Literacy

Literacy Curriculum Team
The Literacy Team has met throughout the year to continue to discuss and refine our Action Plan. It has been an exciting year with all of the new Instructional Readers we have purchased.  I found when I first began the large amount of tired old readers, (particularly junior school readers), that were on their last legs still in circulation.  There has been a huge cull of old readers making way for new and updated texts.  Large shared Big Books have also been bought across years 0 - 4, as well as novels for years 4 - 5.  Liz Jones our librarian  has been removing the old Junior Journals from the Resource Room and re-housing the latest reading materials to enable easy access for our teachers.  
We have also been in consultation with the E Learning team as ChromeBooks will be placed in year 4, 5 and 6 for 2016.  This has an impact on Literacy expectations, for books and what platform to work with, also marking and giving feedback. Learning Documentation Procedures  was created by the e Learning Team, AP & DP and the Year 4 - 6 Teachers / Team Leaders,  to ensure teachers have  a shared understanding of utilising ChromeBooks versus paper.  There is still some concern around writing versus typing and the ease of explicit teacher instruction using ChromeBooks.

Literacy Assessments
I am interested to compare asTTle Reading and PAT Reading.  At present asTTle Reading is cumbersome to mark and teachers have to wait for our results.  Sitting the test on line is not yet available. The analysis of asTTle Reading is in depth as well as the administration of the test has to done well to get reliable results. I intend to research the positives and negatives around the use of these 2 assessments for Reading.  I am also interested in finding something more appropriate for spelling and will look into the 'Supplementary Spelling Assessment (SSpA)'
Comprehension in Running Records
In consultation with the Literacy Curriculum team the comprehension level from an instructional text has been changed from 60% to 70 - 75% and above.  This will ensure that the students have a deeper understanding of what they are reading, and there will be less children who seem to be 'on the cusp' of reaching the standard.  This is a useful link to running records

Since the changing of the comp level there has been discussions held by teachers trying to understand where their students sit in regards to their OTJs.  In the Literacy Curriculum team we had a robust discussion around this.  I then created a document with staff outlining their concerns and what our thinking was around this.

Beginning School Assessment
This year I have remodelled the beginning school assessment.  
As part of this I have researched the purpose around carrying out the Concepts about Print with beginning school children.  I had discussions with teachers and asked for their thoughts and opinions about the impact this had on their teaching and learning.  I have also spoken to other schools in regards to what and how they assess their New Entrant children.   As we now use National Standards, Literacy Learning Progressions and our own Cockle Bay Goals to help us unpack the children's learning teachers are acutely aware of their student's next learning steps and whether they are on track or below expectations.  I have came to the conclusion that CAP has been surpassed by current curriculum documents and progressions.  Therefore our teaching practice needs to align with this.  Rather than diagnostically assessing our children's orientation to reading, it should be formative (as we do with our running records) and taught through deliberate acts of teaching, such as instructional and guided reading sessions.


 Writing (asTTle) Staff  Moderation PLC 
Part of my role as Literacy Coordinator is developing teacher's understanding in using asTTle Writing. In gaining a deeper understanding of  Cockle Bay School's journey in asTTle I delved into past professional development and school/team reviews.  This helped me to gain a better insight as to the purpose around why and how teachers use asTTle.  This knowledge then allowed me to create a shared understanding of "Next Steps" for our teachers and students.  As a leadership team we had already discussed this at our meetings.  However I felt that it was important for all teachers to have the same shared understanding.  As part of our staff moderation meeting I shared the evolving journey with the teachers.  Click on the presentation link below.


Term 2 Cluster Writing  Moderation 
Cockle Bay School has joined in a Writing Cluster, to help better understand  how schools within our area moderate children's writing, what resources we use to gauge if were are all on the same page. Point View, Somerville Intermediate, Shelly Park, and Willowbank and ourselves are all involved.  
Our initial meeting was to talk about our schools, how we use asTTle, what progressions, rubrics and documents we use in making our OTJs.  We also discussed the purpose of our assessments and how often we assess our students.
The second meeting Sara Pickering, Ivy Narot, Deb Michell and myself attended, comprised of discussing samples of our children's writing (asTTle and writing from their books) and moderating these alongside teachers from the cluster schools.  We used The Reading and Writing Standards illustrations as well as the Cockle Bay Goals/Progressions, and other progressions from Somerville and Willowbank.  We held robust discussions and all agreed on our levelling. It was interesting to note that in general our children were achieving at or above expectation for their age.  It was evident that our children were able to edit and 'improve' their writing.  The use of adjectives, similes and personal voice made their writing stand out from their peers.  The standard of presentation far exceed other schools for children of the same age. 
Our next meeting will be an opportunity for other teachers at Cockle Bay School to take part in Writing moderating. As a cluster we will begin to compile examples of writing at each of the curriculum levels, showing what  'early' and 'at' that curriculum level looks like.
Literacy Curriculum Team Meeting
In week 3 the Literacy Curriculum Team came together to discuss our action plan for Term 1.  We will revisit this at the end of term 1 and continue to work through the areas that we have identified.


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