Literacy Success in Junior Years

Friday, 13 Nov 2020

In a year where NAPLAN tests have not taken place for reasons we are all familiar with, it’s easy to overlook the emphasis schools and teachers place on the importance of literacy standards and improvements for all students as a foundation to success across all learning areas.    

As a Diocesan school, we engage with the Reading Improvement Strategy with two driving principles behind this. The first is that anyone can be a successful reader. The second is that strong literacy skills open the door to all other learning.  

Since this initiative was implemented, Mary MacKillop Catholic College junior students (Prep – Year 6) have seen immense improvement. In 2017, 68% of junior school students had an above average growth in their reading level, while in 2020 that number has increased to 86%.  This means that they have exceeded their projected outcomes during this academic year. “As teachers, we work so hard to improve outcomes for our students and I am so pleased with this result, particularly in such a trying year” says Mr Chris Gabbett, College Principal. 

“The reading improvement strategy is based on good teachers, questioning techniques, comprehension and phonological awareness” according to Assistant Principal of Teaching and Learning Junior, Mrs Natalie Adler.  On a daily basis, in the Junior School classrooms, teachers have a focused literacy block which encompasses modeled, shared, guided and independent reading learning opportunities. Those that are below expected level in reading are given additional reading support. Those students needing extension in order to be challenged are given more advanced texts with a higher level of comprehension required, to answer literal and inferential types of questions. 

Through a committed approach, the Reading Improvement strategy is embedded in all classrooms, resulting in increased student growth in the area of reading. 

For further information on this subject, contact the College at