Reading Recovery is an early intervention program used to reduce reading and writing difficulties for students in Year 1. This program has had proven success internationally and has the support of the NSW Government.
Wadalba Community School is now in its third year of Reading Recovery and the program has proven to be a great success. Students who are initially considered as being at risk participate in the program. The accelerated progress in these students has led to a number of students reaching the average level, or above, of their grade in literacy. Participating students are now able to obtain maximum benefit from their classroom instruction and will require less long-term support throughout their education.
The skills, knowledge and resources that Reading Recovery brings have also had an impact in regular classrooms. Teachers have adopted many of the strategies used in Reading Recovery with their own students. The success of these eighteenstrategies is demonstrated through the meeting of all literacy targets across K-2 classes, which surpass regional targets.
Reading Recovery will remain an integral part of the school's literacy program. In 2010, a second full-time teacher will begin the two year training process whilst our first full-time teacher will use the knowledge and skills learnt to give Kindergarten students a strong literacy base. We will continue to build on this valuable literacy resource.
Best Start is a Kindergarten Assessment developed by early learning experts in the Department of Education and Training. Best Start gives our teachers and those teaching Kindergarten across New South Wales, a common set of high quality assessment tools and professional training. It is not a test but a way of gathering information on what the students know and can do to guide kindergarten programming and teaching.
In 2009 and 2010, all students who entered Kindergarten participated in this individual assessment at the beginning of the year. Parents were given written and verbal feedback on what the teacher had learnt about their child in regards to early reading and writing, their ability to communicate with others and how they recognise and work with numbers, groups and patterns.
The success of this early assessment and its elated programming and professional development is reflected in the increase in kindergarten literacy.
Teachers from Kindergarten to Year 2, which has had a positive impact in other classrooms, have undertaken the professional development that is offered through Best Start.
Best Start Assessment will continue to be implemented and form an integral part of the kindergarten planning and assessment cycle at Wadalba Community School.
We monitor each student's progress and provide additional learning support if this is required.
Our school uses learning programs and specialised staff where needed and we work in partnership with parents and carers to assist students who have special learning needs.
Our school is committed to working with Aboriginal parents and community members in developing personalised plans for our Aboriginal students.