Information Literacy Policy
To function successfully in a rapidly changing society where lifelong learning is routine, students need to become independent learners and to become independent learners, students have to be information literate. CILIP describes an information literate person as one who knows “when and why you need information, where to find it, and how to evaluate, use and communicate it in an ethical manner”. For many years it was assumed that students would pick up these skills as they progressed through school. Today we recognise that in order for students to become information literate, staff need to integrate strategies into their everyday classroom practice that help them learn how to learn. We need to identify and foster conditions in school in which information literacy and independent learning can flourish. This whole school policy is a means to create those conditions.
- To engage staff and students in the teaching and learning of information literacy skills both across the curriculum and across the key stages, including building on work done at Key Stage 2
- To implement a consistent approach and terminology for the practice of information literacy skills across the whole school
- To facilitate the cross curricula transference of information literacy skills
- To encourage and promote independent learning
The new curriculum being rolled out from the Year 7 intake in September 2008 will provide the focus for the introduction of the consistent approach to the teaching of information skills.
The Integrated Learning Manager teaches an information skills course to all Year 7 students in the autumn term under the aegis of the ICT Department. The first lesson will include a baseline assessment of each child’s information skills on entry to secondary school. It is intended that the baseline assessment criteria will be based on the Personal Learning and Thinking Skills strand of the new curriculum. The rest of the course will be remodelled to teach basic information skills in the context of the PLUS model. There will be an assessment at the end of the course to measure any improvement in information skills performance.
During the spring and summer terms, Year 7 students will undertake two or three whole year projects planned jointly by academic departments and the Integrated Learning Manager. These projects will respond directly to a curriculum need and will focus on improving a specific information literacy skill particularly relevant to the particular topic or to the skills required for that subject’s curriculum. The assessment for these projects will include criteria to assess the individual’s performance of the information literacy element. This element will be assessed by the Integrated Learning Manager.
The lessons learned through the delivery of the various assessments, the information literacy course and the projects will be used to roll out a consistent approach to the teaching and learning of information literacy skills. Eventually, any research based independent learning whether taking place in a classroom, an ICT room, the LRC or at home, whatever the subject, will follow the same approach.
In order to achieve this consistency, it is important that teachers be given the opportunity to train to deliver information literacy and to evaluate their classroom practice with their colleagues. This training is a necessary step for them to become effective promoters of independent learning in general and information literacy skills in particular.
For the academic year 2008/2009, we will be concentrating on Year 7 and will conduct
- a baseline assessment on entry
- an assessment after the information literacy course
- an assessment after each whole year project. These assessments will include level descriptors and success criteria, which will be explained to the students at the start of each project.
- also to help students to improve and to stress the cross curricular nature of these skills, we will provide somewhere for students to record their targets outside of a particular subject area
At the end of the summer term 2009, the working party will meet to review the policy in practice, the progress made and to plan for the next academic year.
Written by Anne Matthews (firstname.lastname@example.org) in consultation with the information literacy working party (Matthew Barker, Janet Carter, Adam Davenport, Charlotte Dunne, Helen Mills, Dan Nuttall, Joanne Ralph, Helen Thorpe) Benton Park High School in Leeds.