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Expanding our Literacy Support across the School

Posted by Mrs Kirrily Donoghoe | Found in: News

This year we are in a great position to extend our Literacy Support, as with an increase in staff across both campuses we are able to reach more students who need support the most.

As such, we have taken on a new tiered program provided through MultiLit, a research-based initiative of Macquarie University. MultiLit has been producing reading programs for over 20 years. Their programs offer explicit, sequential lessons as well as regular ongoing assessment. Many decades of research into reading have shown teachers the best strategies to teach reading. The MiniLit and MacqLit Programs use these research-based teaching methods. For children who are struggling to learn to read, early intervention is the best way to stop reading problems from becoming more established and to bring students up to the level of their classmates before they fall too far behind.

From Year 1 to Year 2 we will run the ‘MiniLit’ program. This program is specially designed for young children who are struggling to learn to read. The program will be run by Mrs. Lynne Warrington (one of our very experienced Education Assistants) under the guidance of Mrs. Kirrily Donoghoe. This program will run as small group sessions (of no more than 5 students in each group), three days a week for up to an hour each session. Each lesson has three main components:

- Sounds and Words Activities – where children learn to pay attention to the different sounds in words and to associate them with the letters of the alphabet.
- Text Reading – which gives children the chance to practise their new skills.
- Story Book Reading – which involves the teacher reading and discussing a story book with the students, to help improve their vocabulary and comprehension.

The next tier that follows MiniLit, is the MaqLit Program. This is a reading program for children in Year 3 and above (well into High School years) who need some help with their reading. It will also take place in small groups, across 4 days, for up to an hour a day. This program will be administered by Mrs. Jane Thirley and Mrs. Kirrily Donoghoe (at the Primary Campus) while Mrs. Stephanie Bochat and Mrs. Mandy Corkill will oversee the program at the High School Campus.

The aim of MacqLit is to help those struggling with their reading to catch up with their classmates as quickly as possible. The program will teach students how to read and spell words using appropriate strategies. The school will decide how long children need to be on the program, but it will usually be for several terms, depending on how much catching up they need to do. As well as doing the one-hour MacqLit lessons, students need to get plenty of opportunities to practise the skills they are learning. They do this by reading one-to-one for 20 minutes at a time, preferably daily. 

Across both campuses, we have been busy testing students that we feel may benefit from the extra support of these programs. Once completed, you may receive a letter of offer to join the program if we feel your child is a great candidate for success in one of these programs. 

If you have any questions about either of these programs please feel free to contact Mrs. Kirrily Donoghoe (Primary Campus) or Mrs. Stephanie Bochat (High School Campus).