Principal's First Principles: Inside BAC's New Reading Intervention Programs

I am excited to share the remarkable success of a new initiative that has already made a significant difference in the two short weeks we have been implementing it at BAC. Our new reading intervention program is proving to be a key that unlocks the door to literacy for students who have been struggling to navigate the world of words.

As educators, we know that good reading skills are vital for academic success. A foundational skill, it's the key to educational success in all curriculum areas and personal growth in the information age. If students have gaps in their learning from early Primary school or need help processing information, catching up with their peers is challenging without intervention.

Enter MiniLit (Years 1 and 2) and MacqLit (Years 3 to 10). Macquarie University developed these reading programs after extensive research and data collection. Presented in small group settings by trained educators several times a week, the program offers engaging, structured lessons for students from Years 1 to 10. It not only enhances their reading abilities but also nurtures their confidence and self-esteem.

Parents have noticed changes in their children's reading abilities in the two weeks since the start of MacqLit and MiniLit across both campuses. "It's exciting to see my son's progress in this reading program," reported one mother to our Enhanced Learning Department, a team of educators who have played a crucial role in the successful implementation of these programs. "I can already see improvements in his vocabulary, comprehension, and ability to sound out words and read fluently."

A dual focus for our professional learning community

Over the past two years, literacy across the curriculum has been one of two main focuses for our professional learning teams. The other is implementing Version 9 of the Australian curriculum.

1. Australian curriculum.

Implementing Version 9 of the Australian curriculum, a collaborative effort involving all BAC teachers, must be completed by 2027. I am proud to say that we are well on track. We have been rewriting programs and implementing the curriculum for new subject areas each year in a staggered introduction. We have also made considerable effort to identify ways of applying our BAC distinctives and the principles and values of Adventist education to Version 9.

2. Literacy

Our commitment to enhancing literacy starts with robust diagnostic tools that enable us to monitor our students' progress closely. These comprehensive data sets allow us to pinpoint the 'how' and 'why' of our teaching and provide targeted reading programs to children at both ends of the spectrum (remedial and extension) and those in between, ensuring no student is left behind.

We may be a small school (compared to those nearby), but we are doing well. The additional assessment tools from MacqLit and MiniLit add to our collective data sets. Early positive results are coming from two new foundational Literacy programs: The Literacy Collective for students in Years Prep to 2, which focuses on learning sound combinations with emoji coding tools, and Renaissance Literacy for students in Years 3 to 6, which includes an online library for individual reading levels. Our intentional, multipronged approach give me confidence that we are moving in the right direction.

"The purposeful teaching and learning at BAC is something we can all be proud of. We are achieving and sustaining good results." F-10 Teaching and Learning Coordinator Prescilla Walker

Our goal is to lay the groundwork for success and ensure that every child has the support they need to reach their full potential. Through the dedicated efforts of teachers, the help and support of families, and the implementation of proven, effective learning programs, we nurture this culture of confidence and achievement.