FROM THE PRINCIPAL
Literacy, Life-Long Learners and Book Week
by Mr Tony Kent
We have all heard a lot in recent times about the changing Educational Landscape, 21st Century Learning experiences, the importance of Critical and Creative Thinking, collaboration and preparing our children for a rapidly changing world. I do believe it is critical that we embrace this paradigm shift in teaching and learning, but not at the expense of the core components of any educational experience, Foundational Literacy and Numeracy skills, which remain a priority here at CCAS. Strong literacy skills, particularly in the areas of Reading and Comprehension, underpin every area of learning both during the formal years of education and beyond school as a lifelong learner.
With this in mind, we are constantly looking to refine and strengthen our literacy programs. Over the first half of this year we have invested significantly in a new reading scheme (literally thousands of new graded readers for our primary students), with associated resources, to complement our reading and comprehension programs being delivered across the primary years. We have also undertaken a full review of our reading program to ensure we are providing the best learning experiences for students at all levels, for both advanced readers and those who may struggle with reading. The introduction of this new scheme has included a series of professional inservice opportunities for all primary staff – it is good to send teachers back to school too!
We will continue our work in our primary but are now moving our attention to our secondary students. The secondary syllabus is written on the assumption that all students enter high school with well-developed reading and comprehension skills, but this is not always the reality for all students. Schooling can be difficult for students who struggle in this area - even our strongest readers can refine and develop their skills in this key competency. The simple process of reading aloud to someone for 5 minutes a day has been shown to increase comprehension skills significantly for students at all levels – so every day our Year 7 students are being given this opportunity – not just in English classes, but across all subjects, as we share the responsibility of literacy. This is just one of a number of initiatives we are exploring to assist students across all year levels to be the best readers that they can be.
This is a timely update given that it has been Book Week here at CCAS. Look out for pictures of our primary students (and teachers) who dressed up today as their favourite book characters.
Enjoy reading the newsletter this week.