Update June 2021
Update April 2021
We recognise that a student’s ability to:
read, and understand what he reads
write clearly and effectively and
use numbers accurately and confidently
will determine his school results, career choices and life opportunities. In all subjects, teaching programs will incorporate these skills.
As well, the school is currently considering a number of programs to specifically and explicitly support literacy and numeracy. These programs include
Homework Help after-school tutoring
For two afternoons per week, after-school literacy and numeracy tutoring will be available in the school Library, with access to computers and online facilities.
The sessions will run for an hour after school, with a qualified teacher.
On-line literacy/numeracy tutoring program
Mainly for Year 8 and 9, this is a program of additional literacy and numeracy skills exercises, which can be accessed by students via computer in their homes or in the school Library.
A school administrator will post new work each week, which must be completed and returned by students.
All work will be graded, returned to students, and answers posted to the previous week’s exercises.
These skill exercises will provide great preparation for the Year 9 NAPLAN tests, and for HSC minimum-standards tests.
Accelerated Reader program Year 7
This is a program of silent reading, in the Library, for three periods a cycle.
Students are first assessed for reading levels, then matched with library books that are right for them. There’s also a “virtual library” to choose from.
At the end of a book, students complete a quick on-line assessment, to see how much they’ve understood.
The program generates reports to show how each student’s reading levels are progressing.
And students are expected to borrow books, and continue their reading at home.
Writing Program Year 8 and Year 11
In each Year 8 and 11 course, each Semester, one formal assessment task will require extended writing.
Students will be prepared for these, through practice exercises before each task, so they are clear about what they are to do.
Then, all writing is marked using the same marking scale across the school, and graded using the same standards.
Students’ writing grades in each subject (A-E) are shown on their Semester reports.
Timetabled literacy classes Year 8 and Year 9
Because some students come to High School behind in their literacy levels, each Year 8 and 9 class is timetabled for three extra periods of literacy skills per fortnight.
This acts to help “fill the gaps” that some students may have, and helps bring them to levels they will need to progress at High School.
Additionally, a few students who are assessed to have particular “Catchup” needs, are withdrawn from some classes to have small-group, intensive tutoring with a specialist teacher.
Literacy/numeracy tracking program
A central tracking system will keep track of all data coming in from literacy and numeracy programs, and seek to ensure that no student “falls through the cracks”.
As it comes in, the data will be monitored and responded to, to ensure timely intervention in the case of problems or difficulties experienced by students.
School tracking will also include students who have already attempted the NAPLAN or minimum-standards tests, but have not yet achieved proficiency.
Minimum Standards testing
The NSW Educational Standards Authority (NESA) have introduced minimum literacy/numeracy standards for all students in the graduating 2020 cohort, and thereafter, as a condition of the award of an HSC. Managing this situation effectively requires a balance of communication, expectations and support.
Performance at the top end
To perform at the highest levels, students need to combine writing skills with skills of analysis, interpretation and evaluation.
So, all Year 11 students and staff are trained in ALARM – a package which improves access to the highest bands of HSC achievement.
Our students are thus equipped to achieve their absolute personal best at the most important stage of all.
School communication, publications and internal assessment
Prior to all on-line literacy and numeracy assessment (eg, NAPLAN, and the Minimum Standards tests), all students are prepared for the on-line test environment, so they will know what to expect.
Parents will be kept informed about programs at the school, and their son’s progress, via public meetings, letters and text messages.
The 2020 NAPLAN tests were cancelled due to Covid, but the 2019 Year 9 NAPLAN results indicated the school’s literacy & numeracy growths (in green) clearly above State levels: