Schools program targets literacy
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.