Literacy / Numeracy

Whole School Literacy Programme

Overview

At UC High School Kaleen, we are committed to improving and challenging our students' literacy skills through delivering a set Literacy program to all year groups. We are the first high school in Canberra to deliver a sustained Literacy program on a regular basis.

The Literacy program seeks to develop students' knowledge and skills around literacy and help them become effective learners by fostering positive work behaviors that utilise their literacy skills. The program provides opportunities for students to improve their reading, writing, vocabulary, grammar, speaking and listening skills.

Students will be asked to participate in sustained silent reading using both fiction and non-fiction texts. Students will draw meaning from reading, question information and formulate opinions.  Students will be asked to communicate or express their ideas, thoughts and emotions through active participation in class discussions and a reading journal.

Students will participate in a range of activities based on the Writer's Notebook process that provides opportunities for them to improve their skills around planning and generating ideas using graphic organisers in their scrapbooks. Students will be asked to generate a range of fiction and non-fiction texts in their writing journal, focusing on purpose and audience for each text. At the end of each term, students will be given the opportunity to refine their writing through the development of self-editing skills.

Organisation

In 2012, the school timetable was rescheduled to include three half hour lessons per week for all students to participate in the Literacy Program, (Tuesday-Thursday). 

Students are placed in small groups of approximately 10 within their year group. 

One lesson is allocated to sustained reading and two lessons towards writing.  Students are expected to bring their own novel each week and continue to read at home on a regular basis. 

Assessment

Students will demonstrate their understanding of the learning outcomes, (based on the Australian Curriculum Literacy Capabilities) and development of skills through their writing in both their scrapbook and personal journal. 

Evidence will be gathered through observation, consultation with the teacher and student's published pieces of writing. Based on student's own ability they will receive a grade of: 

P demonstrating pass or higher achievement of what is expected

U demonstrating an unsatisfactory achievement of what is expected

(Note that A-E grade is not used in the Literacy program. Students are assessed on their own level of ability, progress, effort and active participation.) 

Extra-Curricular Activities

Throughout the year students are given the opportunity to participate or show leadership in:

  • A range of writing workshops with neighbouring primary schools (i.e. poetry and Writer's Notebook).
  • UC undergraduate students reading mentoring program
  • Peer support reading mentoring program
  • Writer's Camp
  • Writing tutorials with UC staff and students

Achievements 

  • Since the introduction of the Literacy Program, data collected through our school assessment has shown improvement in students' literacy skills and knowledge.
  • In 2013 our Year 9 students achieved significant results in achieving a high school mean for both reading and writing. The writing mean was higher than the average school mean for the Belconnen area. The majority of individual students had achieved above the growth that was expected for them between Year 7 to Year 9.
  • Last Year, UC High School Kaleen was showcased as a leading high school in Literacy for the National Partnership Literacy and Numeracy Project for the Directorate of Education and Training.