed to be adapted in a similar way.
I spent some time looking at different models and approaches, to take back to the working party for discussion. The challenge would be to find a way to build a model that would be useful for all staff across the curriculum; easily understood by pupils; use a similar form to the existing competencies frameworks that are used in KS3 (years 7-9). In discussion with JSc we put together two different approaches in which the competency skills could be presented, and took these to the working party for further discussion.
The second working party discussion looked in detail at the information competency and the progress made by JSc and myself in how we might develop a framework. The meeting discussed, in particular, the skills that it should cover; how these skills should be labelled; whether/how they might be assessed; and finally how we should present them in a framework. From this meeting, we were able to develop a draft framework to be take to ALT to be approved, which it was.
In terms of the Library/Librarian, my work with the development of the information competency framework will lead to a recognition among key staff of the role I am able to play in this area. By working with staff on this important curriculum initiative, I have demonstrated my knowledge of the skills pupils will be developing in the competency, and the relevance of the Library/Librarian in developing pupils’ skills in this competence. I have been able to highlight to staff my own expertise, and demonstrate the value of the Library in helping staff plan how they can approach the information competence within their subject. From my involvement, I will be able to help staff use the Library resources and my own skills in embedding the competency within their teaching and pupils’ learning.
I have found my experience in this initiative to be very valuable so far. It has allowed me to utilise my dissertation research and all I learnt from this research in an actual, practical situation for the benefit of the Academy and its pupils. It has allowed me to reflect on my own learning and use this to solve current issues the Academy is working on. By working closely with teaching staff, it has allowed me to demonstrate my own skills, raise my profile and highlight my value.
I have learnt a lot about how the curriculum is delivered in the Academy, and how it will develop in key stage four. This has given me an insight into how I might be able to work with staff from various subjects at KS3, with particular reference to the competencies curriculum. A very important personal development is that it has given me the knowledge needed to be able to use the relevant language/terminology when discussing how the Library might support their teaching and learning. If I can demonstrate how I can support staff in developing specific competencies with their pupils, they will see the direct application and relevance to their planning of lessons and pupils’ learning.