Seven students who struggled with reading took exceptional steps in their reading speed and comprehension this year thanks to the Accelerated Literacy Project, a national pilot project that teachers brought to Thames High School. English teacher Michelle Sim supervised the programme in the classroom and liaised with families. Now, students’ progress is informing educators across the nation.
The project’s goal is to accelerate Year 10 literacy to ultimately improve Level 1 NCEA achievement, and to increase students’ confidence and use of language across all subject areas. Deputy Principal Sue Baker and English Head of Department Dr Jennifer Glenn recently presented the results of the project—with data showing significant success—to leaders in Wellington.
Perhaps just as important as the data were enthusiastic reviews from the students who participated.
“It made me know how to skim-read paragraphs so I know what information to look for,” explained one student. “It made me read my books faster because I got to know how to understand the text more.”
The project emphasises support from parents as well as school, with positive reactions from the parents involved. “So happy with the reading he has done on the programme,” said one parent. “Perhaps it’s not massive amounts by other kids’ standards but for him huge amounts. . . More importantly he is really enjoying taking off to bed early and reading for a good length of time.”
We applaud the students and parents who took part in the project, and the teachers who brought this unique and effective new model to Thames.