Accelerated Literacy

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Contact

Perth

Perth
Suite 3, 41 Walters Drive, Osborne Park WA 6017
PO Box 1817, Osborne Park DC WA 6916
PH: 08 9441 1608
FAX: 08 9244 2786
Email: aicsperth@ais.wa.edu.au

Broome

Broome
PO Box 2373, Broome WA 6725
PH: 08 9193 6480
FAX: 08 9193 6484
Email: aicsbr@wn.com.au

Introduction

The Aboriginal Independent Community Schools of Western Australia have worked collectively since 1989.  They established the Aboriginal Independent Community Schools’ Support Unit in 1990 to support the independently managed Indigenous schools in Western Australia.  This work continues and is administered through the Association of Independent Schools of Western Australia from two locations - Perth and Broome.  The Broome office staff provide “on the ground” support to the schools in the Kimberley and Pilbara/Great Sandy Desert, and the staff in Perth do the same for the AIC Schools located in the Goldfields, Murchison and Great Southern.  Both offices work with schools on common initiatives, such as the Accelerated Literacy project, the AICS Numeracy Strategy, the teacher housing project for remote and regional AIC Schools and recruitment.  They also provide advice to schools on matters concerning school governance, administration, compliance and quality standards, education policy developments and, at their request, seek funds for initiatives with the aim of increasing students’ access to quality and effective education resources.  The AIC Schools’ Literacy Strategy is one such initiative.

Background

The AIC Schools represent the diversity of Aboriginal communities in Western Australian.  They include nine AIC Schools that provide the only access to education for their students in remote Kimberley, Pilbara, desert and Goldfields communities.  A further three provide boarding and training opportunities for students from remote communities and towns.   

The students and the AIC Schools they attend can be categorised as those “most in need” in the Australian independent school landscape. They share four common sources of educational disadvantage:

  • lack of English language proficiency;
  • indigeneity;
  • remoteness;
  • low socio economic status.

The AIC Schools believe that a commitment to equity means that differences in educational outcomes should not be the result of differences in wealth, power, possessions or location.

DELIVER MEASUREABLE IN LITERACY IN THE PARTICIPATING AICS SCHOOLS

This section of the progress report will firstly consider longitudinal NAPLAN data from 2008.  It will also discuss the growth of student development as measured via NAPLAN.  An overview of the types of benchmarked assessments that form the AIC Schools’ Literacy assessment regime will follow with discussion that focuses on students’ independent reading development.

NAPLAN DATA

The tables below describe the comparative proportion of students who met or exceeded the national benchmark through the NAPLAN assessments conducted in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 by illustrating:

  • Increases of 10% or more;
  • Increases of less than 10%;
  • Where no significant movement has occurred;
  • Decreases of less than 10%;
  • Decreases of 10% or more.

 

 The proportion of Year 3 students that have met or exceeded the national benchmark for writing has improved significantly since 2008 moving from 42% to 79%.

The proportion Year 3 students that have met or exceeded the national benchmark for reading has plateaued at 68%.  However, this is an improvement of 28% since 2008.

The proportion of Year 3 students at our above national benchmarks for spelling has plateaued at 44% when compared to 2010 which was 46%.  However, this is an improvement of 25% since 2008.

The proportion of students at or above the national benchmarks for grammar and punctuation is 62%.  This is an improvement of 16% on 2010 rates.

  

The proportion of Year 5 students that have met or exceeded the national benchmark for writing has plateaued at 24% when compared to 2010 (22%).  However, this is an improvement of 7% when compared to 2008. 

The proportion of Year 5 students that have met or exceeded the national benchmark for reading comprehension has increased by 13% to 55% in 2011 compared to 2010 (42%).

The proportion of Year 5 students that have met or exceeded the national benchmark for spelling has dropped by 17% to 32% in 2011, compared to 2010 (55%).  This indicates that spelling is a skill with fluctuating levels of competence.

The proportion of students meeting or exceeding national benchmarks for grammar and punctuation has plateaued at 31% when compared to 2010 (32%).  This indicates there is more work to be done in the area of developing students’ knowledge of grammar punctuation.

The proportion of Year 7 students that have met or exceeded the national benchmark for writing has increased by 12% to 25% in 2011 when compared to 2010 (13%).  This indicates that the students’ writing skills are fluctuating.  Also, the low proportion of students that have attained the benchmark indicates that there is much work to be done to develop students’ writing skills.

The proportion of Year 7 students who have met or exceeded  the national benchmark for reading comprehension has increased by 24% in 2011 to 63% when compared to 2010 (39%).  This is also a significant improvement on 2008 (33%) and 2009 (34%) levels.  The low proportion of students that have attained the benchmark indicates that there is much work to be done to develop students’ reading comprehension skills.

The proportion of year 7 students to have met or exceed eth national benchmark for spelling has increased by 19% in 2011 to 39% when compared to 2010 (20%).  This is similar to the 2009 level of 37% and suggests that spelling is a skill area with fluctuating levels of competence.  The low proportion of students that have attained the benchmark indicates that there is much work to be done to develop students’ spelling skills.

The proportion of Year 7 students that have met or exceeded the national benchmark for grammar and punctuation has increased by 12% in 2011 to 39% when compared to 2010 (27%).  This shows a trend of steady improvement over 2008 (4%) and 2009 (20%).  However, the relatively low proportion over all indicates that students’ knowledge of grammar and punctuation requires significant development.

There are only four AIC Schools with Year 9 students that underwent the NAPLAN.  This means the total number of students is small (20) and, therefore, the value of the data is limited.  Still, analysis does provide an indication of the areas of students’ knowledge and skill development.

The proportion of Year 9 students that met or exceeded the national benchmark for writing, plateaued at 17% in 2011 compared to 2010.  The low proportion of students that have attained the benchmark indicates that there is much work to be done to develop students’ writing skills.

The proportion of students that met or exceeded the national benchmark for reading comprehension improved marginally in 2011 (39%) compared to 2010 (34%).  This is similar to the rate in 2008 (38%) and is likely to indicate that Year 9 students’ attainment levels have plateaued.  The low proportion of students that have attained the benchmark indicates that there is much work to be done to develop students’ reading comprehension skills.

The proportion of Year 9 students who met or exceeded the national benchmark for spelling improved by 11% in 2011 to 44% compared to 2010 (33%).  This indicates modest improvement.  The low proportion of students that have attained the benchmark indicates that there is much work to be done to develop students’ spelling skills.

The proportion of Year 9 who met or exceeded the national benchmark for grammar and punctuation decreased by 14% in 2011 to 22% compared to 2010 (36%).  This is a significant decrease and is similar to the 2008 proportion of 25%.  This indicates that a significant amount of effort is required to develop students’ knowledge of grammar and punctuation.

Discussion

The results for Years 3, 5 and 7 are, on balance, positive and indicate that there is increased grade progression for students in the primary years since 2008. 

This contrasts with the longitudinal data for Year 9, which indicates that the student attainment levels have fluctuated since 2008.  This is likely to be because of the small enrolments.

The AIC Schools recognise that there is considerable effort required to improve benchmark results and are committed to improving student outcomes in line with the nationally accepted standards and in the interest of improving grade progression. 

 

NAPLAN Growth

AISWA has the capacity to measure individual student growth if data from the previous NAPLAN assessment is available.  The following sections will consider students’ reading growth.

Year 3 to Year 5 Growth: Reading

The average growth for Year 5 students’ reading, for whom Year 3 NAPLAN data is available, was 2 years.  The expected growth is 2 years.  This is significant as the majority of students:

  • come from a very low academic base, scoring below national standards in Year 3;
  • are from remote communities where English is a second language; and
  • come from homes which do not have a literary tradition. 

One student from a Kimberley school exceeded the expected growth of 2 years by achieving 3 years growth.  A second student from a provincial centre achieved growth of 4.2 years. These students’ growth is extraordinary as they came from a very low base where they scored below the national benchmark in Year 3. 

Year 5 to Year 7 Growth:  Reading

The average growth for Year 7 students’ reading, for whom Year 5 NAPLAN data is available, was 2.3 years.  The expected growth is 2 years.  This is significant as the majority of students:

  • come from a very low academic base, scoring below national standards in Year 5;
  • are from remote communities where English is a second language; and
  • come from homes which do not have a literary tradition. 

Interestingly the most consistently high growth occurred in two Kimberley schools where students’ reading growth ranged from 1.5 to 3.6 years.  These students’ growth is extraordinary as they came from a very low base where they scored below the national benchmark in Year 5. 

Year 7 to 9 Growth:  Reading

The average growth for Year 9 students’ reading, for whom Year 7 NAPLAN data is available was 1.5 years.  This includes a Kimberley student achieving 2.5 year’s growth and a student from a provincial school achieving 2.2 year’s growth.  These students’ growth is extraordinary as they came from a very low base where they scored below the national benchmark in Year 5. 

The challenge for AIC Schools (and the students and their families) is to consider the elements of schools’ programs and the engagement of the students in education which has brought about exponential growth for some.


Definition of Individual Reading Level (IL)

Accelerated Literacy Individual Reading Level is a measure of students’ reading accuracy levels using benchmarked texts which they have not studied.  To be considered fluent at a particular level students must achieve a 90% reading accuracy rate or greater.  Students are assessed on a sequence of texts until they no longer achieve this fluency rate or read fluently at Level 8.  Texts are benchmarked at 9 levels, from pre-primary (PP) to Year 8.

It is important to note that students that register as ‘non-readers’ are defined as those that do not achieve a reading accuracy rate of 90% or greater of pre-primary level text.  This means that students who can read but do not achieve an accuracy rate of 90% or above are classed as non-readers.  Therefore, the classification of ‘non-reader’ does not necessarily mean the student cannot read.

Junior Primary (Years 1-3, or 6-8 year olds) 

The longitudinal trend of the Junior Primary phase is positive and shows that there has been steady improvement in the students’ reading since 2001 when 100% were assessed as non-readers.  

 

The Junior Primary students’ reading levels have continued to improve steadily since 2001, moving from 100% non-readers to 66% of those assessed being readers in 2011

Average student growth for 2011 was 1 year.  This is measured by comparing the initial 2011 (Term 1) IL assessment with the final IL assessment (Term 4).  This growth is equivalent with mainstream students and very positive given the fact that the majority of the students are from remote communities, do not speak English as their first language, and do not come from households with a strong literary tradition.  The challenge for the AIC Schools is the development of the students as writers. 

Middle and Upper Primary (Years 4-7, or 9-12 year olds) 

Overall the longitudinal trend for Middle and Upper Primary students is positive and shows that there has been steady improvement.  

Since 2001 the proportion of Middle and Upper Primary readers has increased from 4% in 2001 to 93% in 2011. 

Average student growth for 2011 was 1.2 years.  This is measured by comparing the initial 2011 (Term 1) IL assessment with the final IL assessment (Term 4).  This growth is exceeds mainstream students’ development over the same period.  It is illustrates that the AIC Schools are working towards Closing the Gap for literacy.  It is also very positive given the fact that the majority of the students are from remote communities, do not speak English as their first language, and do not come from households with a strong literary tradition.  The challenge for the AIC Schools is the development of the students as writers. 

 Secondary (years 8-12, or 13 to 17 years old)

 

The overall results of the Secondary students are positive and show that there has been a steady improvement in the proportion of readers. 

Since 2001, the proportion of Secondary readers has increased from 56% to 100% in 2011.

Average student growth for 2011 was 2.1 years.  This is measured by comparing the initial 2011 (Term 1) IL assessment with the final IL assessment (Term 4).  This growth is exceeds mainstream students’ development over the same period.  It is illustrates that the AIC Schools are working towards Closing the Gap for literacy.  It is also very positive given the fact that the majority of the students are from remote communities, do not speak English as their first language, and do not come from households with a strong literary tradition.  The challenge for the AIC Schools is the development of the students as writers.  

 

Resources

National Accelerated Literacy Program Website

For further info on Accelerated Literacy click here  www.nalp.edu.au


Contacts


Ruth Clothier (Accelerated Literacy Consultant)

Tel:          (08) 9441 1638
Email:      rclothier@ais.wa.edu.au
Fax:         (08) 9244 2786
Mob:        040 808 2400

Thea Knott (Accelerated Literacy Consultant)

Tel:          (08) 9441 1683
Email:      tknott@ais.wa.edu.au
Fax:         (08) 9244 2786
Mob:        045 784 3284

Kerry Handley (Early Childhood)

Tel:          (08) 9441 1660
Email:      khandley@ais.wa.edu.au
Fax:         (08) 9244 2786
Mob:        040 803 7029

Jill Millar (Literacy Consultant)

Tel:          tbc
Email:      jmillar@ais.wa.edu.au
Fax:         (08) 9244 2786
Mob:        048 814 5235