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The success of Caroline Chisholm Catholic College’s Reading Program is reflected in the latest NAPLAN results bucking a state trend.

The College received validation that it’s Reading Program, implemented three years ago, has been a major success. This can be seen in the latest NAPLAN results released last week. The state average in Reading showed a growth (effect size) of 0.53 between Years 7 and 9, while the College’s growth between those years was double at 1.06.

Started in 2016, the Reading Program, led by teacher librarians Barbara Roach and Gabrielle Douglas aims to:

  • encourage students to read and take every opportunity to read.
  • monitor and challenge students to read a variety of texts and texts appropriate to their reading level.
  • encourage students to think about and analyse what they are reading.
  • explicitly teach skills which enhance and engage students in active reading.

That same year, the College joined the University of Melbourne’s Network of Schools (UMNOS) which offered the College the chance to work with world-class, leading researchers in education on a project that was important to the school.

“After analyzing our NAPLAN data for 2016 we recognised that reading and writing were areas that needed more explicit focus at the College. Our results in this area showed that we had a lot of students that were coasting – that is, they were not growing their reading and writing skills, they were simply getting by on their abilities,” said Sarah Moss-Holland, the College’s Collaborative Learning Leader.

The association with the University of Melbourne provides expert knowledge and teaching resources that have been used to develop and refine the Reading Program from the initial idea.

“Year 7 students come to the library once a week and Year 8 and 9 students once a fortnight as part of the English curriculum. A key part of our program is the ‘reading conferences’ where students discuss what they are reading. Students sit down and conference with their teachers to discuss their reading and set clear goals. The outstanding outcomes achieved in NAPLAN Reading by our students is a testament to the commitment the College has put into these programs and partnerships,” said Barbara Roach.

“The College has created a beautiful library with an up-to-date fiction collection. The Reading Program personalises a student’s learning. Our teacher librarians connect readers with the right book, and we’re noticing more and more students are actually finishing books, which is the best outcome we could have asked for,” added Moss-Holland.

The improvements in NAPLAN further support the continued growth the College has seen in its median Study Score and Better Education Ranking. Since 2013 the College has had its biggest consistent growth. In 2016 the College achieved a median Study Score of 30 for the first time, and in 2017 solidified this with another excellent 30+ Study Score.

Read more about it in The Educator Online.