March 29, 2023

Literacy Update

Dear Members of the Mordialloc College Community,

As we approach the end of Term 1, we have already had a busy and productive term for students, teachers and our wider school community. We have welcomed our new Year 7s and also welcomed back our past students who have continued their studies from the Head Start program run at the end of last year.

NAPLAN

Term 1 was another full term, with our NAPLAN testing for students in Year 7 and Year 9 coming earlier this year. Students in these year levels have been completing their tests, across both Literacy and Numeracy over the past few weeks, with all testing wrapping up before the holiday break. We are now in our second year of the online platform which provides a more engaging and streamlined platform for students, as well as allowing more adaptability in the tests. These tests allow us to gain valuable insight into where our students are with their Literacy and Numeracy skills, as compared to the rest of Australia. As the tests have run earlier this year, we will be able to access this data much earlier and therefore use it more effectively to address the specific needs of our individual students and cohorts. It is also important to reinforce with students that these tests are just a snapshot of one moment in time and we also look at a range of other data, as well as their teachers’ formative observations and assessments in classes, to gain an overall picture of their skills and knowledge.

PAT-R TESTING

Mordialloc also engages the PAT-Reading testing (and PAT-Maths for Numeracy) to give a more regular gauge of our students’ reading. All students in years 8-11 completed an individualised PAT-R test at the end of last year to help inform their new teachers of their specific needs. This test is used nation-wide and allows us to gain access to real-time comparisons between our students and others around the country. Students complete these tests every semester, which allows us to have a clearer, standardised picture of where our students’ Literacy and Numeracy skills sit, in relation to themselves and others. If you would like to know more about this data in relation to your child, please discuss it with your child’s English (for PAT-Reading) or Maths (for PAT-Maths) teacher.

LITERACY INTERVENTION

We also continue to offer a range of Intervention programs to provide extra support to our students at a range of levels. The Tutor Learning Initiative, as funded by the State Government to address gaps in learning from COVID disruptions, has continued this year. We currently have a Literacy tutor working with our targeted students in Year 9, with a second tutor joining us in Term 2. This will mean all students in the Year 9 cohort will have regular access to this extra support. Our tutors work within classes, alongside the classroom teacher, to reinforce the key skills and help students gain confidence in their Literacy ability. This program targets a range of students, supporting and extending students across the ability spectrum.

The MYLNS program (Middle Years Literacy and Numeracy Support) continues at Year 10, with students identified by their 2022 data receiving targeted support to improve their access to the curriculum and develop the skills they will need for their later schooling years. Similarly, our dedicated Year 9 Literacy elective works alongside our mainstream curriculum to reinforce key skills, setting students up for entry into the Senior School next year.

Our Intervention team continues to work with our new Year 7 students to adapt to the Literacy requirements of secondary school. In particular, the Macquarie University accredited Maqlit program has seen great success in addressing low literacy concerns for those students needing intensive intervention. At the Year 10 level, the new Foundation English class provides a scaffolded pathway for students moving into the new VCE: VM (Vocational Major) pathway next year, using applied learning principles to equip students with practical literacy skills. Alongside this, our Speech Pathologist has also been catering to the individual needs of a range of students. These programs are helping to reintegrate our students into school, as well as providing them with general, life-long Literacy skills. If you would like to inquire about Literacy intervention options for your child, please contact your child’s English teacher to discuss further.

Overall, students have had a positive start to this year and have been making clear progress in their Literacy goals. We look forward to our students experiencing continued success throughout the year.

Jamie Towsey

Director of Literacy