Schools pro­gram tar­gets lit­er­acy

Pilbara News - - News - ■ Ali­cia Perera

An early in­ter­ven­tion education and lit­er­acy pro­gram set to be­gin across all City of Kar­ratha and Tom Price pub­lic schools is one of the most ex­ten­sive of its kind in Aus­tralia.

The Re­sponse to In­ter­ven­tion pro­gram will take a tar­geted ap­proach to ad­dress­ing kinder­garten to Year 3 stu­dents’ progress in lit­er­acy by rat­ing their skills in a data­base at the start and end of the school year and run­ning tailored cour­ses to help those fall­ing be­hind.

Depart­ment of Education Pil­bara lead school psy­chol­o­gist Marie Hack­ett said while Re­sponse to In­ter­ven­tion had been run in other Aus­tralian schools, the strong lit­er­acy fo­cus of this lo­cal pro­gram has not been im­ple­mented to the same de­gree any­where else as far as she was aware.

“Re­search in­di­cates that stu­dents de­layed in lit­er­acy of­ten have poor out­comes,” she said.

“This is some­times linked to poor at­ten­dance and en­gage­ment.

“There are a lot of kids that don’t come to school very of­ten, and if their lit­er­acy falls off and they can’t read, they find it hard to en­gage.”

One of the key com­po­nents of the in­ter­ven­tion pro­gram will be the six-week Talks for Writ­ing course, in which stu­dents learn nar­ra­tive style and build their vo­cab­u­lar­ies by com­mit­ting writ­ten pas­sages to mem­ory us­ing ac­tions.

Ms Hack­ett said the dif­fer­ence had been “huge” in the chil­dren she had seen go through the course so far.

She said there had been a big com­mit­ment from Kar­ratha and Tom Price pub­lic school staff, who had been in train­ing for the pro­gram since the start of the school year.

“All the Kar­ratha and Tom Price schools have com­mit­ted re­sources and time to en­sure ef­fec­tive im­ple­men­ta­tion of the pro­gram,” she said. “They are con­duct­ing pre­and post-test­ing, tar­geted in­ter­ven­tion, and it is an­tic­i­pated that this will trans­late to good out­comes for stu­dents.”

She said the pro­gram’s ef­fec­tive­ness would be tested when stu­dents sat na­tional lit­er­acy and nu­mer­acy as­sess­ment test NAPLAN in May.

Kar­ratha and Tom Price pub­lic school teach­ers fin­ished their Re­sponse to In­ter­ven­tion train­ing last Satur­day.

Schools will run the pro­gram them­selves this year, with as­sis­tance from the Dys­lexia-SPELD Foun­da­tion.

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