Substantially above average gains in student reading

The Secretary of the NSW Department of Education, Mark Scott, publicly congratulated the school for the achievement of ‘substantially above average gains’ in student reading. Students progressed from Year 3 to Year 5 between 2015 and 2017.

Cooerwull Public School principal Mark Snow credited the NAPLAN result to the teachers, who worked with students to improve performance.

“It is the quality of the teachers, who are an exceptional group of teachers, who have been able to identify the starting point and then move the children along that continuum,” he said.

“Another contributing factor is the success criteria, so we actually set specific teaching strategies around the reading and then the children have set their own ‘I can’ statements, so they know what is expected of them as young readers.”

The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority identified Cooerwull Public School and another thirty-nine NSW public schools – seventeen in regional, rural and remote areas and twenty-two in the greater Sydney metropolitan region – with significant student learning growth.

Mr Snow said that the school worked towards individualised reading programs for each child to assist their development.

“Our goal is that every child should read five or six times every day. It’s about practice and self-discipline and making sure our children have a chance to read every single day. It sounds simple but it’s about practice and consistency.”

Mr Snow said that the school prioritised reading as a skill for life.

“We really believe if our students are confident and independent readers they can engage in curriculum, as well as the social curriculum and then the community.”

Story contributed by Lorraine Salon from Cooerwull Public School and Kym Cama from the AECG Published in 2018.